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William “Bill” Elmer Peterson was born on January 31, 1947 in Tulelake, California. His parents were Bert Olin and Mary Louise (Llewellyn) Peterson. For several years, Bill traveled between his parents’ home in California and his grandparents’ home in rural Yankton, South Dakota. On September 3, 1971, he was united in marriage to Joyce Ann Schanche in Mission Hill, South Dakota and together they made their home in Yankton. Early in their marriage, they provided a good home to over 30 foster children.
For 40 years, Bill owned and operated BJ Upholstery. He worked on numerous pieces of furniture, but his most common handiwork was making boat covers. When Bill’s two sons joined the Boy Scouts of America Troop 180 of Yankton, he discovered a new passion as a troop leader. He loved teaching kids life skills and camping. Bill went on to serve 22 years as a troop leader. In his early years, he also enjoyed square dancing, hunting, and fishing.
Bill was a character who loved teasing his family and friends. His antics were always carried out with fondness and usually were awarded with laughter.
Bill passed away on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 surrounded by his family at his residence in Yankton, South Dakota while under hospice care. He had attained the age of 72 years.
He is survived and remembered by his wife of over 47 years, Joyce Peterson of Yankton, SD; sons: Travis (Kelli) Peterson of Yankton, SD and Timothy (Linsey) Peterson of Yankton, SD; sister Roberta (George) Ferguson of Gresham, OR; and beloved dogs, Mac and Izzy.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Leslie Peterson.
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