Merle Wayne Peterson, 72, of Hanlontown, Iowa, died Saturday, May 31, 2014 at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa in Mason City, surrounded by family. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Grace Lutheran Church in Hanlontown on Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 1 p.m., with Pastor Linda Johnson-Prestholt officiating. Visitation will be held at Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, from 5 - 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Interment will be at the Clear Lake Cemetery.
As an organ donor, the Peterson family would like to acknowledge that Merle gave the most precious gift anyone could give, the gift of eyesight to improve the lives of others.
He was born on Oct. 1, 1941 in Buffalo Center, Iowa, the son of Art and Hazel (Honken) Peterson. Merle attended Lake Mills Schools until his sophomore year when he transferred to Manly and graduated in 1959.
On June 10, 1961, he married the love of his life, Sylvia Estes, of Northwood, Iowa, at the United Methodist Church in Northwood.
For 30 years he worked on track maintenance for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad - later to become Union Pacific Railroad.
Merle was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Hanlontown and a member of the Hanlontown Volunteer Fire Department. He also volunteered time to plow snow for the City of Hanlontown.
He enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, working in the yard and taking his dog, Buffy, on car rides (usually to Fertile for beef sticks to share).
Merle is survived by his wife, Sylvia, of Hanlontown; son, Rick (Deb) Peterson, Mantorville, Minn.; three daughters, Darla (Dennis) Smidt, Woodland, Calif., Lisa (Ted) Peckham, Minot, N.D., and Tami (Richard) Fish, Corwith, Iowa; 10 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; brother, Charles (Sharon) Peterson, Northfield, Minn.; and sister, Andis (Ron) Langford, Lake Mills, Iowa.
He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, Roger; and foster brother, Eddie Lippstock.
Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel was in charge of arrangements.