Clarence Peterson
Clarence Peterson
Clarence Melvin Peterson, 90, of Rochester died Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, surrounded by family, at home.

He was born Aug. 3, 1922, on the family farm near Garfield. He was the youngest of 13 children born of John A. and Minnie (Johnson) Peterson. He attended District 99 School to the eighth grade. He worked on the family farm for his parents. From 1943 to 1947, he served in the Minnesota Home Guard.

On Jan. 18, 1947, he married Janet Viola Knaack at the parsonage of Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria. He and his wife made their home on the family farm near Garfield. They were married 65 years and 11 months.

From 1950 to 1951, he worked for the Corps of Engineers with his brother-in-law, Everett Knaack, in the construction of the Fort Randall Dam in Pickstown, S.D.

In 1951, he purchased the family farm from his parents. In 1956, he moved the family to Spokane, Wash., to visit two of his brothers, and they introduced him to the sheet metal trade. In 1957, the family returned to Garfield to the family farm, and he continued the sheet metal trade in Alexandria.

In 1965, he moved the family to Rochester and began his career with HiMec. He was proud to say he worked on the buildings of Mayo Medical Center, Apache Mall and IBM Complex. In 1984, he retired from HiMec.

He was a member of Sheet Metal Union 10 for over 50 years.

He and his wife enjoyed traveling and visited 35 states, Mexico, the Bahamas, Germany and France. They spent their 42nd wedding anniversary in Hawaii. He enjoyed watching television, especially nature programs and professional boxing and wrestling. He enjoyed gardening, woodworking, metal crafts and painting in his retirement.

He is survived by his wife, Janet; four daughters, Carol Wiebusch-Potter (Willard Potter) of McAllen, Texas, Corliss "Corky" (Luther) Olson of Lanesboro, Cheryl (Michael) Riley of Papillion, Neb., and Candace Peterson (Phillip Hall) of Rochester; his sister, Selma "Sally" Wilke of Milton, Fla.; four grandchildren, Cynthia (Matthew) Rice of Golden Valley, Brock Wiebusch of Kalispell, Mont., Tracey Nelson Yerkes of Rochester and Trent (Tracy) Olson of Lanesboro and five great-grandchildren, Brady and Rachel Nelson, Derek Yerkes and Peyton and Reid Olson.

He was preceded in death by his son, Richard Melvin Peterson; five brothers and six sisters.

Per his wishes, no formal services will be held at this time. The body will be cremated and a private family memorial service will be held at a later date.