Bernadette Peterson

Bernadette Peterson, 88, of Grand Forks, ND passed away Friday, April 16, 2021 at Edgewood Vista, East Grand Forks, MN.

Bernadette Catherine Hutton was born October 30, 1932 in Oslo, MN. She was the first-born child to Leslie and Catherine (Connelly) Hutton of Manvel, ND. She attended high school at St. James in Grand Forks. She then went on to Mayville College to earn her teaching degree. She taught in several rural schools, staying with host families. At the rural Thompson school, she met the neighbor to her host family, Ira Peterson. They were married June 1, 1957 at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in Manvel. Bernadette sewed her own wedding dress. The couple made their home near Ira’s family farm in rural Thompson, ND.

Bernadette continued to teach 1st grade in Emerado, ND. She cared for her students so much, and she often made them new clothes to wear. This was especially true for the new students that moved to the Grand Forks Air Force Base from the South who had no winter clothes. As much as she loved teaching, she stopped once they adopted their first child, David, in 1963. They went on to adopt Robert and Annette in years following. Bernadette loved to sew and was quite accomplished, sewing most of the clothes for her family including their winter coats. She continued to teach a 6-week Kindergarten program in Emerado. She served the CCD program and Altar Society in both the Thompson and Grand Forks Catholic parishes. Both Bernadette and Ira were active in The Holy Family Parish for years as lay ministers for the home bound and hospitalized and making the unleavened bread for Sunday Communion. She was also involved in her local Homemakers Club, taught 4-H and an elementary art program. She loved to read books about new teaching strategies for children, new research on allergies, and the Catholic faith, but her favorite books were those she read to her children and grandchildren.

When Ira retired from farming, they sold the family farm and moved to rural Grand Forks to Bernadette’s grandparents’ homestead. This was in the same yard as their son Robert’s family. Bernadette was a good cook and known for her pumpkin pies that were served in their big yard at the annual Peterson Pumpkin Patch. They went on several trips including Ireland, Alaska, Niagara Falls and camped in many parks. They wintered in Texas until Ira’s Alzheimer’s advanced too much. They then lived in Parkwood Assisted Living in Grand Forks, and Valley View Manor in Velva, ND, where Ira passed away March 3, 2011. Bernadette then moved back to Parkwood in Grand Forks.

Bernadette is survived by her brother Kenneth (Sandra) Hutton of East Grand Forks, MN; her children David (Renee) Peterson of Baxter, MN, Robert (Lisa) Peterson of Grand Forks, Annette (Curt) Beattie of Valley City, ND; seven grandchildren, Cassidy, Christopher and Olivia Peterson, Logan (Aubrey) Peterson and Taylor (fiancé Luis Vasquez) Peterson, Megan (Carter) Anderson and Beau (fiancée Cortney Hornung) Beattie. She also has three great-grandchildren, Ira and Ellis Vasquez, and Blair Anderson.

She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers Leslie, Jr. and Chester Hutton, sister Margaret Heider, and infant sister Susie.

Mass of Christian Burial: 1 p.m. Thursday April 22, 2021, in Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks, ND.

Visitation: 5:00-7:00 p.m. Wednesday April 21, 2021 with a 4:30 p.m. Rosary and a 7:00 p.m. vigil service at the Historic Norman Funeral Home. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the liturgy in the church on Thursday.

Burial: St. Timothy’s Catholic Cemetery, Manvel, ND.  The online memorial registry may be signed at

(The Historic Norman Funeral Home, Grand Forks, ND)

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