August 18, 1926 - August 20, 2022
Melvin Theodore Peterson, 96, was welcomed into his heavenly home on Saturday, August 20, 2022. He was born on August 18, 1926 in Logan County, Kansas to Arthur and Helen (Gustafson) Peterson and was the third of seven children (Lawrence, Winston, Marion, Joyce, Luella, and Adron). He was raised on the family farm during the challenging years of the Dust Bowl days and the Great Depression. Inspired by the beauty of nature, he experienced God and recognized his call to ministry in the vastness of the western Kansas earth and sky.
Melvin graduated from Page City High School in 1944 where he competed at State as a member of the high school basketball team. While discerning his call to the ministry, he attended Lutheran Bible Institute, Minneapolis, MN (1947-49); Luther College, Wahoo, NE (1949-51); and Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS (1951-53).
While attending Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, IL, Melvin met Lorena Marjorie Anderson, whom he married on September 1, 1956 in Orion, IL. After ordination into the ministry of the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church Synod (later became ELCA) on June 23, 1957, Melvin served churches in Iowa, Connecticut, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky, as well as various post-retirement interim pastoral roles in Missouri.
Melvin and Lorena were blessed with four children, Sylvia (James Hamilton), Topeka, KS; Karl, Liberty, MO; Eric (Vanessa Wiggins), Kansas City, MO; and Joel, Port Townsend, WA. Melvin was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Lawrence, Winston, Joyce, Luella and Adron. He is survived by his wife, four children, six grandchildren (Robert, Anna, and John Hamilton; Nathan and Nicholas Peterson; Liam Peterson), and sister, Marion Boyd.
He was an avid gardener, loved nature, and shared many camping adventures in the Colorado mountains with his young family. His carpentry skills produced many shelves, desks, and pieces of furniture. Fondly remembered was a little red wooden barn, used to house bicycles, harkening back to his days on the farm. He loved music, including the great hymns of faith. He also enjoyed playing the French Horn on which he practiced well into retirement. Throughout his ministry, Melvin felt a strong affinity for the poor, the elderly, and the disadvantaged and was active in the outreach mission of the church. Of the many churches he served, he especially remembers his ministry to the people and families of urban Appalachian Kentucky. There he founded a ministry center which included a children’s program of Christian Education, food pantry and clothes closet.
Give a Memorial Gift
Memorial gifts in memory of Rev. Melvin T. Peterson may be given to Hosanna Lutheran Church, 2800 N. Church Road, Liberty, MO 64068.
You are invited share memories and blessings with Mel's family, but simply sharing that you are present with them at this time is a blessing, too.
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