Leslie Jay Peterson, 80, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, formerly of Volga, passed away on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City. Les was a loving brother, husband, dad, grandpa, and friend, known for his quick wit and sunny disposition.
Les was born April 14, 1941, in Decorah, the son of Howard and Marie (Thompson) Peterson. He graduated from high school in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, which made him a lifelong Packers fan. But his heart was always in the woodlands and farm ponds of Northeast Iowa.
On December 10, 1960, Les married Elaine Husman, who he met at Luther League. Their shared Lutheran faith would be the hallmark of their lives together. Les and Elaine worshiped, volunteered, and served as delegates to the Northeast Iowa Synod Assembly. The two of them enjoyed long car rides in the scenic Northeast Iowa hills, and daily games of cards.
Les worked as a foreman and expediter at Collins Radio, later Rockwell Collins, from 1959 to 1981, when the call of both service and the outdoors led him to Camp Ewalu near Strawberry Point. He served as Ewalu Property Manager until 1992. Les was delighted when one of the counselors who worked for him went to become the Northeast Iowa Synod bishop. Later, he worked in sales for Design Homes and Cabela's in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. In retirement Les provided mowing and handyman work for churches and other clients. His last job was as a clerk at Wilkie's Grocery in Elkader where he was very proud of his ability to master today's newfangled cash registers.
Les was an avid fisherman and hunter, particularly bowhunting, He fletched his own arrows, and practiced archery right up until he fell ill. Deer season was one of his favorite times of the year, perched in his own blind, or hunting with his son, grandson, brothers, and nephews. He loved fishing, and spent many hours casting a line in farm ponds, lakes, and rivers around Northeast Iowa. Les was immensely proud of the fine people his children and grandchildren had become. He loved spending time with them and bragging about them to anyone who would listen.
Les's musical talent came out in his strong singing voice and guitar playing. He especially enjoyed sharing his faith by playing and singing his favorite hymns.
Les is survived by his wife of 61 years, Elaine; two daughters, Lesa (Dwayne) Ackman and Debbie (Dennis) Green of Cedar Rapids; a son, Michael (Amanda) Peterson of Decorah; two sisters, Annette (Alan) Berry of Alburnett, and Marianne (Pardon) Keith of Marion; two brothers, Harlan (Jan) Peterson of Alburnett and David Peterson of Troy Mills; six grandchildren, Nicole (Jason) Sedlacek, Alex Green, Zachary (Jamie) Peterson, Chris (Jenna) Ackman, Holly Peterson, and Jackson Green; and four great-grandchildren Colton, Bruce, Asher, and Lily. He'll also be missed by many cousins, nieces, nephews, and uncountable friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Marie Peterson.
Les's family is grateful to the kind staff at UI Hospitals and Clinics, who gave him warm and courteous treatment during these stressful times, particularly Dr. Ayyappan and Dr. Mandell; and the UIHC Hematology/Oncology and Palliative Care nursing teams.
Contributions can be made in Les's memory to Camp Ewalu, 37776 Alpha Ave. Strawberry Point, Iowa 52076.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Leslie Jay Peterson, please visit our floral store.