Karl was born in Belvidere, Ill., on April 11, 1937 to Alice and Elmer Peterson, the fourth of five children. He married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Silvanus, in 1956. They had three children.
He ran the family farm until he decided to go into the construction business in 1968. In 1971, he and Ruth decided to move to Fort Collins, Colo., where he became a general contractor.
He and Ruth moved to Gunnison in 1981 and opened Drakewoods, a garage door and cabinet shop. Karl loved sports, especially golf. In his semiretirement, he was President of the Dos Rios Golf Club for two years. He was always very proud of his Swedish heritage.
He was preceded in death by Ruth and three of his four siblings. He is survived by children Mike, Ben (Jill), and Kathy Long (Ron), five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The family will have a private service.