John Peterson

PETERSON, John H. aka “Santa” age 82 of Davison died peacefully at home on the morning of December 4, 2023. Funeral Mass will be celebrated 1:00 pm, Tuesday, December 12, 2023, with visitation beginning at 12:00 noon, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 404 N. Dayton St., Davison; Rev. Fr. Andrew A. Czajkowski, celebrant. Cremation will follow with burial in Richfield Union Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Outreach East of Davison. If desired, the family invites you to dress casually, encouraging Wisconsin Badgers or Green Bay Packers colors or attire in honor of John.

John was born March 16, 1941, in Manitowoc, WI, the son of Herbert and Gladys (Brennan) Peterson. He was raised with 6 siblings in Valders, WI, before moving to Michigan at the age of 13 for his dad to work for GM. Enrolling in the Flint Community Schools, John was a standout athlete, playing football and track & field for the Flint Central Indians. He was a defensive specialist on the 1958 Flint Central State Championship Football Team, which earned him membership in the Greater Flint Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. After graduation, John went to work at A&P, before beginning his career in Plant Security at Chevy in the Hole. He retired from GM after 31 years of service. He proudly served in the Michigan National Guard, with activation during the Detroit Riots. John had a love for cooking, entertaining, people, and socializing which led to a secondary career, owning, and operating Bier Haus in Frankenmuth and JP’s Chuckwagon & Concessions.

In 1983, John would marry Judith (Ex) Barr, and together they would unite their families, adding an additional child, in-laws, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren over the next 40 years. John’s love for sports continued throughout his life, playing softball, coaching many of his son’s little league teams, and being an outstanding mentor and coach for all his grandchildren. He was known for quick wit, his keen sense of humor, being a pot stirrer, and his ability to never meet a stranger. In his free time John loved going to “Camp” on the Escanaba River near Cornell, MI, where he enjoyed family and friendship in the UP. Staying true to his roots, John was a huge fan of the Davison Cardinals, the Flushing Raiders, the Wisconsin Badgers, and the Green Bay Packers. He and Judy were big entertainers, hosting holidays, football, and summer parties to name a few. Their home was always the “gathering spot”. Together, they enjoyed their cottage in AuGres, casino trips, watching NASCAR, attending their grandchildren’s events, and playing Keno. During the Christmas Season, John was one of Santa’s Helpers delighting crowds at family parties. He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus #4090.

John leaves to cherish his memory his wife, Judy, six children: Andy and Libby Peterson, Dan and Kathy Peterson, Brandon and Ashley Peterson, Kim and Joe Robinson, Angie and Eric Williams, and Kenny Barr (Yvonne Simmons), 13 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; brother, Paul and Rosemary Peterson, sister-in-law, Marilyn Ex, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Herb, and Gladys; and siblings: Pat and Dorothy Peterson, Bernie and Dottie Peterson, Owen and Sue Peterson, Kathleen and Erwin Delsman, and Barbara and Roger Foerg. The family would like to thank the Staff of Hurley ER, Hurley 5 West, Sheryl Trevarrow and the Staff of Absolute Hospice for the care and compassions shown to John and our family over the past month.