Joan Peterson passed peacefully Dec. 29, 2012. She was born Aug. 6, 1934 in Okemah, Okla. to Tom and Orda Martin. She lived there until 1942 when they moved to Las Cruces, N.M. where her father owned and operated a tourist court on West Picacho. Joan went to Court Junior High and graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1953. She attended New Mexico A&M (New Mexico State University) for 1 year before enrolling in Browning Business School in Albuquerque, N.M. where she graduated with a Machine Shorthand Certificate in 1955. Joan met her future husband F.G. "Buddy" Peterson at the Baptist Student Union on Senior Day at New Mexico A&M in the spring of 1953. They married on Sept. 17, 1955 at the First Baptist Church in Las Cruces. Joan accompanied Buddy to Virginia where he entered the Army Corps of Engineers. During the next 23 years they were stationed at 23 military facilities over the United States, including Alaska, and abroad traveling to Libya, North Africa and The Netherlands. Joan maintained their home in Las Cruces when Buddy was stationed in Thailand in 1963 and during his two tours in Vietnam in 1966 and 1969. Upon Buddy's retirement in 1978, Joan was his partner as he embarked upon his second career for the next 26 years in real estate. She was his constant travel companion following him to state and national Realtor conventions and was known as his American Express wife as he never left home without her! Joan loved to travel and missed her calling as a travel agent but still managed to arrange trips for family and friends when asked. She had a special fondness for the Hawaiian Islands and was introduced to them when she would meet Buddy there while he was on R & R from Vietnam. Joan is preceded in death by her mother - Orda Martin in 1978, father - Tom Martin in 1992, sister - Jerean Archer in 2008 and her grandson- Christopher Bales in 2010. She is survived by her husband Buddy, son Robby and his soulmate Heidi, daughter Becky and her husband Pete and granddaughters Sara Bales, Alexandra and Cassidy Peterson and Anna and Sara Rose Smith. A private burial will be conducted at Fort Bliss National Cemetery on Monday, Jan. 7, 2012. A public service will be conducted by Dr. Hollingsworth at First Baptist Church in Las Cruces on Saturday, Jan. 5,2012 at 2:30 p.m. The family would like to thank Mark from Getz Funeral Home for his invaluable assistance during this trying time. They also request that donations be made to the Baptist Student Union at New Mexico State University in lieu of flowers.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Jan. 3, 2013