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Plum City Care Center Resident of the Month

Joan (Raethke) Peterson

Joan (Raethke) Peterson was born to Roy and Betty Raethke on May 4, 1949, in Durand and has lived in the Pepin area most of her life. Joan attended Hicks Valley country school a couple miles north of Pepin. In 1967, she graduated from Pepin High School and on Sept. 15 of that year she married Bruce Peterson. The following year, their son, Bob, was born. His brother Scott came along in 1968.

Joan held a variety of jobs during her teen years and as an adult. She was very active in Girl Scouts and earned many badges. She worked part-time at the A&W in Pepin as a car hop. She also kept busy as a Den Mother for the Boy Scouts once her sons came along along with working at Sasses Nursing Home, and waitressing at the Maiden Rock and the Red Carpet Bar in Bay City. Joan spent time as a cashier at the Kmart in Red Wing. In 1986, Joan decided to return to college and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from UW-Eau Claire.

After college, Joan worked for Bridge to Hope in Menomonie and was an advocate for abuse victims in Pepin County as well as in Red Wing. A car accident left her partially disabled and ended her career but not her concern for those affected by abuse.

Joan enjoyed many hobbies including flower gardening, camping and fishing. She was an avid quilter and made quilts for each of her nieces and nephews. Joan is a wonderful seamstress and made many clothes for her family. She even made her own wedding dress and winter coats for her boys. Joan had a short career as a hunter until an encounter with Joe Smith's bull — she shot him in self defense!

Joan loved genealogy research, including her yearly trips to Salt Lake City, Utah, to look up family history in the Mormon libraries. She also traveled to England with Bob and Leanna, and Leanna's grandmother, Evelyn.

Joan spends time at our care center enjoying music, special entertainers, parties and socials and most importantly, time with her family. She likes to be an observer for many activities and you can see the sparkle in her eyes when hubby Bruce comes to visit.