Jo Peterson, 94, died on Nov. 26, 2007, in Bozeman.
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Josephine "Jo" Margaret Bean was born on Oct. 25, 1913, to Frank and Lois Bean in Lewis, Iowa. She was later joined by brother, Richard "Dick." As the daughter of a Methodist minister, she grew up in parsonages in Maxwell, Mt. Ayr, and Chariton before graduating from Clarinda High School in 1931. Some of Jo's fondest childhood memories were of summers spent with her cousins at Idlewild, her grandparents' home.
In 1935, Jo graduated from Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa. She taught high school English and speech and served as high school principal in Napier and Sidney, Iowa. While teaching at Napier, she met Vernon "(Pete" Peterson, a local farmer, and they were married in 1940 and farmed west of Napier until retirement. They were married for nearly 57 years until his death in 1997.
For many years Jo focused on raising their two daughters, Judy and Mary. In 1957 she returned to teaching at United Community and taught junior high social studies and language arts for 21 years. While teaching she continued her education, completing the equivalent of a master's degree.
Jo and Pete built a retirement home in Boone, Iowa, in 1978 and became involved in numerous volunteer activities such as guiding at Mamie Eisenhower's birthplace. She was active in the United Methodist Church throughout her life and was a 73-year member of P.E.O. In 1993, they moved to Wesley Grand in Des Moines, and following Pete's death, Jo moved to Bozeman in 2000 to be near family.
Jo was a gracious woman who viewed every situation with optimism. She was a witty storyteller, a strong advocate for education, and a cancer survivor. An avid reader, she always had a book nearby. Jo and Pete loved to travel, and visited 48 states and several European countries together. During a trip to the Soviet Union in 1974 they developed a lifelong friendship with their guide, and hosted her and her daughter in the U.S. in 1990.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her brother, and an infant son, James.
Jo is survived by her daughters, Judy Shaffer (Jim) of Summerfield, Fla., and Mary Pohl (Dick) of Bozeman; granddaughters, Jennifer (Matt) Koozer of Portland, Ore., Kelly Pohl (Bryan Gartland) of Bozeman; and one great-grandson, Boone Koozer.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at Bozeman United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Bozeman United Methodist Church, 121 S. Willson Ave., Bozeman 59715; or to Bozeman Deaconess Hospice, 931 Highland Blvd. Suite 3200, Bozeman 59715.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 28, 2007