Crystal Peterson

Crystal Peterson

Crystal Eleanor Peterson, 89, of North Branch, Minn., passed away Oct. 24, 2013, at Grace Pointe Crossing in Cambridge surrounded by family.
She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and teacher. Crystal dedicated her life to helping others and will be sorely missed by those whose lives she touched. She taught for over 50 years and served in church as an organist for most of her life. She loved her family and enjoyed nothing more than spending time with them. She was very proud of her family and would brag about them often. She has been described as a selfless person who was a friend to everyone, willing to help out anyone in any way that she could.
Crystal was born April 11, 1924, to Harry and Clara (Peterson) Olson in South Dakota. She took an interest in music at an early age. She began taking organ lessons at age six, and was playing in church by the time she was ten. Her love of music is something that she would continue to share with the world for the rest of her life.
After graduating high school at the age of 16, Crystal enrolled in college at Concordia University in Moorhead, Minn., majoring in music, home economics, English and science. She graduated in 1945 and pursued a career in teaching. She taught at a number of schools including Augustana Academy in Canton, S. D., Kerkhoven, East Grand Forks, Detroit Lakes, the University of Minnesota, Mountain Lake, St. Paul Park, Wyoming and North Branch. Her work as choir director earned dozens of awards, and five of her former students went on to be college music instructors.
She married Leland Peterson June 2, 1962, at Como Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul. Leland and Crystal went on to have three sons: Gerald, John and Mark. Shortly after Mark was born, the family moved to a farm in North Branch where they lived together for the next several decades.
Crystal played organ at many churches over the course of her life, including Spring Lake Lutheran Church. The Peterson family has been member of the church since moving to the area in 1968 and Crystal played organ and directed the choir at the church for many years.
Aside from music, Crystal enjoyed sewing, reading, writing, and most of all, her family. She took an interest in genealogy and spent time tracing her familys heritage and keeping in touch with relatives.
She took great pride in her grandchildren and played a large part in their lives.
Crystal is survived by her husband, Leland; sons, Gerald (Janae), of Harris, John (fiance Barb Olson), of North Branch, and Mark, of Harris; her nine grandchildren, Lucas, Amanda, Josh, Anna, Emily, Elizabeth, Nicholas, Brock and Brielle and her one great grandchild, Olivia; three step sisters, Ellen Agre, of St. Paul, Evelyn Tromborg, of Minneapolis, and Miledred Knutson, of Prior Lake. She is preceded in death by her parents and several step brothers and sisters.
Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, at Spring Lake Lutheran Church in North Branch with the Rev. Linda Wahlstrom officiating. Serving as organist was Chris Kendall. Visitation was held Sunday, Oct. 27, 4-7 p.m., at Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch and also one hour prior to the service at church Monday. Interment was held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery near Murdock. Serving as casket bearers were Gerald Peterson, John Peterson, Mark Peterson, Luke Peterson, Nicholas Peterson and Anna Peterson.
Arrangements were under the direction of Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch. Condolences maybe left at www.grandstrandfh.com.

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