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Jean I. Peterson

Jean I. Peterson Aug. 28, 1923 - Sept. 22, 2013

WILLMAR - Jean I. Peterson, age 90, of Willmar, died Thursday morning, September 19, at the Bethesda Heritage Center Nursing Home in Willmar.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Sunday, September 22, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar. Interment will be at Union Cemetery in Atwater. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. (

Jean Irene Peterson was born in Litchfield, Minnesota, on August 28, 1923, to Martin and Lillian (Anderson) Peterson. Her school years were spent in Atwater, where she graduated from high school in 1941. In 1942, Jean attended the American Business School in Minneapolis. In 1943, following business school, Jean worked in the Social Security Office in Washington, D.C. In 1944, she worked at the Pentagon. The following year found Jean in Ogden, Utah, at another government job. By 1946, Jean came back to Atwater, where she held a job as a bookkeeper.

On January 17, 1947, Jean was united in marriage to Cameron Peterson. They made their home in Atwater. In 1949, their daughter, Mary, was born. In 1953, the Peterson family moved to Willmar, where their son, Jim, was born.

Jean held secretarial jobs in Willmar, but only accepted a job that would allow her to be with her children before and after school and during the summer. In her retirement, Jean loved to travel and her journeys took her all over the United States, as well as Europe, Africa, and Asia. Volunteering was very important in Jeans life. She volunteered at Willmar Area Food Shelf, worked on many committees at Bethel Lutheran Church, and spent many years volunteering at the Salvation Army. She and her husband, Cameron, were honored for their volunteer work by being named "WCCOs Good Neighbors". But Jeans greatest love was her family. Holidays and birthdays were special events in her household, celebrated with a beautifully set table and special meals. When her grandchildren, Kari and Greg, were born, Jean devoted her time to being the best Grandma ever. On January 22, 2011, a great-granddaughter, Kira Jean, was born. Oh, how she loved that little girl!

Jean is survived by two children: Mary (and Ronald) Lykins of Mora and James Peterson of Willmar; two grandchildren, Greg Lykins of Lutsen and Kari (and Kris) Lippo of Forreston; a great-granddaughter, Kira Jean Lippo; a brother: Gerald Peterson of Covina, CA; a sister, Leone Kragenbring of Seattle, WA; and other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband: Cameron Peterson in 1991.