Cover photo for Merlyn Duane Petersen's Obituary
Merlyn Duane Petersen Profile Photo
1935 Merlyn 2021

Merlyn Duane Petersen

July 13, 1935 — June 30, 2021

MERLYN DUANE PETERSEN, a longtime resident of Waseca, passed away peacefully on June 30th at Foxdale Senior Living in Waseca, Minnesota. Merlyn waited until his 64th wedding anniversary so that he could celebrate with his lovely bride who remained by his side.

Merlyn was born on July 13th, 1935 in Freeborn County at the family farmhouse. In high school, he played football, basketball, and baseball. A few years after his high school graduation, on June 30th, 1957, he married a ‘city girl” from Albert Lea, Ruth Ann Bartz, that he met at the Monterey Ballroom in Owatonna, Minnesota. Merlyn worked as a grain elevator manager, a car salesman, and worked in a variety of sales positions at NFIB, Home Juice, and Farm Systems, while also helping to raise his four children.

Merlyn lived in Alden, Freeborn, Grand Meadow, and Waseca, Minnesota. Merlyn found joy in being active in the Lutheran Church wherever he lived and served as the President of the Church Council. He loved to sing and was a soloist at weddings and funerals. He spent his free time bowling, playing softball, rolling dice at the Pheasant Cafe, watching sports, especially the Golden Gophers, Twins, and Vikings. If he couldn’t attend a game, he would listen to it on the radio and devotedly followed Sid Hartman. He was the life of the party and loved listening and dancing to polka music. He was a fun Dad, Grandfather and was a friend to many!

Merlyn is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ruth Petersen (nee Bartz), four children: Kevin (wife Pat) Petersen of Waseca, MN, Lynn Hoehn of Colorado, Dawn (husband Todd) Johnson of North Carolina, and Dan Petersen of Waseca, MN, ten grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. Merlyn is preceded in death by his mother and father, Berman and Marie Petersen, sister Lois Evenson and brother-in-law Galen Evenson, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Marcia and Brian Carlson, and brother-in-law Vernal Bartz, Jr.

Merlyn was a fun loving, caring husband, friend, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. The family would like to send their sincerest thanks to the staff at Foxdale Senior Living and St. Croix Hospice for the excellent care they have provided.

Memorial services will be held privately by family. Please visit his memorial website at and leave any fond memories or words of condolences.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merlyn Duane Petersen, please visit our flower store.


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