Carolyn Peterson

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PETERSON, Carolyn H. Carolyn Margaret Henderson Peterson, 82, a resident of Milford, Connecticut, died Friday, June 17, 2011. Carolyn, daughter of John Robert Henderson, Sr. and Margaret F. Henderson, was born November 5, 1928, in Jackson, Missouri. In the early 1800's the Henderson family moved from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina to the northern part of Cape Girardeau County where they established the Apple Creek Presbyterian Church, one of the first Presbyterian churches west of the Mississippi River. Carolyn grew up in Jackson, Missouri where she attended public schools. She graduated from Ward-Belmont College, Nashville, Tennessee and Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois in 1950 with a B.S. English degree. Carolyn taught English at Maine Township High School, Park Ridge, Illinois before marrying Lt. J.G. (U.S.N.R.) C. Charles (Chuck) Peterson. They were stationed at Corpus Christi, Texas, Key West, Florida and Atlantic City, New Jersey before returning to Jackson, Missouri in 1954. Carolyn was named Outstanding Young Woman of Missouri by the Jaycees Junior Chamber of Commerce. Carolyn and her family were active members at the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Missouri. Carolyn was an advocate for childhood education and ran a pre-school offering stories, dancing, singing, and acrobatics for neighborhood children and later Carolyn's School of Dance with tap and ballet lessons for Jackson youth. Before moving to Milford, Connecticut in 1977, the Petersons enjoyed living in Jackson, Jefferson City, and St. Louis, Missouri, and Vienna, Virginia. Carolyn pursued her interest in dance throughout her life. She was also a 60-year member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood and was dedicated to the education of young women. Carolyn's membership at the First United Church of Christ Congregational in Milford, Connecticut was meaningful to her and she served on the Board of Deacons and the Emma Davis Medical Equipment Ministry. Carolyn was committed to sharing the history of her family roots in Missouri with the next generations. She was an avid reader and loved the outdoors and gardening in all seasons. She enjoyed meeting people on many travels with Chuck and welcoming visitors from around the world to the Peterson home. Carolyn will be remembered especially for her quiet sense of humor and a steadfast belief in the beauty of ordinary days. Carolyn was pre-deceased by her husband Chuck of 56 years in December 2007. Carolyn is survived by her brother, John Robert Henderson, Jr. of Fair Oaks, CA, and her children and their families - Robert Sinclair Peterson, wife Lydia and son Rob of Elgin, IL; daughters, Carol Jeannan Peterson of Bethesda, MD and Margaret Grace Peterson of Storrs, CT; son, Charles Clement Peterson and wife Katherine of New Haven, CT and daughter, Cara of Chapel-Hill, NC; and James Taylor Peterson and wife Christa of Hinesburg, VT. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, July 3, 2011, 2:00 PM, at Congregational Church in Milford. Memorial gifts may be made to the First United Church of Christ Congregational, Emma Davis Medical Equipment Ministry, 34 West Main Street, Milford, CT 06460 or the Apple Creek Presbyterian Church Memorial Association, C/O Mr. Jim Hope, Treasurer, 1115 Nell Green, Jackson, MO 63755. The Peterson family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to family and friends for the care and support extended to Carolyn over the past months.

Published in New Haven Register on June 26, 2011
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