Skip to content

Josephine Peterson


Josephine (Josie) Louise Peterson, age 84 of Menahga passed away August 1 2021.

Josephine (Josie) Louise Peterson was born to Ida Esther and Jalmer Haverinen on February 23, 1937 in Red Eye Township, Wadena County, Minnesota. She grew up on the family farm southwest of Menahga. Josie attended 42 North country school and Menahga High School where she graduated in 1955. Josie was also awarded Betty Crocker Homemaker of the Year in 1955 and was presented with a Betty Crocker cookbook that would prove invaluable to raising her family on the farm.

Josephine married her sweetheart George Peterson June 18, 1955 and they made their home in Minneapolis where they were blessed with their first child. In 1957 they moved back to the Menahga area when they purchased their farm west of Menahga. This farm would become her lifelong home. It was here that Josie and George were blessed with five more children and they raised them with equal amounts of good food and love. Josie loved to garden. She had both a vegetable garden and many beautiful flower beds along with her carefully tended orchids. Josephine also loved to sew and created clothes for her family. Cooking and baking were a big part of her life too. Over the years Mom invited her many nieces and nephews to stay at the farm in the summer. As any visitor to her home can attest, no one left the house hungry.

Josephine was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church of rural Menahga where she served as a Sunday School teacher and treasurer for Aid Association for Lutherans. She was also a member of Ladies Aid, Bible study and the Bethany Quilters Guild where Josie and her friends would make hundreds of quilts for folks less fortunate than themselves.

Before marriage Josie worked for a time at Munsingwear in Minneapolis. Later, in addition to farming, she would work at the Badora State Tree Nursery, the Wolf Lake Locker Plant, the Blueberry Bakery and her sister Lorretta’s Village Sewing Center. Josephine was also employed at Homecrest Manufacturing in Wadena where she worked until her retirement.

After retirement Josie and George continued to farm until 2003. In retirement she found more time to add to her flower gardens and treating her family to new dishes from her kitchen. Josie was fortunate to be able to travel and got to see Hawaii, travel out west, and visit Finland and Sweden. Josephine remained on the farm she loved dearly until her passing.

Josie was preceded in death by her parents Esther and Jalmer Haverinen, husband George, son Bradley, brother Howard Haverinen, sisters Ina Makinen, Helen Irene Peterson, and Loretta Toppari.

Josephine is survived by her daughter Deborah (Delwin Smith) Peterson of Vernon Center, MN; son Steven (Linda) Peterson of Menahga; daughter Christine (Paul) Haag of Somerset, WI; son Micheal (Sheri) Peterson of Richfield, MN, and daughter Melissa (Dave) Carlson of St. Cloud, MN; brother-in-law Gary (Karen)Peterson of Coon Rapids, sister-in-law Alice (Delmar) Peterson of Menahga and many nieces and nephews. Josie was also blessed with 17 grandchidren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be August 28 at 11 a.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church rural Menahga. Internment following the service. Lunch will be served at the church. Pastor Steven Bruer and Pastor Roger Michaelson will be officiating.

Leave a Comment