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Kristin Marie Helmstetter Peterson

November 15, 1969 ~ July 19, 2020 (age 50)


Kristin Marie Helmstetter Peterson, born November 15, 1969 in Minneapolis, Minnesota; died on July 19, 2020 in Golden Valley, Minnesota following a 17-month battle with brain cancer (glioblastoma).

Kristin grew up in the house her parents CJ (“Pete”) and Gervaise (“Gerry”) Peterson had built for them, where Gerry still lives. She was the product of Wayzata Public Schools, where she danced on the state champion dance line and graduated in 1988, and Central Lutheran Church, which took her on mission trips to Appalachia and Texas. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Luther College in 1992, where she majored in Psychology and Anthropology--and met her future husband Craig Helmstetter.

The two married in 1994, and moved to Eugene, Oregon to attend graduate school. Kristin completed her PhD in School Psychology in 1999. In 1998 Kristin and Craig moved to the White Bear Lake area, while Kristin interned and then practiced school psychology in Pine City, Minnesota. In 2002 Kristin gave birth to Anders. In 2003 the family moved to Golden Valley where they have lived ever since. Bjorn was born in 2004. Kristin worked as a school psychologist at Meadow Lake Elementary in the Robbinsdale Area School District for 20 years.

Kristin loved the outdoors, exercising, traveling, and positive thinking. She hiked to the top of Oregon’s South Sister several times and loved to downhill ski at Lutsen and cross-country ski at Theodore Wirth Park and camp Widjiwagan near Ely. She ran 6 marathons and loved to take exercise classes at her local health club. She took her family on several vacations including trips to Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. And at every chance she reminded you that it was important to have 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative.

Kristin was preceded in death by her grandparents and father, Pete. She is survived by her husband, Craig, sons Anders Peterson and Bjorn Helmstetter; mother, Gervaise; Brother John, his wife Kristin, and son Wyatt; sisters-in-Law Lori Helmstetter and Judy Reaven; and a host of other relatives and friends. And her dog, Leo.

Memorial service on 11:00 a.m. on Friday July 24 to be live-streamed at (in-person participation restricted due to COVID-19) . 

Donations in honor of Kristin may be sent to University of Minnesota Brain Cancer Research Fund ( or Brain Cancer Research Fund in care of University of Minnesota Foundation, 200 Oak Street SE, Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55455-2010), Meadow Lake Elementary (, the Loppet Foundation (, or charity of your choosing.

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