Dorothy E. Peterson
August 14, 2019
VIROQUA, Wis. — Dorothy E. Peterson, 89, formerly of Ironwood, Mich. and Westby, Wis., died June 25, 2019, while in residence at the Bland-Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care in Viroqua.
Dorothy was born in Cashton, daughter of the late Bernard “Ben” and Clara (Erickson) Einer. Raised on the family dairy farm, she attended school in Cashton, and graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1947. She met her husband, Theron I. Peterson, while both were attending UW-La Crosse and they married on Dec. 22, 1947. They moved to Ironwood in 1957 and raised a family of six in Ironwood Township.
As Dorothy and Theron worked toward retirement, she began to remodel a farmhouse close to where she had grown up. Her dream was realized in 1985 when she moved to their retirement home that she filled with Norwegian rosemaling, living close to her family farm for over 30 years and reconnecting with relatives and schoolmates for the next 30 years.
She began rosemaling in 1967 and she rosemaled breadboards, bowls, furniture, trunks and cabinetry. Her work is cherished by many. She earned a Gold Medal Award from the prestigious Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum and Heritage Center located in Decorah, Iowa.
She was proud of her 100% Norwegian heritage and traveled to Norway 11 times to study rosemaling with top Norwegian artisans, honing her skills and enjoying the Norwegian culture. Dorothy was a founding member of the Coulee Region Rosemaling Club and she shared her skills by teaching locally and traveling across the United States to teach classes. Dorothy’s artistic talents extended to quilt making and she spent many hours producing quilts that were to become gifts to family and friends and donations to many fundraisers.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Theron; brother, Arvid Einer; grandson, Michael Theron Peterson Jr .; daughter-in-law, Keturah; and son-in-law, William Tippett.
She is survived by six children, Susan (John) Murphy of Ironwood, Christine Tippett of Ironwood, Michael (Judith) Peterson of Milwaukee, Patrick (Carrie) Peterson of Muskego, Paul Peterson, of Charlotte, N.C., and Mary Peterson of Hurley; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; cousins, Joe Erickson and Ann Erickson Healy; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Internment was in the Lakeview Cemetery in Saxon, at a private family gathering.
Memorial contributions can be directed to Regional Hospice, 1913 Beaser Ave., Ashland, WI 54806, or the Bland-Bekkedal Center for Hospice Care, c/o Vernon Memorial Healthcare Foundation, 507 S. Main St., Viroqua, WI 54665.