Melva Caroline Magdalena Ponath Peterson, 89, of Oxlip, Minn. passed away Saturday, January 25, 2014, at Prairie Senior Cottages in Isanti, Minn.
She was born to Albert and Clara (Schrupp) Ponath on June 27, 1924, in Young America, Minn. Melva graduated from Cambridge High School in 1942.
Melva worked for Greyhound in Minneapolis for one year.
On May 23, 1943 she married Clements (Pete) Andrew Peterson and from that marriage five children were born, Terry, Marnie, Tommy, Lori, and Cathy. During the war, she followed Clements around to many Navy bases from Boston to Miami. Melva worked many places, including Trailacraft Boat Works in Oxlip, and ASC Office in Cambridge. From 1946-1951 Pete and Melva owned and operated the garage and cafe; in Dalbo, Minn. where many of her customers called her Ma. Clements tragically died in an auto accident in 1963. On Dec. 26, 1964 Melva married Donald Gordon Peterson, they had one son Jimmy.
Melva had many interests. In the late 50s, she was a member of the Bradford Throttlers and raced at the Bradford and Princeton Speedways. She enjoyed bowling and going to garage sales with special friends Toots Semler and Joanne Nash. She was an excellent cook and seamstress. She was famous for her polyester rugs. In December, she would spend days baking special cookies and her oyster stew and meat balls were the highlight of Christmas Eve dinner. Melva and Don did a lot of traveling in the USA as well as Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Puerto Rico. They wintered in Donna, Texas. She was a wonderful dancer and loved to travel to Mexico and dance the afternoon away. With her energy, she wore out many dancing partners.
Melva was preceded in death by her parents Albert and Clara, husband Clements, son Thomas, brother Roland, and sister Lorna. She is survived by her husband, Donald, and children Terry (Allison) of Longville, Minn., Marnie (Lynn) Guthrie of North Branch, Minn., Lori (Terry) Daudt of Longville, Minn., Cathy (Ken) Drilling of Isanti, Minn., and James (Karen) of Isanti, Minn., daughter-in-law, Judy of Milbank, S.D., 15 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, 4 great-great-grandchildren, sister Mildred Nimz and brother Melvin (Joan) Ponath, as well as many other relatives and friends.
Funeral Services were held Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Zion Lutheran Church of Crown with Rev. Jacob Dandy officiating. Pallbearers were grandsons, Jesse Guthrie, Todd Peterson, Matthew Daudt, Timothy (Franky) Daudt, Adam Aldrich, Kristopher Peterson, Eliot Peterson and Russell Peterson. Honorary Pallbearers were special friend Joanne Nash and granddaughters Leslie Guthrie, Rita Fedalen, Beth Bird, Rebecca Guthrie, Amy Guthrie, Amanda Aldrich and Julia Zohlmann. Interment was in Lakeside Cemetery. Online condolences at www.carlsonlillemoen.com. Arrangements were with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.