funeral director and owner, Johnson-Peterson Funeral Home, Saint Paul, Minnesota, died April 19, 2022, at age 70. Peterson also served as a past NFDA at-large representative and as past president of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association.
He attended Winona State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in art education but decided not to pursue a career in that field. Though he had started helping at the family funeral home as a young boy, the decision to go into funeral service didn’t come until a couple of years after college. It was then he decided to earn a degree in mortuary science at the University of Minnesota.
After graduation, Peterson continued to work alongside his father at Johnson-Peterson. Upon his father’s death, he took over both the funeral home in Saint Paul and the White Bear Lake location. Prior to his father’s passing, Peterson had made the decision to rebuild the White Bear Chapel to provide better accommodations for grieving families in the surrounding community.
Peterson also recognized the need for a grief camp for children and was the first board chair, past president and a founding father of Camp Amanda, now known as Healing Hearts Connection. While volunteering at the camp, he took photos, making sure to get prints of group photos for each camper to take home.
Peterson and his wife adopted a dog, Buddy, who became certified as a K-9 Good Citizen. This allowed Buddy to attend grief camp, and he helped console campers with his playfulness, love and genuine adoration for kids.
Peterson is survived by wife Sue; daughters Jessica, Amy and Kristy; stepchildren Adam and Amanda Olsen; five grandchildren; and a brother and sister.