Tom Peterson “The Mushroom Man”

Best known as “The Mushroom Man”, Tom Peterson, age 67, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, May 4, 2018, at his home in Burnsville, MN.

A Celebration of Life Service honoring Tom will be held on Thursday, May 10 at 3 pm, with a time of gathering starting at 1 pm, at Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation 833 South Marschall Road, Shakopee, MN. Audrey Peterson will be leading the service, with family acting as urn bearers.

Thomas Terry Peterson was born on February 16, 1951 in Minneapolis, MN, to parents John and Katherine (Roholt) Peterson. He was the fourth of six children, growing up in Richfield with siblings John, Carol, Michael, Mark and Tammy. As a young boy, Tom began a lifelong love for being outdoors. He could always be found playing outdoors with the family and friends, with mischief lurking in the shadows. Early on, Tom was intrigued with science. He was like a ‘mad scientist,’ always wanting to go that extra step in knowing how things worked or in some cases didn’t work. He attended the Richfield School District, with graduating in 1969.

Furthering his education at Dunwoody College of Technology, Tom became the third-generation sheet metal worker. He was a proud member of the Sheet Metal Workers Local #10. Most of Tom’s career was employed at General Sheet Metal Company for many decades. He spent most of his time in management, where he excelled. Tom had a high level of performance managing massive projects, such as the Best Buy complex, the Metro Dome and countless schools. He was so proud when his sons, Josh and Adam followed in his footsteps, being the fourth-generation sheet metal workers.

Tom lead a simple, yet full life. He married Marti Herrera on February 14, 1972 in Las Vegas, NV. From this union, they had three precious boys, Joshua, Jacob and Adam. Tom passed on his love of the outdoors to his family. They enjoyed exploring the wilderness hiking, fishing, four-wheeling and camping all over Minnesota and Wyoming. He felt the most in tune with nature and all that it offered. Tom and his family loved entertaining at their home, especially when it came to the pig roasts. They knew how to throw a party!!! The Peterson family also worked countless hours tending to the large vegetable gardens and taking care of the animals; pigs, goats, chickens and an occasional goose.

Unfortunately, life brings trials and tribulations along the way. This was no different for Tom, losing his son, Jacob suddenly in an accident at a young age and later he and Marti parting ways. But through it all, Tom continued to move forward trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

Tom was eccentric, artistic, intelligent and full of energy. These characteristics shined brightly in his interests and hobbies. Tom was best known as “The Mushroom Man.” After countless years, he had the science of growing exceptional mushrooms and held on tightly to the trade secrets. Tom took the fruits of his labor and sold them to area restaurants and at local farmers markets. Tom too had quite a knack of harvesting maple syrup. He participated in the Native Wild Food Summits and teaching his love of the outdoors to others. Tom was always making something, connecting to nature and was the happiest working with his hands.

The legacy of Tom is left to be carried on by his family, sons, Joshua (Lynn) Peterson, Adam Peterson and their mother, Marti Herrera; grandchildren, Gunnar, Wyatt, Dylan, Jaycee; mother, Kay Peterson; siblings, John (Mary) Peterson, Mark Peterson, Tami Mazzei; other relatives and devoted friends.

There to greet Tom with open arms is his beloved son, Jacob; father, John Peterson; sister, Carol (Bill) Harrier; infant brother, Michael Peterson; and special long-time friend, Dave Eriksen.


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Condolence Messages

  1. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I have extremely fond memories of Tom from when I was a kid hanging out with Adam. Wondering around in the wilderness or having a water fight in the kitchen, it was always a fun time at the Peterson’s. When my mom would pick me up I’d have to sit in the car and wait while her and Tom talked mushrooms for what, to my 12 year old mind, seemed like forever. They’re some of my best childhood memories.

    I’m wishing for peace and sending strength & support to family and friends.

  2. Adam and family,
    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I will always remember fondly how sweet your father spoke to you, calling you “sweetheart” and “pumpkin” often. Thinking of you,

  3. I will miss you my dear brother…

  4. Dear Josh, I am so so so sorry about your personal, unexpected loss. I remember meeting your father at one of your barbecues in St Paul, when I was a student at UMN. You and Lynn will always be my dear family in Minnesota. Your family is always in our thoughts and prayers but especially today as you cope with this sad news. Please accept our heartfelt condolences and a warm hug from New York. Our deepest sympathy, Yogita

  5. Chad E Paschka and Maria

    Adam and Josh and Family,
    Im so sorry for your loss, Tom was one of the greatest men i knew. He would stop by the kennel frequently to drop off mushrooms or garlic for us, i always enjoyed talking with him, he truly loved his sons, family and friends. He will be deeply missed, I will miss him, he was a great soul.
    With Love Chad & Maria Paschka

  6. You were a brave hero Tom! I credit you with keeping my son alive until he could be extracted from the car after the accident. You dealt with the horrors … no one can possibly know what you saw and went through that day. I know it impacted you for life. You were a HERO that day Tom! Thank you.

  7. Dearest Tom,

    Words can’t describe how sad and shocking it was to hear of your passing. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to drop by to say hi or talk with you. Though many years have passed, you were a father figure to me and you family was an extention of that love.

    I am so lucky and thankful for that last visit with you. You proudly showed off all the amazing things you were working on. Ginsing, grapes, that seed planter and the really cool buildings and systems you designed. Even the rocks you had collected from up north. You truly were a genius with passion to back it up.

    When that Sponge song comes on the radio, I always picture you blasting it on that yellow radio. I hated it, and now cherish it.

    The memories of you have stuck with me throughout the years. You were a positive influence in my life. The love for your family and the forgiveness you gave was inspiring. Your wise words and your kindness will live on forever. You’ve had, and always will have a special place in my heart.

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