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Robert Peterson

June 14, 1923 ~ July 12, 2018 (age 95)

Robert James Peterson, age 95 passed away on Thursday evening, July 12, 2018 at Vernon Memorial Hospital in Viroqua.  He was born on June 14, 1923 in Harvard, IL to Hans and Leah (Lawshe) Peterson.  He graduated from Sharon High School in Sharon, WI.  He did farm work and then served as a military policeman in the U.S. Army.  After his discharge he attended Milton College in Milton, WI and then the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL.  He graduated in 1955 earning a degree in Dairy Technology.  On April 1, 1956 he married Elizabeth Travis in Delevan, WI.  He was a butter and cheese grader for the USDA in Columbus, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois, and Westby Wisconsin.  He also was a quality control supervisor at Dean Foods in Chemung, Il. and Conway, Arkansas and did the same for Sealtest Foods in Milwaukee.  In 1972 the family moved to Viroqua where he was a food and trade inspector for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture for eighteen years, retiring in 1989. Most people in the Viroqua area know Robert as the state milk inspector.   His hobbies included fishing and woodworking.  He enjoyed playing the accordion, Hawaiian guitar and especially the electronic keyboard.  He played the keyboard for special occasions at church and his recordings were played on the local radio station for their anniversaries and his wife’s birthdays


Robert is survived by two sons; Armin Peterson of Viroqua, Iver Peterson of Stoddard, one daughter; Mari (Ed) Chacon of Santa Fe, N.M., six grandchildren; Merten, Levi, Kathleen (Ryan) Zietlow, Evan Peterson, Zachary (Monica) Chacon, and Aryne Chacon. Two great grandchildren; David Zietlow and Adison Chacon, other relatives and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Elizabeth on April 20, 1915 and his daughter; Susan Marie Peterson on June 12, 2018.


Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 21st, 2018 at the United Methodist Church in Sharon, WI with Pastor Ken Markley officiating.  Burial with military honors will be held at the Oakwood Cemetery, Sharon, Wisconsin.  Friends may call on Thursday, July 19th, 2018 at the Thorson Funeral Home in Viroqua from 4-6 p.m. where there will be a prayer service at 5:45 p.m.  Friends may also call in Sharon at the church after 10 a.m. on Saturday.  Online condolences may be left for the family at

The Thorson Funeral Home of Viroqua is proudly serving the family.

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