Dec. 31, 2021

Leona Verna Peterson, 86, of Hutchinson, passed away Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer's at Harmony River Living Center in Hutchinson. Funeral service was Friday, Jan. 7, at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson, with interment in the church cemetery. Clergy officiating was the Rev. Gerhard Bode. Organist was Dr. Joan DeVee Dixon. Congregational hymns were “Amazing Grace,” “How Great Thou Art” and “On Eagle’s Wings.” Casket bearers were Daylen Gorham, Larry Hoof, ElRoy Schlueter, Dennis Langehaug, Don Walser and Tim Zackrison.

Leona Peterson was born Aug. 28, 1935, in Camden Township, Carver County. She was the daughter of Oscar and Helena (Baumann) Groenke. Leona was baptized and later confirmed in her faith as a youth at St. Mark Lutheran Church in New Germany. She received her education in country school and graduated with the Central High School Class of 1953 in Norwood Young America.

Leona was united in marriage to Lowell Peterson of Cokato Nov. 26, 1960, at St. Mark Lutheran Church in New Germany. This marriage was blessed with one daughter, Darcy. Leona and Lowell resided in Hutchinson. They enjoyed many family trips in their younger years. Leona and Lowell shared 44 years of marriage before the passing of Lowell June 15, 2005.

Leona was employed with various businesses in her lifetime, including Honeywell, Fashion Bug and Crow River Press. She was a homemaker and the best grandma and great-grandma anyone could ask for.

Leona kept busy with a variety of volunteer work such as Bethesda Thrift Store, diaper drives, selling poppies, mission sewing, church funerals and donating many gallons of blood in her lifetime. She was a lifetime member of the Hutchinson VFW Auxiliary Post 906, past president of MOCA 65 from 1998 to 1999, and a member of the Hutchinson American Legion Auxiliary Unit 96.

Leona enjoyed music in the park, polka music, baking with her grandchildren, traveling, yearly State Fair trips, Bible study at Peace Lutheran Church, and favored the outdoor summer services. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family, grandchildren and friends.

Blessed be her memory.

Leona is survived by her sister Arlys Pawelk of Norwood Young America; brother Linus (Joan) Groenke of Glencoe; granddaughters, Courtney Clayton of Northfield, and Danielle Clayton of Hutchinson; great-grandchildren, Daylen and Keira of Hutchinson; many other relatives and friends.

Leona was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Helena Groenke; husband Lowell Peterson; and daughter Darcy Bolster.

Arrangements by Dobratz-Hantge Funeral Chapel in Hutchinson. Online obituaries and guest book available at