Bradford John Peterson, 76, of Stillwater, Minnesota died on February 3, 2024 at home with his family. Brad suffered a stroke in September 2020 and spent the past three years lovingly cared for by his wife of 30 years, Susan Rockwood.
Brad is preceded in death by his parents Frances and Willard B. Peterson, brother Brian, and son Nicholas ‘Nik’.
He will be greatly missed by his three beloved sons Matthew (Keri), Alex (Jamie Baier), Ford (Julie) and his six grandchildren. He is survived by his siblings Janet (Tom) Hanson, Jean (Mike) Noland, and Thomas Peterson.
Born on June 7, 1947 in Minneapolis, Brad grew up in Hopkins, MN and graduated from Hopkins High School in 1965. He attended college at Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota graduating with a Bachelor of Aeronautical Engineering in 1969. After a few years working in the aeronautical field in Phoenix, he returned to the Twin Cities to join his father’s underground utility business and start his own company. The majority of his career was in contracting, construction and remodeling and he was a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
Brad was a dedicated athlete and outdoorsman throughout his life. He became an Eagle Scout in 1963 and obtained his private pilots license in 1968. He played hockey in high school and at Gustavus where his team won the MIAC championship under coach Don Roberts. After transferring to the U of M, he continued to play hockey and in 1990 travelled to Sweden to play in a reunion game between the USA and Swedish Olympic teams. When his boys were young, he coached youth hockey in Wayzata.
Cross country skiing was a passion of Brad’s from the early 1970s having completed 46 American Birkebeiner ski races, many local and national competitions, and World Master’s races in Sweden, Norway, and Alaska often winning age group awards. Brad was a member of the Finn Sisu Ski Team where he met his wife, Susan, who shared his love of ski racing. He was a coach for the Minneapolis Ski Club.
Brad enjoyed upland bird hunting with his English Pointers. He trained birddogs and loved to hunt grouse in northern Minnesota. He collected books about hunting and fishing and was an avid birder.
Upon retirement in 2015, Brad and Susan started Arcola Trail Flower Farm, growing specialty cut flowers as a business on their farm in Stillwater. Brad demonstrated he was a farmer at heart and became the resident expert on soil health, cover crops and farm equipment. Brad will be remembered fondly for his many interests and unique ability to connect with people - he was a good judge of character, but not judgmental. The family would like to thank Lakeview Homecare & Hospice, Momodou Fofana, and the many friends who have been generous with their love and support.
Memorials may be made to: The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, Lakeview Homecare & Hospice.
A Celebration of Brad’s life is expected to take place in the spring or summer of 2024.