Richard Eugene “Dick” Peterson, 86, of Monona, passed away peacefully Monday, April 29, 2019.
He was born Sept. 22, 1932, in Viroqua, the son of Arthur and Julia (Jackson) Peterson. Richard graduated from Viroqua High School in 1950 and Madison Business College in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, spending 18 months at the 7th Army Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. Following his military service, Richard graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree from UW-Madison in 1958.
He married Nancy M. Ryan on Sept. 12, 1959, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Monona. Richard graduated from the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science in Milwaukee in July 1962 and became a licensed funeral director Jan. 1, 1963. He spent the last 22 years of his full-time employment at Gunderson Funeral Home, retiring in 1998, so he could spend more time as a caregiver to his wife, Nancy. He continued serving families on a part time basis until 2016.
Richard was a life member and past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Council No. 4586 and a life member of the Bishop William P. O’Connor General Assembly Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. He was also a life member of the Madison Elks Lodge No. 410, a life member of the East Madison/Monona Optimist Club and a longtime member of the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association. In addition, Dick was an active member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church where he served on the church council, special choir, eucharistic minister, accounting committee, and buildings and grounds helper.
Richard enjoyed playing golf and being a part of several group outings each summer. In 1983, he received a sleeve of orange golf balls for Father’s Day and on June 27 that year managed to get a hole in one with one of those orange spheres at Yahara Hills Golf Course.
Richard is survived by three sons, David (Connie), Bruce (Mary), and Matthew (Brenda); daughter, Beth (Jeremy) Vaske; grandson, Jacob Peterson, four granddaughters, Rachael Thruman, Kaitlyn Peterson, Kesley Peterson and Kailey Peterson; and many extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Nancy; daughter, Laura Peterson-Thruman; son, Andrew Peterson; granddaughter, Krista Thruman; and brother, R. LeRoy Peterson.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 5101 Schofield St, Monona, at 11:30 a.m., Friday, May 3, with the Rev. Chad Droessler presiding. Visitation will be held at Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Care, 5203 Monona Drive, from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, May 2, and at the church from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass on Friday. Memorials may be made to Immaculate Heart of Mary Endowment Fund.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.