Wilma Mae Petersen was born on May 18, 1927 to Fred G. Nelson and Anna M. Nelson near Hayward, MN. Baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. At 2 years of age she moved with her family to Greene County, Iowa, near Jefferson. It was there that she started school in a rural school. After about 7 years, the family moved back to MN, where Wilma attended Buckeye school. Later, moving to Alden, she continued school there and graduated high school in 1945. Wilma was employed as a switchboard operator at the telephone office in Alden from 1945-1948. On August 22, 1948 she married Marlin F. Voigt at Grace Lutheran Church in Alden. The couple moved to Sioux Falls, SD where her husband attended Augustana College. Following Marlin's graduation, they lived in Geddes, SD and Hawarden, IA where Mr. Voigt held teaching and coaching positions, and Wilma was then a stay home housewife and mother. Following her husband's untimely and tragic death at Hawarden in 1953, Wilma, expecting their second child, and the couples' four-year-old son, returned to Alden. She returned to her previous position with the telephone company until the change over to dial. In 1957 Wilma and her two young sons moved into Albert Lea. Wilma and Norman "Pete" Petersen were married in Mason City, IA. on July 25, 1959. In 1960, the family moved back to Alden where Norman was an agent with Standard Oil. To this union two daughters were born, Glenda and Vonda, to join their older brothers, Marlin and Steve. Wilma enjoyed staying at home with the children, and taking business service calls for Pete. With children grown she worked from 1977-1981 as a nurses aide at St. John's Lutheran Home in Albert Lea. After her husband's retirement, the couple enjoyed some traveling. Their children and grandchildren were their greatest joy. Following the death of her husband, Norman, in April 1995, Wilma left their Alden home and moved to Albert Lea. Following the progression of Alzheimer's, Wilma moved to Duluth to be close to two of her four children. Her final residence was Diamond Willow Memory Care in Proctor, MN.
Survivors include her children, Marlin Sara Voigt of Orlando, FL, Steve Julie Voigt of Pine City, MN, Glenda Jim Sweeney of Duluth, MN and Vonda Ray Lucking of Hastings, MN; 9 grandchildren; in-laws, Gerry and Dori Petersen of Alden, MN; many nieces, nephews and life-long friends.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Marlin Voigt; husband, Norman Petersen; sisters Margaret Nelson Doud, Valborg Nelson Givant Madere and Alice Nelson Overgaard; brother, Raymond Nelson, infant granddaughter Emma Leigh Lucking; and in-laws, Kelsey and Lavonne Petersen.
Memorials preferred to Redeemer Lutheran Church, Alden Cemetery, Alzheimer's Foundation, or the American Porphyria Foundation.