• Last modified 670 days ago (Oct. 15, 2020)


Brokenhearted farmer aided by neighbors

Staff writer

As if losing his wife, Linda, to cancer weren’t enough, Dan Peterson was diagnosed with COVID-19 the day of her funeral.

The heartbroken Burdick farmer had no symptoms but was feeling weak when his daughter Susie took him to Newton Medical Center, where he was diagnosed Sept. 28.

He was in the hospital for five days.

Being a farmer, Dan had beans that were nearing harvest, and on Oct. 8, several area farmers joined forces to harvest 290 acres.

“We started after lunch and were finished by 8:30 in the evening,” said Mike Carlson, who organized the effort.

More than 20 farmers, using six combines and numerous trucks, made quick work of the harvest. One farmer provided fuel, and a group of women brought food.

“I cried when I saw them cutting,” Dan said. “It was really heartwarming. Susie cried, too.”

Dan said his doctor gave him a clean bill of health Monday. Susie has been with him, taking care of things for him since Linda’s death, and his grandchildren have been writing thank-you notes to people who contributed money to the Burdick Methodist Church Benevolent Fund.

“I have a broken heart,” Dan said.

He is missing Linda’s hugs.

“A month ago, she hugged me and said I needed to be strong for the kids and grandkids,” he said. “I guess I’ll have to be strong.”

He said he slept in their bed on Monday for the first time in 20 days.

“I just wanted to give her a hug,” he said. “I went to bed and wrapped my arms around myself like I was hugging her.”

The farmers will be back later to harvest the remainder of Dan’s beans, which aren’t ready yet, Carlson said.

“We’ll have additional help the next time,” he said.

Dan was hoping he could be out there, too.

He was happy that, as far as he knew, no one else from the funeral had become sick.

Last modified Oct. 15, 2020