Mavis Peterson

mavis peterson
Mavis Ruth (Engberg) Peterson, 86, formerly of Motley, MN, finished her race and went home to Jesus on June 4, 2021. Interment for Mavis and her late husband, Maurice, will be July 9th, 2021, at 1:00PM at Fargo National Cemetery with a celebration of life service to follow at 2:00PM at Grace Covenant Church, Fargo. Mavis was born in Rice Lake, WI, to Anton “Ferdie” and Ruth (Johnson) Engberg on August 7, 1934. The youngest of four children, she loved to sing, even winning a contest on the radio for belting out “The Popcorn Man.” She graduated from Rice Lake High School and worked as a bookkeeper at Warner Hardware in Minneapolis. Eventually, one of her co-workers, Betty Peterson (now Wuollet), introduced Mavis to her big brother, Maurice. After a brief courtship, Mavis and Maurice were married on June 2, 1956. In 1958 they purchased their first home in Brooklyn Center, MN, where they raised three children: Susan (Sue), Nancy, and Thomas (Tom). In 1991, Mavis and Maurice retired to Crookneck Lake near Motley, MN, then moved to Fargo, ND, in 2019 to be closer to family. While raising their family in Brooklyn Center, Mavis was deeply involved in the ministries of their church, Brooklyn Center Evangelical Free (now Revive Church, Brooklyn Park). She was a gifted singer and pianist, able to sing and play by ear and sight, and spent many years sharing that gift with those in her church as a vocalist and accompanist. She also treasured her time as a Pioneer Girls Leader, investing in the lives of so many young girls as she showed them who Jesus was. Mavis’s magnetic smile and quick wit endeared her to many – she was unforgettable! After moving to Motley, her love for Jesus led her to continue sharing her gift of music with her new home church, Lincoln Evangelical Free, including “The Gospel According to Scrooge,” the Christmas musical. She also enjoyed the fellowship of the women’s ministry and Bible studies. Mavis found great joy in baking for those she loved. Her caramel rolls, molasses cookies, and million dollar fudge were world-famous. Saying no to her delicious lefse or strawberry rhubarb pie was unthinkable. Her bread pudding was also top-notch! During their years in Motley, Mavis and Maurice would visit Tower Pizza in Staples for Friday night pizza (Mavis) and lasagna (Maurice) with their “Motley Crew” of friends. When their grandchildren would come to visit, Mister Ed’s and the Silo were added to the itinerary. Loving on her grandchildren was something that Mavis excelled at. Extended stays at Grandma’s always included bowls of Kraft macaroni & cheese topped with black pepper, freshly baked cookies, and a nightly game battle. A fierce competitor, Mavis enjoyed playing a variety of games, including Mexican train dominoes, Phase 10, Uno, Skip Bo, Sequence, and so many others. Being able to best Grandma in any “battle” was always an accomplishment for her grandkids. In her “spare” time, Mavis could often be found with a good work of fiction (she especially enjoyed Lauraine Snelling) or a book of crossword puzzles. She would either have gospel music playing or have the television tuned to any Minnesota sports team. You might also catch her working on a quilt or deep in prayer for those she loved. Her love for her friends and family was limitless. Mavis was one-of-a-kind and she is already dearly missed by those who knew and loved her. She never failed to wrap her grandkids up in a welcoming hug, and we rejoice that she is now safe in the arms of Jesus and reunited with her beloved husband, Maurice. Mavis is survived by her daughters, Sue (Dan) Hodgson of West Fargo, ND and Nancy Peterson of Minneapolis; 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 sisters-in-law, Betty Wuollet of Plymouth, MN, and Ladonna Peterson of Motley, MN. She was preceded in death by her husband, Maurice; parents, “Ferdie” and Ruth; brother, Ernie Engberg, and sisters, Alice Mae Schesvold and Eileen Bergthold; sister-in-law, Mary Lou (Geisse) Engberg, and brothers-in-law, Reuben Schesvold and Bob Bergthold. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer's Foundation.

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  1. Mavis (and Maurice) was my treasured friend since our kids were little. It was through her bible study that I came back to the Lord & she helped me out so many times. We laughed & cried together many times over the years. A friend never to be forgotten…..a beautiful soul!

  2. Hugs for you, Sue, and the whole family. Wow! Your mom was quite a lady! I enjoyed reading about her ‘passions’ and love of life. She contributed greatly to whatever community she lived in. She will be missed SO much!

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