Leonard F. Peterson December 9, 1918 - November 5, 2013 Early Years, Home, Family - Leonard Franklin Peterson was born December 19, 1918 in the Village of Ephraim to his Swedish parents, Richard and Selma Peterson. He had an older brother Aaron, two older sisters, Edith and Mildred, and a younger brother, Hilton. He first learned English when he attended Ephraim Pioneer School. He was a good student and was very active in music in high school playing the tuba and singing; he graduated from Gibraltar High School in 1937. On June 1st, 1940 Leonard married Alice Mae Logerquist; they were blessed with twelve children, ten of whom are living. Alice passed away prematurely in 1988 with a heart condition. Leonard married Irene Rossman, and they divided their time between Ellison Bay, Lansing, Maranatha and Boca Raton.
Work History – Leonard’s father was a handy man, inventor, tinkerer, who did everything, and Leonard learned a great deal from his father about being a “jack of all trades”. One of his first jobs was working with his wife’s uncle in the refrigeration business in the Milwaukee area where they started their family. He was in the Navy during the World War II which brought him to the Great Lakes Naval Center and then to St. Louis. After their third child Leanne was born he was able to return to civilian life. After his time in the military he worked as a contractor building numerous homes in the area. He also worked at the ship yard in Sturgeon Bay and worked for a furniture company in Sister Bay. For over 20 years he was employed at Roeser’s Lumber which was later sold to the Berns Brothers (now Lamperts) where he worked as a building designer and lumber salesman before getting involved in the resort business.
Community Service – Leonard served as president of the school board in both the Appleport District and the consolidated Liberty Grove District until it was combined with the Gibraltar Area Schools. He also served on a four-county school committee to resolve boundary disputes between school districts.
The Resort - In 1970 Alice and Leonard purchased a rundown resort in Rowleys Bay with 360 acres which he developed over the next three decades. Leonard was founder and developer of Rowleys Bay Resort which he called Wagon Trail Resort. There were numerous vacation homes built, home sites sold, a campground developed, and resort complex built in multiple phases. He wrote a book entitled “Rowleys Bay” which recaps the history of the area and the Resort. Grandma’s Swedish Bakery continues to be a signature attraction to all guests who come to relax at the Rowleys Bay Resort.
Christian Walk and Service – Leonard accepted Christ at a young age and was very active member at First Baptist Church, Sister Bay throughout his life. His walk with God was a very high priority in his life, and he lived a life of service to others. He served as a deacon, Sunday School superintendent, chairman of the building committee, moderator and director of the choir and male chorus. He has been a wonderful role model for all those close to him and he leaves a wonderful Christian heritage for family and friends left behind.
Leonard’s Home-Going – At nearly 95 years of age Leonard went to be with his Lord and Savior on November 5 with family at his side at Scandia Village, his home since February of 2013. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers and sisters and by his wives Alice (deceased January of 1988) and Irene (September 2012); two children, Patty, 15, and Jimmy, infant.
Children - He is survived by 10 children, Richard (Judi), Wanda (Joe) Mango, Stephen, Timothy (Sharon), Leslie (Gail), Miriam Dorn, Stuart (Joanne), Crystal (Jim) Hogan, Jewel (Bob) Ouradnik, Colleen (Jeffrey) Budzis; three step-children, Gary, Dan and Linda Rossman; 22 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Mabel Peterson and Faye (Roger) Isaacson; nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at the First Baptist Church in Sister Bay from 9:00 – 11:00 AM Saturday, November 9, 2013 followed by celebration of life service at 11:00am. Lunch and fellowship immediately follows.
Memorial contributions can be made to First Baptist Church, Scandia Village, Unity Hospice – Sturgeon Bay or the charity of your choice.