Richard "Rich" Peterson

Richard L. Peterson, 71, went to be with Jesus on Friday, May 21, 2021. He was born on April 22, 1950 in Rugby, North Dakota, the second of two children born to Chester and Opal Peterson (Wisness). After graduating from Rugby High School, he served as a combat infantryman in the US Army, Alpha Co. 3rd Battalion, 12th Infantry, 4th division in Vietnam from 1969 – 1970. He married Peggy Tiefenthaler in Wahpeton, North Dakota in October, 1975. They made their home in Washburn where they raised three children and he was employed as a Boilermaker. They moved to Fargo, North Dakota in 1987 and he became a Locomotive Engineer for BNSF Railway and retired in 2014 after 25 years of service. He and Peggy celebrated 45 years of marriage in October. They enjoyed traveling together and spending winters in Florida. Rich loved God. He enjoyed studying the Bible and the relationships he developed in Bible study. He loved spending time with family and friends. He was committed to helping others. He was an avid classic car enthusiast, especially muscle cars and loved attending car shows. Rich followed many sports, particularly baseball (especially the Redhawks) and golf, he liked to spend the day at the golf course with his kids, grandkids and friends. He also loved riding motorcycles and tinkering on one he’s had since the 70’s. He spent many hours reading and loved to keep up on current events. He was also very much a dog person, he has had many over the years. He spent many moments reading with a dog on his lap. As a man of strong Faith with a kind heart and gentle soul, he was a mentor to many and an inspiration to those who knew him. He is survived by his wife; Peggy Peterson, his children Faith, (Eddie), Eric, Andrew (Leah), his grandchildren; Ashly, Mikayla, Aliya, Haley, Isaiah, Christian, Alijah, his great-grandchildren; Railynn, Navani, and his brother; Charles Peterson (Darlene).

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  1. I haven’t seen “Richie” as our family called him for many years – not since we were children. My mom (Dorothy Peterson Knight) kept us all informed about his marriage to Peggy and their family. I hope you don’t mind that I’m a cousin dropping in from out of the blue. My loving thoughts go out to you in Rich’s unexpected and sudden death. I wish I could give the family a hug, but please know that I’m thinking you all during this difficult time.

  2. Rich, or Peeto as we often called him at work, was a great coworker and friend who shared with me much advice and philosophy back in the day. He will be missed by all who worked by his side at the BNSF. My condolences to the family and may he rest in peace with the Lord.

  3. So sorry to hear about Rich’s passing. I always enjoyed working with him. He was full of good stories about being a boiler maker and railroading. One day when we were sitting in a siding he took his boot lace off to show me how to tie a bowline knot. “Now don’t say I never taught u anything!” I have many fond memories of Rich. He will be missed.

  4. Rich was our neighbor – but so much more than that. He was a father figure, mentor, counselor and dear friend. Rich always made himself available for my husband and our family. His love for the Lord was inspiring and such an encouragement. Rich made an enormous impression on our lives and he will never be forgotten. Our family is praying for you and your family, Peggy. We love you so much.
    Love, Trisha for the Crandall’s

  5. Our Prayers and sympathy to Rich’s family from the Rugby High School Class of 1968!!! I was in kindergarten thru graduation with Rich. He was always a gentle soul and had a smile for you!!
    So glad he was at our 50th reunion. Again our prayers and sympathy to all.

  6. I can only imagine how Rich felt when he came into the presence of Our Lord and Savior! For the rest of us we wonder why so soon? God must have felt he wanted another Angel and now you have your own personal Angel.

    Peggy this is so sad for those left behind and I know your faith will help you and family get thru this difficult time. He will be missed. Praying for all of you.

  7. So sorry to learn of Rich’s passing. He was a classmate of mine in Rugby. I will always remember how he made others laugh! Prayers for his family!

  8. What a shock to hear that Rich has gone home to his much loved Savior. Over the last year we had reconnected as old high school friends and have communicated really frequently back-and-forth. Our common interest was primarily our love for Christ Jesus and Rich was so passionate about this and so knowledgeable that it really impressed me greatly. It is quite a loss to me as he had become once again a close friend. My heart goes out to you Peggy for your loss of such a good man. Kevin Rasmusson

  9. I was so sorry to hear that Rich had passed. He was a fantastic coworker and I always enjoyed working with him as we had some wonderful conversations about family, faith and friends. Heaven is getting a great guy! Andrew and family, my prayers are with you.

  10. While we were neighbors as well as cousins in our earliest years, I’ve seen Rich just four times in the last 25 years, the last five or six years ago. His sincerity, his calm, his kind spirit provide the lasting impression I have of Rich in those later years. May the memories of many other pleasant visits comfort Chuck, Peggy and the rest of Rich’s family.

  11. Sorry to hear about Rich’s passing. He was a very kind coworker who was always happy and was fun to be around. Condolences to all of the family and friends who will certainly miss him. Hope wonderful memories will ease the loss

  12. Richard was a classmate of mine from Rugby High School class of 68. I had seen him at our 50 year reunion and the last time I saw him was in April when he was with a group of guys at the VFW for lunch and my sister and I had gone there for a sandwich and he came up and said hello! He prayed with us as I had told him my husband Bob had terminal cancer. It was so great to see him. He talked about his wife and family and it was so awesome to see him and know he was happy and had great faith! My prayers go out to his wife and family!!!! He will be missed.
    Kathy Tuff Sanders -West Fargo

  13. We were shocked and so sorry to hear of Rich’s sudden passing. He and Peggy have been friends for years, through church and other Christian affiliations. They had just joined the Small Group we are a part of and Rich repeatedly shared how excited he was to study God’s Word together. Because of his faith, Jesus’ sacrifice for those who trust Him, and the promises in the Bible, we rest in the knowledge that he is with the Lord and that we will see him again.
    Our prayers are with Peggy and the family.

  14. Was just roaming on obits and I recognized Rich immediately before seeing his name. Haven’t seen him in probably 40 years but knew his face right away. Peggy your love and trust in Rich was so great…far greater than what anyone from the “old days” would have believed it would have lasted. You have raised your family together; I pray now that in your loss they are there for you to lean on.

  15. Rich and I were good friends in high school. We rode motorcycles together. We had other things in common as well. I was a year ahead and went right into the Army after graduation. Didn’t come back to North Dakota after the Army and Viet Nam. Rich and I lost track of each other. Several things that I remember very well, and one was the little twinkle in Rich’s eyes. Always up to having a fun time. I remember the day when he was playing football for the high school team and heard that he was rushed to the hospital with his spleen burst from a hard stomach hit in the game. We were afraid he wasn’t going to make it. But he did. I often wondered why he went into the service without a spleen – maybe I got that all wrong. But I like to think that he was the patriotic type. Another something that I remember was that he did better with the girls than me. But I didn’t hold that against him as at that time I thought of him as a best friend. He was something very special then and seeing this “orbit” presentation, that my sister Ann provided me, it seems that he continued to be an incredible man throughout the remainder of his life. To Rich’s family I most sincerely pass on my condolences, but also must say that I am happy for you, and envy you, for being so lucky to have had Rich in your lives.

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