Caleb Franklin Peterson, 25, of Roberts, went to be with Jesus on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, with his family at his side.
Caleb was born on Oct. 4, 1989, in Brookfield, to Gary and Julie (Berres) Peterson, surprising his family with a full head of red hair. His surprises would never stop for his entire 25 wonderful years on Earth.
After spending a few short years in West Bend, the family moved to Baldwin, and later Roberts, where they currently reside.
Caleb attended St. Croix Central High School, where he passionately participated in hockey and baseball. He had an undying love for the ice and the game, and was an avid Wild and Detroit Red Wings fan. In 2008, he was a proud teammate on his high school’s state qualifying baseball team, the first in the school’s history. The relationships he formed with his teammates, both in baseball and hockey, always held a special place in his heart.
Following his graduation, he was accepted to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, studying history with the ultimate goal of teaching. School was so important to him, and despite his cancer, he never let his treatments conflict with his studies. His wish for body donation fulfilled his dream of becoming an educator, something he was so proud of. Caleb was a passionate student, even getting a limo ride as the winner of a bet with his father (no matter that it came nine years late!) for getting straight A’s in third grade.
Caleb enjoyed the time he spent with his family in Boston though he was receiving radiation during the stay, and had a love for books, especially reading them to his nephew, Archie. Caleb was the perfect uncle and it wasn’t uncommon to see both asleep on the couch, Archie cuddled on his uncle’s chest.
Although Caleb had cancer, it never defined him. He was the complete opposite of a victim, and had an inspiring determination to be autonomous despite his illness. His treatments were scheduled around his schedule, not the doctors, and he was still in school doing homework and studying, between all of his surgeries and up until the very end. He strove to inspire others in light of his cancer, leading him to dedicate so much of his time to his family’s Relay For Life team, “Families Fighting With Faith.” In New Richmond’s 2013 walk and River Falls’ 2014 walk, he was the honorary co-chairman who gave many motivational speeches, moving others to be strong, fearless and to not let cancer be in their definitions of self. Throughout his 25 years, Caleb touched so many lives, from his doctors and nurses, to his classmates, his friends, and his family, and his outlook on life will continue to affect, motivate and inspire all who knew him.
Caleb will remain in the hearts of his parents, Gary and Julie Peterson; siblings: Leah (Dave) Ott and nephew, Archie, Josh (and special friend, Amber Johnson) Peterson, Emanuel Peterson and Niel Peterson; grandparents: Glenn and Carolyn Peterson, Michael Berres and Tom Swingen; great-grandparents, John and Dolores Volkert; aunts and uncles: Laurie Spors, Joni (Keith) Lundin, Cindy (David) Fischer, Christopher (Sarah) Berres, Charlie (Pam) Berres and Jeremy (Kelly) Berres; Caleb’s dog, Max; and very special friend Kelsey (Becker) Davis; along with many cousins and extended family. He will be welcomed into heaven by his two grandmothers, Ardyce Peterson and Adrianne Swingen.
A gathering of friends and family will take place from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014, at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 1010 Newton St., Baldwin. A Celebration of Caleb’s Life will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, at Christ Center Assembly of God, 810 Northview Drive, Hudson.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be given to their family’s Relay for Life Team, “Families Fighting With Faith” or the Caleb Peterson Memorial Fund at WESTconsin Credit Union, given to students with the same passion for education and history as Caleb had.
Services entrusted to the O’Connell Family Funeral Home of Baldwin; 715-684-3434, www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com.