When Jean Peterson enters a roomful of residents downstairs, she without thinking, notices when anyone needs help; picks up dropped keys, adjusts a shawl, helps someone maneuver a walker, gets a chair for someone who needs one, makes someone smile; she always, always is helping someone without making a fuss or calling attention to herself, and blessing us all with her warm, infectious laugh. If there are such things as angels on earth, she is one.
Jean was born on Dayton’s Boulder Bridge Farm in Excelsior, MN, now an upscale development. Her parents were school teachers, and they moved around from Cass Lake to Deer River to and Waconia. Her father taught agriculture in high school and her mother taught grade school.
Jean and her first husband, Howard Bergh, met at the U of M, after Howard served in the Army Air Force and Jean was in the Cadet Nurse Corps. She studied nursing in a three–year RN course there. They married in 1946 and started their family in St. Louis Park. They had five daughters before moving to Richfield, where the water was better or something, because they finally had a son. Jean led a very busy life raising her family and being the nurse at summer camp and private duty. After 34 years together, Howard died of heart trouble.
Three years later, she met and married Robert Peterson, an Air Force veteran. Bob was Chief of Staff of the in the MN Air National Guard and retired as a Major General. Together they had some incredible traveling experiences in Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, and spent five weeks in England, until his death 23 years late, also of heart trouble. Pictures of both of Jean’s husbands can be seen in their uniforms on Parkshore’s Wall of Fame.
Jean is most proud of raising six wonderful children who provide great support and much fun to her. A few years ago, Jean and one of her daughters wanted to ride a train again, so they took the Empire Builder for a two day trip through Glacier Lake Park and the Columbia River Gorge to Portland, OR, got off the train for one night and returned on the same train the next morning.
Jean loves living at Parkshore with her tons of friends; she enjoys bridge, crosswords and the many activities here. And, without even realizing it, she is always very busy being Parkshore’s guardian angel.