C. Howard Peterson

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Carl Howard Peterson, age 98, of Willmar and formerly of Benson, died Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at Bethesda Grand in Willmar. 


A Memorial service will be held at a later date.  As he wished, Howard’s body has been donated to the University of Minnesota Medical School.  Interment will be held at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date.  Memorials will be given to Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church and University of Minnesota Gopher Baseball.  Arrangements with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home.  www.petersonbrothers.com  


Carl Howard Peterson was born to Elmer and Ellen Peterson on September 6, 1921, in Willmar, Minnesota.  After graduating from Willmar High School in 1939, he received his degree from the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science and served in the Navy 1942-1946, achieving the rank of Ensign. 


C. Howard was united in marriage to Anna Mae Backlund from Kandiyohi on June 25, 1949.  In 1951, they moved to Benson where they raised their family and resided until 2012, when they moved to Sunrise Assisted Living in Willmar.

C. Howard owned and operated the Peterson Funeral Home in Benson. He was an active member of Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, Kiwanis Club, VFW, and other community organizations.


He earned his letter in baseball at the University of Minnesota, and played for both the Willmar Rails and the Benson Chiefs baseball teams during the heyday of independent town teams. C. Howard was a member of the Benson Chiefs baseball team that won the Minnesota State Championship in 1954.  He was the last surviving member of the 1946 Willmar Rails amateur baseball team, and was inducted into the West Central Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.  He was an avid fan of the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings, and the University of Minnesota Gopher baseball and basketball teams.


Howard was a fun-loving and optimistic person always looking on the bright side of things.  He enjoyed reading newspapers, playing golf, watching sporting events, going on excursions and trips with Anna Mae, visiting with his family and friends, and spending summers on Lake Minnewaska (for 50 years) and winters at the Sommer Ranch in Brenham, Texas (for 25 years).


C. Howard Peterson is survived by four daughters and sons-in-law:  Jane and Jonathan Holmquist of Lawrenceville, New Jersey; Ann and Stanley Sommer of Brenham, Texas; Barbara and Kevin Zachman of Hanover, Minnesota; Emily and Timothy Marusich of San Diego, California; one son and daughter-in-law, Ross and Myna Peterson of Cannon Falls, Minnesota; eight grandchildren and spouses, Carl and Elizabeth Holmquist, Samuel and Megan Sommer, Maria (Sommer) and Cory Hartstein, Andrew and Stacy Zachman, Daniel and Maria Zachman, Isaac Peterson, Brock Peterson, and Anna Marusich; eleven great-grandchildren, William and Nathan Holmquist; Charlotte, Caroline, Benjamin, and Harrison Sommer; Braeden and Halle Zachman; Otto, Jack, and Harvey Zachman; two sisters-in-law, Iris Backlund of Kandiyohi, and Emily (Backlund) Cole of Decorah, Iowa, besides other relatives.


He was preceded in death by his wife, Anna Mae, parents, brothers and sisters-in-law, Richard and Dorothy Peterson, Ralph and Brownell Peterson, Algene and Elaine Peterson; sister Arlene Peterson; and brothers-in-law Austin Cole, and Allan Backlund.

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