Northland Love Story: Cloquet Couple Lived And Died Together

By KBJR News 1

March 27, 2013 Updated Mar 27, 2013 at 9:28 AM CDT

Esko, MN (NNCNOW.com)
People's Drug Store in Superior during World War Two, the place where a young man named Maynard Peterson met his wife of 65 years, Mary Lou.
The meeting may never have happened if a friend hadn't egged Maynard into going to the store.

"My dad didn't want to but he went anyway and that's how they met and then spent lots of time together." said daughter Robin Johnson.

The young couple had to spend some time apart when 18 year old Maynard was drafted and shipped to Europe for the war.
Upon his return, the two were married, settled in Cloquet and again became inseparable for the rest of their lives; even when declining health landed the two in an assisted living facility.

"She'd follow him down the hall and they'd both have their walkers and they'd go have their meals." said daughter Julie Aili.

Last Thursday, 86 year old Mary Lou passed away from complications following a fall.
Daughters Robin Johnson and Julie Aili of Esko broke the news to their dad who was in the hospital himself for stroke–like symptoms.

"Mom is at peace. It's okay if you go, too, now. You don't have to suffer anymore." said Aili.

The sisters feel their father heeded that advice because he passed away about eight hours later at the age of 85.

"I think it was a blessing. They were together all the time. This is how they would have wanted it." said Aili.

Now, the couple will have a funeral together.
Daughter Robin offers advice to people who haven't yet faced the need to arrange something as somber as that.

"If your parents are still alive, do all that you can to spend as much time with them as you can." said Johnson.

In Esko, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.

Maynard and Mary Lou Peterson will be laid to rest together on Saturday in Cloquet.