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Honoring Wayne Peterson: tradition maker and memory keeper

By Ruth Herdahl Neumann, Glenwood Area Historical Society board member

When I think of Wayne Peterson, I’ll remember his smile and the strains of a rousing march floating on the warm country air.  It was the outdoor concerts he hosted twice each summer, at his Valley View farm, his love of history and collie dogs that impressed me the most.

Wayne was all about helping and he served as a mentor to musicians, artists and young people near and far.  He was about community, leadership and preserving the past while celebrating the present.

Wayne was born and raised at Valley View Farm just outside the Glenwood City limits.  After he graduated from the University of River Falls in 1957 he was drafted into the Army and stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia.   After the service, his career was spent at the University at River Falls and at Wright State College in Ohio.  My friend Linda Elstad Minter worked in his office while she was a student at River Falls.  She aptly described Wayne as ‘well organized and efficient,’ and he was.

In 2001, after Wayne had retired, Leon Berenschot approached him about his desire to preserve our area’s history and Wayne said, “Let’s take it on.” Together they rallied the community to form the Glenwood Area Historical Society.  Wayne served on our board until his death in February of 2015 so this Thursday evening, September 10 at 6 PM we’re joining the Lions Club in saying, “Thanks, Wayne, for your many contributions to our community. We hope you will join us as the Saint Croix Valley Community Band, under the direction of Kristin Tjornehoj, present one last concert at Petersons’ Valley View Farm.