Wilbur E. "Bill" Peterson, 91, of Harmony, died Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis.

He was born Nov. 7, 1921, in Otisco, Minn., to Elmer and Elma Peterson. He moved to Harmony in his early teens and graduated from Harmony High School in 1939. After continuing his education as a machinist in Winona, he applied his skills at the Naval Ship Yard in Bremerton, Wash., rebuilding ships damaged during the war.

He returned to Harmony in 1943 to marry his longtime sweetheart Mae Peterson on June 26, 1943, at the Harmony State Line Church. Together they moved back to Washington State, where he continued working at the Naval Ship Yard. He joined the Air Force and served as a squadron crew chief.

The couple returned to Harmony in 1947 to start a family and work alongside his father at Peterson Auto Service. They continued to operate this business until Mr. Peterson, along with a few local businessmen, started a venture that soon became Harmony Enterprise Corporation, commonly referred to as "HECO." He wore many hats while working at HECO, including chief engineer and vice president. After retiring the first time in 1986, he and his wife owned and operated the Country Lodge Motel until they sold it in 1996.

Mr. Peterson loved his family, church and home. He served in many capacities to help develop and improve his community and church. He was especially proud of being honored with the Melvin Jones Award from Lions Club International, which recognized his passion to serve.

He is survived by three children, Robert (Sandy) Peterson of Gainesville, Fla., Carolyn (Bruce) Morem of Lake Geneva, Wis., and Gordon (Sandi) Peterson of Rockford, Mich.; six grandchildren, Sharon Peterson, Nikki (Jim) Hunkins, Austin (Jade) Morem, Eric Peterson, Cory (Caitlin) Peterson and Kyle Peterson; six great-grandchildren, Kaelyn Nash, Sydney Nash, Ella Hunkins, Jocelyn Morem, Avett Morem and Emma Hunkins; a sister, Dolores (Dudley) Keech; a brother-in-law, Willard Peterson; and two sisters-in-law, Luanne Peterson and Ruth Peterson.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Beulah "Mae" who died Oct. 12, 2011.

Funeral services were held last Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Harmony. Interment with military rites followed at State Line Cemetery in rural Harmony.

Lindstrom Funeral Home in Harmony assisted the family with arrangements.

Memorials may be made to the Harmony Lions Club or the Harmony Methodist Church.