Services for Don Peterson, 85, of Chariton will be Friday, May 7, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton. Family will receive friends prior to the service beginning at 12:00 p.m. Interment will be at Niswender Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lucas County Humane Society.
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Donald Paul Peterson, 85, was born on February 14, 1936 to Paul and Martha (Hart) Peterson at Yocom Hospital in Chariton, Iowa. In 1941, he began school at Hickory Grove School. It was on a dirt road one mile from his house. He would walk to and from school. Around 1945, the family moved to town, and he attended Alma Clay. He said the town was scary as a child, with so many people. He became great friends with Don Holmes as they were in the same class.
He attended high school in Chariton and graduated with the class of 1954. He said 1954 was his best year because he graduated high school, turned 18, got married to Joyce Jennings, had his firstborn, Cindy, plus got a good job that had a good wage that he was able to do. He began working for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He surveyed for building ponds in the Clarke and Decatur counties. The couple was blessed with three children: Cindy, Mala, and Scott.
After working in soil conservation for six years, Don decided to become a farmer, something he had always wanted to do. In 1961, they lost their house that they had remodeled on the Phaugh Farm due to a fire. He did continue to farm the land there. They then moved in with his mother and father in March 1961. Later, they moved and rented Harlan McCormick’s house for a month, then bought the Stewart farm.
September 4, 1964, Don began working in the warehouse at HyVee. He was the first one hired due to the union contract. He worked nights there unloading box cars and trucks and pulling orders. He enjoyed the truck loading, but not the pulling of orders. He worked the night shift so that he could farm during the day.
Over the 34 years Don worked at HyVee, he worked various jobs and worked various shifts. His favorite was driving trucks. He retired October 1, 1998, at the age of 62. Right before retiring, he bought the Houseman farm. He continued to farm for a while before he retired from that as well, gradually turning the farming over to his grandsons. He was an extremely hard worker, and it showed in how he never missed a day of work.
Don enjoyed driving trucks, camping, boating, square dancing, and bowling. His farm was his priority though. He would make sure it and the animals were taken care of first, but when he got that done, he had time to go drive the truck.
He could be an ornery and stubborn man, but also extremely determined. These traits helped make him the hard-working and motivated man he was.
Don loved all the little ones, especially holding the babies. He enjoyed getting right in and playing with all of them. The 4 F’s of most importance to Don were Family, Farm, Friends, and Fun. He lived his life by those values.
Don passed away at home surrounded by his family on May 3, 2021. He will be greatly missed by his mother, Martha Peterson; children: Cindy Masters-Moody, Mala (Randy) Thomas, and Scott (Danielle) Peterson; grandchildren: Chad (Carie) Masters, Kyla Thomas, Aimee Keith, Seth (Hilary) Masters, Tyler Thomas, Andy (Sarah) Peterson, and Shane (Patricia) Moody; 17 great grandchildren; sister, Sharon Smith; special friend, Colleen Seaman and her family; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
Preceding Don in death was his wife, Joyce in 2015; son, Michael; son-in-law, Jeff Moody; and father, Paul.
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