Donald was born April 21, 1918 in Elk River to David and Hanna Peterson, the oldest son in a family of 7 children.
Donald was raised on a farm west of Stanchfield, Minn. and attended the one room Pine Cone School, getting there on horseback. Since he spent his teens breaking horses for his dad, when he joined the Army, he naturally was placed in a remount battalion in El Reno Okla. He went into the Army in June of 1941 with the specialty of saddle and harness maker, eventually winding up in India. Being so good at leather work, when he was discharged from the army, he opened the very well-known Don’s Shoe Shop in Cambridge in the late 40s and also sold and fixed sewing machines and riding equipment. Don and Emmy were charter members of the Rum River Saddle Club, and rode in many parades in Cambridge including Square Dancing on horseback at the State Fair. Later he worked with his friend, Allen Nelson at his plumbing shop and with friends at the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Department. As they say you can take the boy out of the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the boy. So, Donald raised sheep, cattle, pigs, ostrich and buffalo; which was quite a sight just two miles from town. Later he would get involved in beekeeping; running as many as 200 hives and joining the Balsam Lake Bee Club.
He spent many Saturdays selling honey at the Farmers Market in Minneapolis. And, on Sundays, he and his wife transported parishioners for church services. Donald enjoyed spending time with family, playing cards, horseback riding, bowling, (he actually sold the land for the first bowling alley in Cambridge) square dancing, and golf; he got a hole in one at the Purple Hawk. Donald was a cheerful, kind, charitable man who will be sorely missed.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years Emma Irene; sisters Harriet (Gordon) Danielson, Ruth (Jim) Walburg; brothers Stanley (Tootie), Norman (Marion); niece and nephew Paul Danielson and Pat Johnson. Donald is survived by his loving wife of 16 years Virgina Jones Peterson; son David (Christine); brothers Paul (Lois), Jim (Dee); many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, August 18, 2012 at Stanchfield Baptist Church. Interment will follow at church cemetery. Donations preferred to the radio ministry at Stanchfield Baptist Church. Stanchfield Baptist Church P.O. BOX 10 Stanchfield, MN 55080
Arrangements were with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.