Editorial – A legacy of giving backThe Alexandria community lost a key contributor Sunday when long-time business owner Maynard “Bud” Peterson passed away.
The Alexandria community lost a key contributor Sunday when long-time business owner Maynard “Bud” Peterson passed away.
Beyond the unique personality traits that made Bud the man he was, he’ll be long remembered for his deep commitment to making Alexandria a better place to live.
Bud didn’t just talk about making things happen for the better, he delivered. Time and time again, he came to the rescue of a local cause or effort that deserved support.
He helped the Alexandria Area Arts Association with major repairs and improvements of the downtown theater. He helped start the Minnesota Maritime Museum and contributed enough fishing tackle and memorabilia to create an exhibit named in his honor. His decades-long support of Ducks Unlimited led to the organization building a monument in his honor this past fall at the Runestone Waterfowl Production Area.
In the past couple of years, Bud came through with two huge donations. He donated 48 acres of land where the new school, Woodland Elementary, is being built, saving taxpayers more than a million dollars in land costs. And last fall, he stepped up to deliver the Alexandria Area YMCA a $1.5 million donation. The gift encouraged others to contribute to the effort because $600,000 of it was in the form of a matching grant.
Bud was also a successful businessman. He went from candling eggs and sacking potatoes in his father’s store to owning and operating the first around-the-clock supermarket within 100 miles of here – Pete’s Super Valu. It was located on Broadway in the 1950s and underwent several transformations before becoming Pete’s County Market. He, along with other business leaders, also helped bring the Holiday Inn to Alexandria as well as the Viking Plaza. He was also a founder of the Viking Savings Association.
Bud led a life that can teach us all lessons – about hard work, about setting goals and meeting them, about having a vision for the future, and just as importantly, contributing back to the community where it all happened.
After reading about Bud’s death on the newspaper’s Web site, an online reader posted this comment: “Bud represented everything that is good and right with our community. His hard work, his kindness, and his generosity helped made Alexandria the great place that it is today, and should be examples to all of us.”
Every community would be lucky to have someone like Bud. He made more than just his mark. He left a legacy of generosity.