Cover photo for Chaplain (COL) David Peterson, Retired's Obituary
Chaplain (COL) David Peterson, Retired Profile Photo

Chaplain (COL) David Peterson, Retired

January 4, 1941 — October 19, 2022


Chaplain (COL) David Peterson, Retired

Chaplain (COL) David Peterson, retired, age 81 of Sturgis, died Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at his home, surrounded by his loving family.


A funeral service will be held 11am Thursday, October 27th, 2022 at Foothills Community Church in Sturgis.  There will be no visitation.  A second service will be held 11am Monday, October 31, 2022 at the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Lemmon.  Interment will take place in Greenhill Cemetery in Lemmon, with Military Honors provided by the Brattvet-Green American Legion Post #66.


At the family’s request, please do not send flowers.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Foothills Community Church: 3501 Avalanche Road; Sturgis, SD  57785 or the Reformed Presbyterian Church: 500 First Ave; Lemmon, SD  57638.


Arrangements are with Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. 


Both services will be available to view online.  Please look for the two weblinks at the bottom of this obituary.  David’s video tribute will be also made available here as well. (Hopefully by Tuesday)


Chaplain (COL) David P. Peterson, Retired, was born on January 4, 1941 in Lemmon, South Dakota.  He graduated from Lemmon High School in 1958 and received his BA degree from Covenant College, St. Louis, Missouri in 1962.  He continued his studies at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, receiving a Master of Divinity in 1965 and was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister in July 1965.   While at Covenant College, David met Sandra, and they married on June 9, 1964.


As a Chaplain in the U.S. Army, David ministered to soldiers of all ranks for 30 years.  David was as equally concerned about ministering to enlisted soldiers and non-commissioned officers during two combat tours in Vietnam as he was about ministering to the most senior commanding officers during Operation Desert Storm.  In his assignments throughout the United States, David positively impacted soldiers and their families with his living Christian testimony.  He provided comfort, wisdom, and encouragement to everyone he knew.   He retired from active-duty service in 1995 and moved to Sturgis, South Dakota.


Following military service, David served as the Executive Director of the Presbyterian and Reformed Joint Commission on Chaplains and Military Personnel (PRJC) and Coordinator for Chaplain Ministries, Mission to North America (MNA), Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).  In these roles, David recruited, sponsored, and mentored dozens of Chaplains who served in multiple branches of the military and communities of service.  He retired from this ministerial role in 2010.


While David had many significant professional accomplishments, his source of joy was serving God, serving others, and uplifting his family.  He and his beloved wife, Sandra, created a refuge for family gatherings where wonderful memories were created for his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, extended family, and so many others.  He fixed four wheelers, saddled up horses, guided pheasant hunts, prepared the swimming pool, jumped on trampolines, and refereed family skeet shooting competitions.   He did all this with contagious enthusiasm, a fun-loving attitude, and an endless supply of “grandpa sayings” that endeared him to all.   He never faced a task too great that he couldn’t complete for the enjoyment of his family.  The love he showed and generosity he shared left a legacy of happiness, joy, and love.  His life will continue to be an inspiration for many generations.


David is survived by his wife, Sandra of Sturgis, South Dakota; son, Jeffrey (Lili) Peterson of West Point, New York, daughters, J’Lane (Peter) Dunning of Beaufort, South Carolina, and Julie (Paul) Durfield of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  David’s grandchildren include Jessica (Joshua), Kayci, Sydney (Ian), Olivia (Blaine), Benjamin, Joseph, Anna, Stephen, Clara, Megan, Faith, Ginny, Caleb, Hudson, Heath, Colter, and Jeremiah, as well as great-grandchildren James and Elizabeth.   He is also survived by brothers Robert (Karen) Peterson of Lemmon, South Dakota, Rolland (Jane) Peterson of Lemmon, South Dakota, Kenneth (Pauline) Peterson of Aberdeen, South Dakota, and sister Delores Long of Lemmon, South Dakota.


David was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Winnie Peterson, his brother, Charles, brother-in-law Art, and sisters-in-law, Rosemary and Ruth.



Order of Worship at Sturgis Funeral


Welcome                                                                                     Jeff Neikirk


Call To Worship:   Psalm 90:1-2, 4, 12, 13-14                    Jeff Neikirk


Prayer of Invocation                                                                Jeff Neikirk


John 14: 1 – 4                                                                            Jeff Neikirk


“I Can Only Imagine”                                                       Jeremy Waddell


Psalm 116:1-9, 12-13, 17-18                                                  Jeff Neikirk


“Marvelous Grace of Our Loving Lord”                    Trinity Hymnal 465


Obituary                                                                                         Jeff Neikirk


“Wonderful Grace of Jesus”                                       Trinity Hymnal 467


The Good Fight    II Timothy 4: 2-5, 7-8                          Dr. Curt Liedtke


1 Corinthians 15: 51-56,  Revelation 19: 1                          Jeff Neikirk


Hallelujah Chorus (Please Stand)                                       Joan Iverson


Closing Prayer                                                                            Jeff Neikirk


Benediction:     Numbers 6:24-26                                        Jeff Neikirk








Order of Worship at Lemmon Funeral


Welcome                                                                                   Spencer Allen


Call to Worship                                                                        Spencer Allen


Opening Prayer                                                                       Spencer Allen


Scripture Reading -  Psalm 42                                             Tom Penning


Congregational Hymn                                                     “Be Still, My Soul”


Eulogies                                                       J’Lane Dunning, Julie Durfield


Scripture Reading - Psalm 23                                              Tom Penning


Scripture Reading - Matthew 5:4                                        Tom Penning


“I Can Only Imagine”                                                                     Recorded


Sermon – I Corinthians 1:20 – 2:5                                      Tom Penning


Congregational Hymn                                  “Wonderful Grace of Jesus”


David Peterson’s Testimony                                                Jeff Peterson


“Hallelujah Chorus”                                                                 Joan Iverson


Closing Prayer and Benediction                                          Tom Penning

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Chaplain (COL) David Peterson, Retired, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

David's Funeral Service in Sturgis

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Foothills Community Church

3501 Avalanche Rd, Sturgis, SD 57785

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

David's Funeral Service in Lemmon

Monday, October 31, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Reformed Presbyterian Church

500 First Ave West, Lemmon, SD 57638

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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