Cover photo for Richard Ray Peterson's Obituary
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1937 Richard 2023

Richard Ray Peterson

November 15, 1937 — October 24, 2023

Richard Ray Peterson (November 15, 1937-October 24, 2023), 85, died with family at his side at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, Iowa. Visitation hours will be held at his home at Athens Woods Estates, 1250 Highway 175 E, Stratford, Iowa on Saturday, November 4 from 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. There will be a short program at 11:30, followed by a luncheon at noon. His ashes will be interred in the Washington Lutheran Cemetery near Duncombe, Iowa.

Born during the Great Depression to farmers Kenneth Laverne and Thelma Amanda Pollard Peterson in Hamilton County, Nebraska, Richard moved with his family to Hamilton County, Iowa when he was seven years old. He grew up on a farm with five siblings, cousins, a Shetland pony named Babe, and a pet crow called Joe.

Richard graduated from Stanhope High School and completed barber training in Des Moines because he was advised that he could make a good living from it. That proved true, as he was the barber in Duncombe, Iowa for more than the decade spanning the 1960s, until a catastrophic arm injury resulting from the backfire of a crank-start Alis Chalmers tractor ended that career. An inveterate entrepreneur, he became a restauranteur in Webster City where he gave many young people their first employment and served customers the best tenderloin in the land as well as 37 different malt flavors.

On July 4, 1993 he married the love of his life, Janice Kay (Fohlin) Kraft, and the couple lived in Iowa and Missouri, sharing an active interest in the shows and buffets of Branson. Never one to sit still or stay quiet, Richard held a number of part-time jobs in retirement. A prolific raconteur and practical joker, Richard will be missed for his sense of humor and the sweet sparkle of his smile.

Richard is survived by his wife Janice; his children, Raileen (Karla Kirby), Richard A. (Christy), Marsha (Russ Tell), and David Peterson; his brother Stephen J. Peterson; two sisters in law; one brother in law; and the last of many well-loved dogs, Sadie. He was the proud grandfather of 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings Donald, Geryle, Marilyn, and Phylllis; daughter Ardeth Ann; step son Jeff Kraft; and great-grandaughter, Millie Jean Hughes.

Memorials can be directed to Athens Woods Estates.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Ray Peterson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, November 4, 2023

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Saturday, November 4, 2023

Starts at 11:30 am (Central time)

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Washington Lutheran Cemetery

Vasse Avenue, Duncombe, IA 50532

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