John Petersen

December 16, 1933 ~ May 5, 2022

John Nickoli Petersen, 88, of Caledonia, Minn., passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 5, 2022.

He joined his wife of 66 years, married on August 31, 1954, and we can only imagine how Lucille had everything organized for the celebration! John was born December 16, 1933, the son of John and Jenny Petersen.

John Nickoli Petersen

John Nickoli Petersen

After John and Lucille were married, they bought the Miller Family Farm on the ridge in Hokah, MN, where they raised their family and farmed for 33 years. In 1987, their son, Don, and his wife, Sandy, bought the farm, and John and Lucille moved to Caledonia. They lived on Hokah Street and ran the National Farmers Organization Collection Point a few blocks up the road. John had a heart for serving others, especially farmers.  He and Lucille worked alongside each other for 61 years on behalf of hundreds of farmers through the NFO.

They knew how to work hard and play hard. John took pride in saying he put in a 16-hour day at the farm. He was constantly laughing and brought joy to those around him. John also loved to dance with his bride and sing. You would often see John singing with the band, such favorites as Lucille and Out Behind the Barn. John and Lucille loved to travel together and some of their favorite trips were to Branson, Missouri, San Diego, California, Hawaii, and they also spent many Januarys and Februarys in Florida.

John LOVED to play cards especially cribbage, 500, euchre and 3-to-14. He found great joy in teaching others these games, especially his grandchildren.

John is survived by his seven children, Cindy (Larry) Becker of Brownsville, Joan (Tony) Von Arx and Don (Sandy) Petersen of Hokah, Ron (Karen) Petersen of La Crescent, Rob (Kory Marquez) Petersen of San Diego, Bill (Jodi) Petersen of La Crescent, and Sandee (Jeff) Lehmann of Oregon, WI; 25 grandchildren, Dan (Michelle) Reinhart, David (Dawn) Reinhart, Jenny (Brent) Schroeder, Tim (Theresa) Von Arx, Andy (Meghan) Von Arx, Michael (Jenni) Von Arx, Tricia (Matt) Papenfuss, Laura (Phil) Schulze, Matt and Sarah Petersen, Jon and Josh Petersen, Hannah, Isaac, and Samuel Petersen, Emilee and Eli Lehmann, and 21 great-grandchildren: Adrianna, Isiah and Ashlyn Reinhart, Makayla and Branson Reinhart, Alexis and Kody Schroeder, James, Anne, Jared and Madelyn Von Arx, Mariah, Owen and Lucas Von Arx, Vanessa, Lane and Chad Von Arx, Cullen Papenfuss, Hailey, Natalie and Connor Schulze. 

John is also survived by two brothers-in-law, Marcellus (Mac) Miller and Albert (Al) Millerm and three sisters-in-law, Millie, Rita and Monica. 

John was preceded in death by his wife, Lucille; his son, John Charles, when he was 3 months old; his parents, John and Jenny Petersen; his sister, Caroline, and her husband, Adolph Heimerdinger, and his two brothers, Sonke and his wife, Corrine, and Fred and his wife, Audrey.

The funeral Mass will be at noon Saturday, May 14, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Caledonia. Fr. Matt Wagner will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Holy Family Hall at 513 S. Pine St. in Caledonia, behind the church. A prayer service will follow at 7 p.m. Friday. Visitation also will be from 10:30 a.m. Saturday until the time of service at the church. A private burial for John and Lucille at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Hokah will follow the luncheon.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to one of the following Catholic churches: St. Peter’s of Hokah, St. Mary’s of Caledonia or Crucifixion Church of La Crescent.

The service will be livestreamed and can be seen on St. Mary’s Facebook page.

Our family would like to thank the staff at Springbrook Assisted Living and Mayo Clinic for the love and care they provided.

McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia, is assisting the family and online condolences may be given at