In 1937 she graduated as Class Valedictorian at Forest Lake High School. After graduation, she worked at the Heimke Mercantile Store in Stacy of which the building is currently the Pretty Bird offices.
Birdie met Charles Virgil Peterson at a community dance in Stacy and later married at the Methodist Church in North Branch on April 22, 1944. They bought and moved to Virgil’s parents’ farm northeast of Stacy on Lent Trail where she resided her entire life.
In 1965, the farmhouse burnt to ground and had to rebuild. They conducted all the farming activities until the late 1970’s. They also gardened and sold their vegetables at a stand in Stacy. Virgil suffered a major stroke and Birdie home-cared him for six years prior to his death in 1985.
Birdie not only enjoyed raising vegetables and flowers, but also enjoyed decorating her home for every holiday, collecting candles, salt and pepper shakers, deer figurines and decorative cans.
Her sheds became known as “Birdie’s Roost” collecting everything from soup to nuts. She loved going to garage sales and preparing for her own! For years she held annual craft sales in her home.
Not only was she well known for making glittered calendars, but also for making scrapbooks consisting with news articles of family, friends and events. The police scanner was her constant companion in the kitchen.
Other than being a devoted wife, mother and grandmother; Birdie worked at the Rustic Inn and Municipal Bar in Stacy and served as the Stacy Postmaster.
She was a Game Birds 4-H Club leader and a 73 year member of the Peterson-Waller Post #312 American Legion Auxiliary. Come rain or shine, never did she miss selling poppies on Poppy Day for the auxiliary or hosting the annual Memorial Day picnic.
Birdie was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stacy and served as an organist, Sunday school and Bible school teacher along with serving on numerous committees.
The most important things in her life were her family, friends, faith and her home. Birdie passed away in the comfort of her home on March 10, 2012.
She is survived by her brother Ronald Hewson (Rose), Children: Charles Peterson (Bev), Steven Peterson (Kathy), Dale Peterson, Mary Johnson (Dennis), Arlene Leese (Ed), Richard Holetz (Ruthann). Grandchildren: Mark Peterson, Gina Williams, Sarah Peterson-Eck (Tim), Carin Anderson (Brent), Deborah Nagle (Jim), James Peterson (Angie), Tricia Burt (Steve), Brenda Boe (Dan), Denise Carlson (Scott), Mark Leese (Donna), Deborah Fontela, Todd Leese (Rebecca), Kristine Martinson (Kevin), Catherine Erdmann (Ron), Richard Holetz (Karen), Michael Holetz (Diane),40 Great Grandchildren, 4 Great Great Grandchildren and many other relatives and friends.
The family expresses sincere appreciation to everyone for their thoughts, prayers, personal calls and visits prior to her death.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 17, 2012 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stacy with Rev. Al Valerius officiating. Serving as organist will be Yvonne Mulry.
Interment will follow the service at Stacy Cemetery. Serving as casket bearers are James Peterson, Mark Peterson, Raymond Mell, Donald Mudrick, Loren Peterson, Michas Ohnstad, Ronald Chelberg and Thomas Olson.
Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Friday at Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch and one hour prior to service at church on Saturday. Arrangements are under the direction of Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch. Condolences maybe left at www.grandstrandfh.com