Helen Peterson


Helen Peterson, age 94, of Northfield, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 14 at the Northfield Retirement Care Center.

Born December 8, 1929, to Carl and Elsie (Schrader) Wegner. Helen grew up with older sister Phyllis, and two younger brothers Harland and Paul. As a child Helen lived on the family farm near Cannon Lake in Warsaw Township, attending country school until 1936 when she moved with her family to a home on Plum Street in Northfield. Helen worked at the Ideal Café as an after-school job before graduating from Northfield High School in 1947. Following graduation, Helen worked as a bank teller in Northfield; it was through that employment that she met her husband, Burton Peterson.

They were married on October 6, 1956, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Northfield. Together they took over the family farm from Burt’s mother and raised five children. Helen kept plenty busy juggling being a homemaker and partner to Burt on the farm.

After their children were grown, Helen and Burt moved off the farm and built a house on the hill just up the road to keep an eye on things. The farm, located east of Northfield, is now operated by their three sons.

Helen was known to her family and friends as an amazing cook; she spent many hours tending her flower and vegetable gardens, canning or freezing much of what she grew. Helen could always be counted on to lend a hand when it came to helping with 4-H sewing projects, church quilting circle and other community efforts.

Throughout her lifetime Helen participated in Bowling League, Red Hatter’s Club, doing Hardanger embroidery (of which many family members will cherish as gifts), traveling with Burt and friends, cheering on the Minnesota Twins and UMN Gopher Basketball teams, playing games – especially 500 and dominoes, delivering Meals on Wheels, serving on the Northfield Cemetery Board, and being a devoted member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Northfield.

A fierce supporter of her farm family, Helen always kept tabs on what her boys were up to, and she never missed an opportunity to tell the NRC care team how spring planting or fall harvest was going. Helen found no greater joy than spending time with her children and grandchildren. She was a staple in the stands at 4-H livestock shows, church events, choir concerts, sporting events, and more.

Following a stroke in the spring of 2016, Helen moved to the Northfield Retirement Center, where she remained until her passing.

Helen is survived by her children, Sue Wilberts of Lauderdale, Chris (Marcia) Peterson of Northfield, Brian (Mary) Peterson of Northfield, Julie Ploetz of Cambridge, and Bruce (Carol) Peterson of Northfield; brothers Harland (Evie) Wegner of Northfield, Paul (Marguerite) Wegner of St. Cloud, and sister-in-law Lu Peterson of Edina; 12 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren (with three more on the way), and many other family and friends. Helen is preceded in death by her husband Burton, sister Phyllis and sons in law Chris Wilberts and Scot Ploetz, and nephew Bill Wegner.

Helen’s family welcomes you to join them in celebrating her life on Friday, February 9, 2024, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Northfield. Visitation will begin at 9:30 AM, with church service to follow beginning at 11:30 AM. Pastor David Weeks will be officiating. A reception will follow the service at the church. Private interment will be in Northfield Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Endowment, Northfield Cemetery, or Northfield Retirement Community.

Online condolences can be made at https://www.northfieldfuneral.com.

Funeral arrangements are trusted to Bierman, Benson & Langehough Funeral Home & Crematory.