Donna Raye Peterson


Born March 26, 1938 in northern Minnesota to Andrew Emory Olds and Bessie Hopkins Olds. The youngest of eight children, her early life was in the deep woods of northern Minnesota. The family moved back and forth between northern Iowa and Minnesota, eventually settling down on a farm outside Cushing. She attended high school in Brainerd and then trained and worked as a dental assistant in the Brainerd area. She married George Henry Peterson in 1957 and moved to Little Falls. They had five children (Gina, Roxann, Patrick, Richard, and Lynnel). The family moved often between Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota, eventually settling back in Little Falls. As the children grew into their teen years, Donna began college. She worked in chemical dependency programs in the St. Cloud area, then moved to Rochester, then Red Lake Falls, and then Aitkin specializing in child welfare. In her work she affected the lives of thousands of children and families. She retired and moved to Pillager, where she lived until her passing. She enjoyed the outdoors, and fished as often as she could. She loved to spend time rowing at the family lake in a small jon boat. Much of her early work and later passion in life was sewing, and she especially enjoyed quilting, even helping First Lutheran in Pillager with their quilting outreach for many years. She always tried new things, and could often be found picking berries and making jelly, hunting chaga mushroom, and learning new things at crafts and art events throughout the Brainerd/Aitkin area.

She was preceded in death by her son (Richard), five of her siblings ( Andrew, Bessie, Marcus, Margaret, Joan) and survived by two (Evelyn Peterson, Ruth Lumbus). She is survived by four children: Gina Peterson, Roxann (Ed) Dayton, Patrick (Tammy) Peterson, and Lynnel (Mark) Anderson, as well as six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  No services are planned at this time. I n lieu of flowers, please make a donation to an animal shelter. Arrangements with Taylor Funeral Home of Staple.

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