Barbara A. Peterson, 58

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Barbara A. Peterson, 58, of Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, died Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, at her home.



Barbara Ann Gaal was born July 11, 1956, in Austin, Minnesota, to Ian and Joyce (Fritze) Gaal. She attended Hayfield schools, graduating from Hayfield High School in 1974. Following high school, Barb attended Rochester Community College and graduated with a degree in respiratory therapy. She began her 10-year career as a respiratory therapist in the Mayo Clinic system. On Feb. 12, 1977, Barbara was united in marriage to Delmar Peterson at the First Presbyterian Church in Hayfield. The couple raised three children. She furthered her education from 2000 to 2006 by attending Defiance College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious education. From 2006 to 2008, Barb attended Luther Seminary, majoring in ministry and daily life. She received her Master of Arts in May 2008. After attending Christos Center for Spiritual Formation from 2007 to 2009, Barb received certification as a spiritual director. She was in ministry from 2008 until recently, serving at First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie, Grace Lutheran Church in Waseca, and Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester. Barb loved spending time with family and friends. She enjoyed music, reading, and outdoor activities, especially hiking. She had a commitment to lifelong learning. Barb was a member of Spiritual Directors International, was an ELCA Diaconal Minister, a member of Zumbro Lutheran Church in Rochester, and former member of First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie.

Survivors include her husband Delmar Peterson of Blooming Prairie; her children: Angela (David) Kerrigan of DePere, Wisconsin, Benjamin (Rhiannon) Peterson of Hayfield, and Mitchell Peterson (special friend Andrea Ziegenhagen) of Owatonna; five grandchildren: Chase, Cameron, and Kennedy Kerrigan, Elizabeth Dorhman, and Lyllian Peterson; her parents Ian and Joyce Gaal of Hayfield; two sisters: Deb (Dennis) Myhre of Decorah, Iowa, and Carol (Paul) Myhre of Crawfordsville, Indiana; her mother-in-law Orline Peterson of Blooming Prairie; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Gilman (Patricia) Peterson of New Richland, JoAnne (Randall) Smith of Hokkaido, Japan, Merlin (Denice) Peterson of Toppenish, Washington, and Rodney (Tracie) Peterson of Owatonna; uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and many other relatives and friends.

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She was preceded in death by her grandparents; and her father-in-law Eldred Peterson.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, at First Lutheran Church, 434 1st St SW, Blooming Prairie, MN 55917. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27 at First Lutheran Church and one hour prior to the service on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Barbara Ann Peterson can be designated to Pancreatic Cancer Research at Mayo Clinic or Luther Seminary for student scholarships. For pancreatic cancer research, gifts can be mailed directly to Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905. For student scholarship support, gifts may be given to Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN  55108. Worlein Blooming Prairie Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at