Maurice “Maury” Edmund Peterson, 90, formerly of Motley, went to be with Jesus on November 9, 2020, after a short battle with COVID.
There will be no service at this time, but a late spring 2021 military burial is planned in Fargo.
Maury was born in Motley, to Lawrence and Effie (Carry) Peterson on June 14, 1930 - Flag Day. The oldest of three children, he graduated from Staples High School in 1948 and worked on the family farm until he enlisted in the Army in 1952. He proudly served in the Korean War as a member of Company A, 279th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division. He was on Christmas Hill the night the Korean Armistice was signed, ending U.S. participation in the conflict. After the war, Maury worked as a Railroad Fireman for Burlington Northern. He married Mavis Engberg of Rice Lake, WI, on June 2, 1956. They made their home in Brooklyn Center from 1958-1990, where they raised three children: Susan (Sue), Nancy and Thomas (Tom). Maury worked hard at whatever he did, including his years on the railroad and then as a beloved custodian and caretaker of a couple of local elementary schools. Maury and Mavis retired to Crookneck Lake near Motley in 1991, spending many wonderful years there. In 2019 they moved to Fargo, ND, to be closer to family.
To know Maury was to love him and his joy and love for the Lord was apparent to all. He loved to spend time with his grandchildren and summers at Grandpa’s were filled fishing with the bamboo poles he purchased, games of baseball and basketball in the driveway and trips to town for ice cream at the Silo. After an afternoon of fishing, Maury would painstakingly filet and fry up each and every tiny sunfish they caught, much to the delight of his little apprentices. He enjoyed spending time at his hunting property, making great memories with his family, and simply being outdoors in God’s creation. Maury was intentional about physical fitness and could still beat his adult grandsons in a push-up contest on his 80th birthday. He invested the same love and care into his great-grandchildren, getting on the floor to play with them and letting them know how often they were in his prayers. When he lived in Motley, you could catch him on one of his daily miles-long walks or meeting his friends at the Countryside Café. On Friday nights, Maury and Mavis would head to Tower Pizza in Staples, Maury for lasagna, Mavis for pizza. He enjoyed helping out in a variety of ways at his church, Lincoln Evangelical Free, including mowing the lawn, driving the Awana bus and serving as an usher. He also loved being a member of the Color Guard for Tri-County American Legion Post #124, Motley. A skilled woodworker, he enjoyed crafting birdhouses, benches and an incredibly detailed dollhouse for his granddaughter that continues to be loved by future generations. He was also passionate about birdwatching, and his home was the go-to place for birds of all shapes and sizes. Checking the handmade birdhouses he’d placed at his grandchildren’s homes was a regular part of every visit, as was a “walk around the property.” He was a lifelong Minnesota Sports Fan who enjoyed napping in his recliner with the Sunday paper on a weekly basis. A treasure to friends, family and strangers alike, the joy of the Lord emanated from him in all that he set his mind to do. Maury was the kind of guy you hoped to grow up to be - a man after God’s own heart. His smile lit up every room he entered, and his legacy - his love for Jesus - will continue on in the lives of those he touched for years to come.
Maury is survived by his wife, Mavis, of Moorhead; two daughters, Sue (Dan) Hodgson of West Fargo, ND and Nancy Peterson of Minneapolis; one son, Tom (Michelle) Peterson of Moorpark, CA; six grandchildren, Cassie (Drew) Viele of Walcott, ND, Dustin (Amber) Hodgson of Fargo, ND, Tyler Peterson of Simi Valley, CA, Isaac Peterson of Mountain Home, ID, Ella Mitchell of Tempe, AZ and Liam Mitchell of Simi Valley, CA; eight great-grandchildren and two sisters, Betty Wuollet, of Plymouth and Ladonna Peterson, of Staples.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers-in-law, Reino Wuollet and John Peterson.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Tri-County American Legion Post #124, Motley.