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Elwyn Peterson, 78, Owatonna

Elwyn Peterson, 78, Owatonna, obituary

Elwyn C. Peterson, 78, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in Owatonna on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022.

He was born on July 16, 1944, to Theo and Leonard Peterson in Ogden, Utah. He lost his mother as a newborn, and his father remarried when Elwyn was 2 years old. Myrtle Peterson, his step-mother, could not have loved him more. He grew up on a farm and loved that life, especially his "nanny" who was a horse named Ginger.

He graduated from high school, and later from Utah State University and went on to get a MA degree in linguistics. He served in the Utah National Guard as the rank of Captain.

He loved traveling to foreign countries and spoke French, German and Dutch. He worked professionally in international sales and marketing and made wonderful friends all over the world.

He and his wife, Janice, met in college and married right after graduation. They had four beautiful children, Karen, Curt, Kristin and Brian. Elwyn and his wife also added three "daughters of the heart" to their family who called him Dad, too, the years they each stayed with the family as exchange students: Vanessa from France, Idil from Somalia, and Aggie from Hungary. He was a wonderful father and his children meant the world to him.

He retired in the early 2000s and worked part time delivering groceries over four counties. He loved his people, both in the store and out on his route. His passion outside his family was airplanes. He loved building remote control planes and was an active member of the local flying club until COVID-19 forced pretty much everyone indoors.

He and Janice both had health problems and covid made it impossible to continue their social lives. For that reason, there will not be a funeral service, as his wife could not attend. Instead, there will be a family & old friends gathering in his beloved Rocky Mountains once it will be safe to do so. He promised his fiancée that if she married him, he would take her to Paris, France, someday. It was a promise he kept . . . over and over. He loved accompanying Jan and her French students at Owatonna High School on summer trips to France, and every Friday, he brought incredible homemade brownies to her class of seniors. He did volunteer work at the High School and was always available to help someone in need of an extra hand.

He is survived by his wife, Janice, his four children, seven grandchildren, his sister Barbara, and his sister Kathy. His other sisters and brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins undoubtedly welcomed him home once they were all together again.

Elwyn was the kindest, most thoughtful, generous man of the highest integrity. And he also loved critters! As his wife, my most comforting vision of him is seeing him standing in a beautiful meadow hearing the pounding hoofs of old Ginger as she comes galloping toward him with all his pet birds flying alongside her, a cat or two perched on her back, and waves in the tall grass as four little bichons came bounding over to him. All of them move faster than the humans who are all clamoring to hug him, too.

Instead of flowers, please make a contribution to St. Jude's Children Hospital for children suffering from cancer at



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