Funeral services for Leona M. Peterson, 89, were held for on Jan. 15, 2010 in Fair Oaks, Calif. Internment was at Sylvan Cemetery in Citrus Heights, Calif. Casket bearers were her grandsons: Paul and Steve Spiegel, Erik and Shawn Johnson, Tyler and Corey Peterson, Jason Beck and Randy Freeman.
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On Dec. 24, 1920 Leona was born on the family farm southwest of Audubon. She was the daughter of Joseph Bernhard Elmquist, an immigrant from Sweden, and Louise Riesgaard whose ancestors came to America from Denmark. She died at the age of 89 years on Jan. 12, 2010 at her home in Orangevale, Calif..
Leona attended rural school at Sharon Township #1. On Dec. 24, 1935 she married Merlyn Peterson at the parsonage of Bethany Lutheran Church northeast of Kimballton. Together they lived on several farms in Audubon County for twenty-one years before moving to Kimballton for one year. In 1957 they moved to Burbank, Calif. and then to Orangevale, Calif. in 1978.
She attended Bethany Lutheran Church in her childhood. She was also a member of Village Church of Burbank, Calif. where she was baptized in 1976, and later she became a member of Sunrise Community Church in Fair Oaks, Calif. She is remembered for her strong faith and her deep love for family. She also enjoyed crocheting and was known for being a very good cook. She always loved returning to Iowa to visit her extended family and friends.
Leona was the youngest of twelve children. Preceding her in death were her parents; her brothers Chris, Bernhard (Bennie), Elvin, Otto, Arlo and Leo Elmquist; her sister Elsie Andersen, and two siblings Myrtle and Harvey who died as infants.
Survivors include her husband of seventy-four years, Merlyn; sisters Mabel Riley of Otho, Iowa and Elvina Nelsen of Sun City Ariz.; three daughters: Barbara and husband Richard Beck of Citrus Heights, Calif; Sondra and husband Alan Thomson of Antioch, Calif.; Judy and husband Ken Johnson of El Dorado Hills, Calif.; a son: Galen and wife Dawn Peterson of Concord, Calif.; twelve grandchildren, twenty-six great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Feb. 5 to Feb. 12, 2010