Evon Lila Peterson — Hayfield

Evon Lila Peterson died at her home at Ecumen Seasons in Apple Valley Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

A memorial service will be held for Evon on Saturday, June 15, at 4 p.m. at Czaplewski Funeral Home, 501 Second Street N.W. in Hayfield. Visitation with family and friends will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the funeral home.

Evon was born July 18, 1921, in Stirum, N.D., to Ray and Irma (Breaw) Handley. Evon graduated from Sherburn High School in 1938, and married Alvin Peterson in 1940. After Alvin returned from his duty in the Navy in World War II, he and Evon began a family grocery business where they owned and operated Peterson's Supermarket from 1946-1977.While Alvin Peterson may have been the more visible presence of this family business, Evon was the person behind the scenes who kept the business going, keeping the books, paying bills, issuing payroll, tracking inventory – all the details of being the business manager that helped this store serve Hayfield and surrounding communities for more than 30 years. She embraced the local residents who became employees in the store, and thought of them as her extended family.

After retiring from the grocery business in 1977, Evon and Alvin traveled extensively and spent winters in Arizona where they enjoyed their encounters with many friends from Minnesota, especially at the Dodge County breakfasts.

Evon is remembered by her faith in God, with the work of the church being a central part of her spiritual and social life. She displayed a life-long love of family and friends, and compassion for others in need. She was both frugal and generous, a depression-era child who knew how to make do with scarcity yet share from her abundance.

Many in the Hayfield community benefited from her friendship and her giving spirit, as noted in her work with Study Club, the Legion Auxiliary and other community groups. Nowhere was her generosity seen with greater passion than her tireless work as a volunteer at the Field Crest Care Center in Hayfield. She was a founding member of the Auxiliary at Field Crest and helped that organization serve many in the Hayfield area. She said then, as she worked regularly with the elderly at Field Crest, that someday she would need others to help her when she got old. Yet she always remained young at heart and was still, at age 91, looking around for ways to help the "old people" who were her neighbors at her residence at Seasons of Apple Valley.

Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will always remember Grandma for her unconditional love for them and for always having time to play games with them, to talk to them about their lives, and to fix them their favorite food. Trips to "The Lake" with Grandma will be an enduring memory for all of her family.

Evon was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Irma Handley, her brothers, Gordon Handley and Merlin Handley, husband, Alvin Peterson, and sons, Gary and Marvin.

She is survived by three sons, Wesley (Ruth) of Ft. Myers, Fla., David (Mary) of Bloomington, and Doyle (Carol) of Cochrane, AB Canada; as well as grandchildren, Mike (Karen), Brent (Victoria), Ryan (Julie), Angela (Marty), Marc (Danielle), Christopher, Eric and Renee; and great-grandchildren, Joshua, Mesha, Naomi, Sydney, Kailey, Bryce, Abhi, Mari, Ethan, Madalyn, Andrew, Landon and Reese.

In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Field Crest Auxiliary, Hayfield, MN, 55940.

Blessed be her memory.