Thief River Falls - Betty Peterson, 87, of Thief River Falls, died Sunday, April 14, 2013 in the presence of loving family at Sanford Medical Center.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, April 19 at Johnson Funeral Service chapel followed by interment at the Greenwood cemetery, Thief River Falls. The officiating clergy will be Rev. Robert Dahlen.
Visitation will be held Thursday from 5 until 7 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls.
Betty Lou (Hetland) Peterson was born March 8, 1926 in Thief River Falls, the daughter of Abraham and Maria (Gaasland) Hetland. She was the youngest of 10 children and graduated from Thief River Falls High School at the age of 16.
Betty’s life story is the tale of a woman who loved life. When she was a teenager, Betty and her family moved briefly to Santa Monica, Calif. at the beginning of World War II. When they returned, Betty obtained a pilot’s license and found employment ferrying small aircraft to various airports in the state.
Betty loved flying and one day, while giving lessons as a flight instructor, she found another love –Roy Peterson, who had just returned home from the war.
Roy and Betty were married in July 1947 and enjoyed 44 years together until Roy’s death in 1992.
As a young woman, Betty learned the skill of carpentry from her father and she made many, many beautiful pieces throughout her life – a spinning wheel, an entertainment center, dressers, chests, tables – and even an actual log cabin complete with a stone fireplace. She did it all from a humble workshop in the basement of the farm home her father built.
Betty enjoyed being a farmer all her life. She adored working the fields and tending to the cows, chickens, ducks and horses. Her vegetable gardens resembled pages from a magazine.
She was a hunter and trapper. She hunted deer in both the bow and gun seasons – and was successful as recently as last fall. She also loved to fish in the winter and summer.
The travel bug bit Betty in later years and she went on many wonderful adventures in Norway, Austria, Germany, England, and throughout the U.S. She spent nights sleeping under the stars on a wagon train trip along the Oregon Trail.
On her last grand adventure, she went to the Brazilian jungle where she canoed the Amazon River and traversed Iguazu Falls in Argentina.
Betty made everything fun for those lucky enough to be around her. She was a unique woman, kind and gentle, who will be missed greatly.
Betty is survived by her son Roger (Linda) Peterson of Lindstrom; granddaughter, Lizbeth Peterson of Lindstrom; grandson Kristoffer (Rebecca) Peterson of Tracy, Calif.; great-grandson Roger; a great-granddaughter due in July; sister Lillian von Schneeweis of Sun City, Calif.; special nieces, Janet Anton, Randi Hodny, Patricia Hetland and Celeste Hetland, all of Thief River Falls, and many other nieces, nephews, and family members.
Condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.