MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — She was a State Fair staple for decades at Peter’s Hot Dog stands. Sadly, Ethel Peters lost her fight with COVID-19 this spring at the age of 87.

“She was born on Nov. 5 in 1932 in Cologne, Minnesota,” Her oldest daughter, LuAnn McArdell, said of her mother.

From the family farm, Ethel Peters met her match in high school and married into a family state fairgoers know well.

“My dad started working out there when he was 10 years old,” McArdell said.

Peter’s Hot Dog stand started as a promotion for the meat company 80 years ago — back when their dogs sold for 10 cents apiece and they’d power through 12,000 pounds.

“That’s a lot of hot dogs,” McArdell joked.

The two stands are now in their sixth generation at the Minnesota State Fair.

“It’s like a big family reunion come fair time to see a lot of the people you don’t see except for at the fair,” McArdell said.

Known for her smile and selflessness, Ethel spent her days outside of the fair working as a medical tech and raising four girls.

“She had a lot of interests. Loved to play cards, loved to play bridge, was a wonderful golfer,” McArdell said.

Ethel lost her husband five years ago. In February, she had moved into a senior living facility in Arizona. Just one month later, Ethel ran a high fever and struggled to breathe.

“That was on a Friday and by Monday they put her on a respirator and by Wednesday she was gone,” McArdell said.

“Lynn called us all on her cell phone so we all got to say our goodbyes,” she added, choking up.

Ethel died on April 8 from COVID-19. Her family still doesn’t know where she caught it.

“People need to take it seriously, because it’s not a joke,” she said.

Ethel’s family will hold a small memorial service for her in Cologne next month on the date of their parents wedding anniversary.

Liz Collin