Melvin "Mel" R. Peterson

May 3, 1929 ~ May 27, 2022 (age 93)


Melvin R. Peterson, age 93 of La Crosse and recently of Eau Claire, passed away on Friday, May 27, 2022 at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire surrounded by his family. He was born to Esther (Engebretson) and Reuben H. Peterson on May 3, 1929 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He lived with his grandparents on a farm outside of Stillwater from the age of 4 to 11, and graduated from Johnson High School in St. Paul.  Mel earned a Bachelor’s Degree in technical education from Morehead State Teacher’s College and a Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota.  He taught industrial arts for 38 years in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, first at Logan and then at Central High School.

Mel served in the Korean War from 1950-52 and received an honorable discharge June 4, 1952. 

Mel married Monica Bridgeford on July 27, 1952 and they would have celebrated their 70th anniversary this summer. He is survived by his wife Monica, three daughters, Kristin, Karin Thurlow, and Melissa (Alan) Robertson, four grandchildren William (Ellen) and Meredith Robertson, and Peter and Thomas Thurlow, and great grandson Sven Robertson, as well as his brother Robert and sister Gloria Lindorf.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Virginia Garrison and Fern Stalder, and his son-in-law Doug Thurlow.

Mel was a loving husband, kind and supportive father, dedicated teacher, and good friend. He was proud of his family and of the accomplishments of his students over his many years of teaching. He loved to fish and he loved to laugh, meeting every day and everyone with good humor.

Private family services will be held, followed by burial at Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner, Wisconsin.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at

Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Rd., Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with arrangements.

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