Red was born Oct. 12, 1929, in Wausau, the son of the late Ernest and Selma (Swanz) Peterson. He married Elaine Buchberger on May 30, 1955, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Marathon. She survives.
Other survivors include three daughters, Cheryl Peterson Kijak, Marathon, Linda Reisner (Richard), Rib Mountain, and Karen Abell, Louisville, Ky.; two sons, Greg (Kathy) Peterson, Wisconsin Rapids, and David (Renee) Peterson of Wausau; 15 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one brother, Walter Peterson of Waupaca.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Wilma Mundt, and Fern Ganser; and three brothers, Oswald Peterson, Ernest Peterson Jr., and Leonard Peterson.
Red lived a life filled with good friends and loving family. He truly enjoyed bringing others happiness. His passion for gardening, canning pickles, preparing salsa and watching sports in his outdoor living room was legendary. Red enjoyed his retirement traveling and golfing with Elaine. He especially enjoyed golf, and was very proud of his support of the Merrill Good Samaritan Hospital golf outing. He spent many winters in Hernando, Fla., enjoying time with relatives, and making many new friends. Everywhere Red went, he made friends.
Red graduated from Mosinee High School in 1947. He was a member of the basketball, football and baseball teams. He was also a Golden Gloves boxing champion for northern Wisconsin.
He served his country honorably as a member of the United States Army third division infantry, attaining the rank of sergeant. While serving in Korea, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with the letter "V" for heroic achievements near Ibis sang-ni Korea.
After his military service, he returned to Mosinee and resumed his baseball career, signing a contract with the Chicago White Sox. He later played on the 1952 State Champion Semi Professional Team the Merrill Rangers. He pitched a complete game to help win the championship.
Red worked at Brickner Motors for many years before his retirement. He was well known for being a fair and honest person to do business with, and sold cars to many generations of the same families.
He was an active member of St. Mary's Parish of Marathon, The Knights of Columbus, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Marathon. The Rev. Joseph Diermeier will preside. Burial will be in the parish cemetery where full military honors will be conducted by the American Legion Alois Dreikosen Post No. 469, Marathon. Friends may call on Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Marathon, and again on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of services at the church.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Red's name.