Mary “Jean” Peterson, 89, of Keokuk, Iowa, passed away on Friday, January 28, 2022 at Clarence Care Center in Clarence, Missouri.
Jean was born on February 7, 1932, in Springfield, Missouri, the daughter of William and Lucy Agnes (Ward) Freeborn. She graduated from Unionville High School and went on to attend Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in Kirksville. Jean was united in marriage to Wendell “Pete” Peterson on July 28, 1957 in Unionville, Missouri. He preceded her in death on October 26, 2013. Teaching was Jean’s passion, and she taught elementary school in Keokuk for more than thirty-four years.
Jean was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Keokuk, where she sang in the church choir. She was also a member of the Sweet Adelines, Keosippi Kickers, BPW and Red Hat Ladies. In her free time, Jean enjoyed solving crossword puzzles. She loved to dance and was known as “Dancin’ Jean” to family and friends. She was very social, loved to travel, and enjoyed wintering in Florida with her husband Pete. Jean had strong family ties and cared for others deeply. She was known as “Gigi” to the grandkids and great-grandkids and loved spending time with them.
Jean is survived by one daughter: Wendy (Roxanne Bercik) Peterson of Bend, Oregon; daughter-in-law: April Peterson of Shelbyville, Missouri; granddaughter: Nikki Peterson of Poteau, Oklahoma; step-grandchildren: Trey (Caroline), Tony (Madalynn) and Harlan (Arielle) Million; four step-great-grandchildren: Brady, Aizlynn, Zane and Lennox; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Jean is preceded in death by her parents, husband, son Michael Lee Peterson, and siblings Ruth Harris, Dorothy Leckbee and Jim Freeborn.
Funeral services will be held at DeJong-Greaves-Printy Funeral Home on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 11:00 am followed by a private family burial. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 10:30 to 11 am on Tuesday directly before the service. Memorial donations may be mailed to Trinity United Methodist Church (2330 Plank Rd Keokuk, IA 52632) or City of Christmas (PO Box 73 Keokuk, Iowa 52632).
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