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Former Lake Country Echo golf writer dies

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D. Donald Peddie, a former executive at the Star Tribune and Bush Leadership Fellows Program, died Wednesday, March 13, of congestive heart failure.

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Peddie, 93, was passionate about golf, bridge, Harvard athletics and his family, not necessarily in that order. A long-time resident of Edina, he had a lifelong love of northern Minnesota.

After his retirement, Peddie wrote a golf column for the Lake Country Echo newspaper in Pequot Lakes for more than a dozen years. Though not a trained journalism, he reveled in reporting and writing golf stories for the region. His column, called “Rub of the Green” included an annual report on total rounds played at lakes area golf courses.

In a 2008 story, Peddie said some of his favorite area golf contacts were Fred Boos (Grand View Resort), Jim Madden (Madden’s Resort) and Dave Gravdahl and Bob Spizzo (Breezy Point Resort).

Peddie graduated from the Blake School in 1937 and went on to graduate from Harvard University in 1941. A member of the university’s golf team, he was offered a spot on the pro tour. He decided that a career in business would be more stable and earned his M.B.A. from Harvard in 1943.

Attending Harvard transformed his view of the world, and Peddie spent the rest of his life sharing his passion for Harvard with students. He recruited hundreds of high school athletes for Harvard. To do so, he attended countless high school sporting events, collecting game statistics and the all-important S.A.T. scores of athletes to send on to Harvard coaches. He’d type his recruiting reports on 3-by-5 cards.

Longtime friend Bill Cleary, a hockey Olympian and former Harvard athletic director, called them “Peddiegrams.”

While in college, he met his wife, Betty Bell, at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass. They were married in 1943 and remained married until her death in 1991.

After serving in the Army during World War II, Peddie returned to Minneapolis to work for Minneapolis Moline, which later became 3M. He next went to work for the Minneapolis Star Tribune as its personnel director for roughly 25 years.

Peddie then became program director for the Bush Leadership Program, a program that was ground-breaking at the time in providing mid-career sabbaticals for people in all sorts of professional fields to develop themselves as leaders.

In 1996, Peddie married Betty Howe, who died in 2009. His oldest daughter, Donna, died of cancer in 1982.

“Despite those tragedies, he always retained his buoyancy and zest for living,” said his daughter, Sandra Peddie, of Huntington, N.Y.

“He was very much a Minnesotan -- stoic about life’s setbacks, not one to complain,” she said.

In addition to Sandra, Peddie is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Monica and Thomas Cooner of Minneapolis, and son-in-law, David Van Wie of Prior Lake.

The service was Monday, March 18, in Edina.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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