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Former North Hudson Village President Wally Gregerson dies

Wally and Bernadine Gregerson operated Friendly Valley Appliance out of their North Hudson home for more than 35 years. Wally started his own business in 1969 and sold it in 2006. (Star-Observer archives)1 / 5
Four generations from one family pitched in to help set up for Pepper Fest in this 2007 photo. From the left are daughter Deb (Gregerson) Copeland, grandfather Wally Gregerson, granddaughter Mandy Huston and great-grandson Tyler Huston.2 / 5
Wally Gregerson was active in village government for many years, and served as village president from 1977 to 1991. This 1966 photo shows Gregerson (third from left in back row) as a trustee on the village baord. The photo includes, front from left, Treasurer Florence Simpson, President Daniel Zezza and Clerk William McCormick; back, trustees John Schullo, Wayne Harmon, Wally Gregerson, William Cunningham, James Bretthauer, village attorney Lawrence Gherty and trustee Donald Lindstrom.3 / 5
While Wally Gregerson, left, was North Hudson Village president in 1980, when he handed the keys to a new squad car to then-chief, the late Rich Jansen. (Star-Observer archives)4 / 5
Wally Gregerson, left, and Hattie Wagner, another longtime North Hudson resident, judged pies at the centennial celebration held in June 2012.5 / 5

Former Village President and longtime North Hudson resident Wally Gregerson, 84, died Saturday, Feb. 22, at his home.

Gregerson served as village president from 1977 to 1991 and was a trustee for many years before that. He was also very active in the community. His passion was doing everything possible to make the North Hudson Pepper Festival a success each year.

He served on Pepper Fest board of directors, and was always equipped to be the on-site handyman. Since he lived close to Pepper Fest Park, visitors would often see Wally running from one issue to another in his blue work shirt and utility belt to deal with issues throughout the festive weekend.

Gregerson operated Friendly Valley Appliance out of his home from 1969 until he sold the business in 2006.

Current Village President Stan Wekkin said the flag at the Village Hall will fly at half staff through this weekend.

“This is a big loss for the village,” Wekkin said. “He is a North Hudson icon. His volunteer and community spirit was second to none. Fortunately he has passed that same spirit on to his children.”

Wekkin said that his parents and family used Gregerson’s appliance service for decades.

“I’ve known Wally most of my life,” he said. “I remember his being an usher at St. Patrick Church and I’ve worked with him closely on Pepper Fest activities. It’s a sad day. He will be truly missed.”

Former village president and current trustee George Klein also had kind words for Gregerson.

“What do you say about Wally?” Klein speculated. “He was not only a friend to many, many people, but also a friend of the village.

“You would see Wally at every function.”

Klein said he visited Gregerson recently at his home.

“He had so many friends,” Klein said. “He was not only a gentleman, but a true friend to his community -- he was part of our community.”

North Hudson Police Chief Mark Richert said he always appreciated the matter of fact manner with which Gregerson would give advice or provide information.

“He stopped in my office shortly after I was promoted and congratulated me, which was followed by a statement I will never forget -- ‘Don’t screw this up. People count on you.’” Richert said. “Short and to the point -- that was Wally.”

Gregerson was born March 4, 1929, in Martell, but later moved to Hudson and graduated from Hudson High School in 1947. In 1949 he enlisted in the Armed Forces and served in the United Sates Air Force during the Korean War. On Aug. 7, 1954, he married his wife Bernadine (Trudell). The couple had five children.

He is survived by his wife Bernie and children Debra (Dan) Copeland, Greg (Terri) Gregerson, Pam Campion, Mary Gregerson and Carl Gregerson.

A mass of Christian Burial is 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the Hudson VFW and American Legion Posts. Visitation is Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, and one hour prior to the mass at church.

Doug Stohlberg

Doug Stohlberg has been part of the Hudson Star-Observer since 1973 and has been editor since 1987. He worked at the New Richmond News from 1971 to 1973. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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