On August 21, 2023, Benny peacefully passed away. Benny was born on October 18, 1929, in Sydney, MT to Rev. Andrew Peterson and Rev. Rose (Sorenson). Andrew’s service as a Methodist minister caused the family to move as called to various churches. Benny had three older brothers named David, Samuel, and Joseph, and one younger brother named Rodney. Benny spent his teen years in the areas of Clarkfield and Dawson, MN assisting his father with farming land the church provided as the minister’s salary. After being informed he was ineligible for military service because of high blood pressure, Benny determined it was best to stay and assist his father on the farm as his younger brother and mother were handicapped.
Benny met the love of his life, Iola Estling, at the roller-skating rink at Milan Bridge, MN. They were married by Benny’s father on June 17, 1950, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Boyd, MN. Their first home was an apartment with a shared bathroom in Madison, MN, where Benny worked as assistant manager of Madison Mill and Elevator. Soon Benny accepted an offer to manage the grain elevator at Louisburg, MN. While living in southern Minnesota, three children were born: Patricia, Gary, and Craig.
After Benny learned he was allergic to grain dust, he accepted an offer to take a job as a field auditor for Benson-Quinn Grain Co. to escape the constant exposure to grain dust. That job change required the family to move to Moorhead, MN in 1960. Benny worked for Benson-Quinn for over 30 years. Based on his work experience, Benny achieved the designation of Licensed Public Accountant (LPA).
It was a memorable day for the family when Benny and Iola came across the beautiful sandy south shore of Lake Eunice south of Audubon. They immediately fell in love with the lake and proceeded to clearing an area to build a cabin. Quickly, Lake Eunice became the destination of choice in the summer months, with the Moorhead home serving as the place to wash clothes, pick up mail and phone messages.
Benny had an admirable work ethic that led him to success in the grain business as president of 3 grain elevators while continuing his full-time position with Benson-Quinn and spending precious family time with Iola and their 3 children, including his duty as boat driver for Iola water skiing past her 84th birthday.
Benny was proud of his membership as a mason for over 60 years. Benny had a cheerful disposition, concern for others and a remarkable memory up to the time of his passing.
Last year, Benny and Iola celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary. Iola passed away on August 2, 2022.
Benny was preceded in death by his parents, his four brothers, and his beloved wife, Iola.
Benny is survived by his 3 children, Patricia Heisler (Robert Hovde), Gary Peterson (Debbie), Craig Peterson (Rhonda); ten grandchildren, Rico Heisler (Kari), Micah Heisler, Jessi Scott, Joey Duren (Greg), Casey Brand (Matt), Dawn Magstadt, Deseray Sax (Mike), Zach Peterson (Miranda), April Wehlander (Ryan), Nick Peterson (Ellington Norwood); sixteen great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, August 28, 2023, at 12:00 PM with a visitation one hour before the service at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Moorhead, MN. A livestream of the service will be available here on Benny's page.
Burial will be in Prairie Home Cemetery, Moorhead, MN.