Loretta Bernadette Lewis Peterson, age 77, was born on September 10, 1944 in Bremerton, WA, to Freeman “Babe” and Dorothy Lewis. Her family returned to Minnesota after the end of WWII, and she grew up and lived much of her life on the East Side of St. Paul. She passed peacefully into the arms of her Savior on August 8, 2022 at CentraCare Melrose Care Center with family at bedside.
She is survived by her son Allen of Menomonie, WI, and his children Adrian (Cam) of Menomonie, WI; and daughter Celena (Adam Wynne) of Phoenix, AZ; and grandsons Damon Wynne and Wilder Clausen; daughter Shelly (Brent) Olson of Paynesville, MN; dear friend Larry Raasch; sister Rhoda Ann (Harlan) Brindamour; brothers Raymond and George (Gail) Lewis; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
After graduating from Harding High School in 1962, she was briefly married to Burdette “Tom” Clausen and Peter Peterson. Both marriages ended in divorce, but she remained amicable with her children’s extended families. She raised her children with the love of family and pets.
She worked many jobs before starting with the St Paul Public Schools in 1973 as an accounting clerk. She liked to tell people that she hated accounting, but she worked with people she grew to love, and made many lifelong friends.
After retiring, she joined her mother in Arizona in the winters and enjoyed 15 seasons as a “snowbird.”
After being diagnosed with a very aggressive Stage IV colorectal cancer in June, she moved to Paynesville to be closer to Shelly, who coordinated her care, and was her advocate. Due to the complications of the cancer, her last several weeks were a struggle. She struggled with significant shortness of breath and abdominal pain which left her unable to enjoy the life she once had. After it became apparent that the symptoms were not improving, she opted for comfort measures, knowing that she would soon be reunited with her loved ones in Heaven. She was a woman of very strong faith and was assured of her next destination.
In lieu of a traditional funeral, she opted instead for a celebration of life gathering of family and friends, which was held Sunday August 7, 2022. She was awake, alert, and loved seeing everyone that came for her party, but was exhausted by the time it was all finished. She went to sleep that evening and woke up in Heaven the following day about 6:25pm with Shelly, Rhoda Ann, and Harlan at bedside.
Loretta and her family would like to thank all of her friends and family that came, called, sent well wishes or texts, etc. to brighten her last couple months. She loved all of you very much.
Thanks also to the wonderful staff at CentraCare Melrose Care Center and CentraCare Hospice for your loving care in her last couple months.
Please consider a donation in her memory to your local animal shelter or rescue.