Margaret Anne Peterson Minter passed away peacefully at the home of her lifelong friend, the late Shirley Fales, in Douglas, Ga., on Monday, Dec. 24, 2012.
She was cared for lovingly in her last days by Bethany Hospice and Cathy Wallace, Jessie Paulk and Doris Deleon.
She was a member of Lone Hill United Methodist Church.
She was predeceased by her parents, Daniel Tilden Peterson and Bertie Estelle Parker Peterson; her spouse, Jerry Minter; her brothers and their wives, Luke and Virginia Batten Peterson, and Tom and Nadine Peterson; and her sister, Nell Peterson Jardine. She also survived her special aunt, Nettie, and other aunts and uncles; her niece, Linda Peterson Johnson and Wayne Johnson; her nephews, Jimmy and Jeff Jardine; and her stepdaughter, Linda Minter. Many lifetime friends and cousins also predeceased her.
She is survived by her sons and their families, Christopher Stearns and Kathryn West, Dalton, Ga., Jonathan, Lisa, Alessandra and Christina Stearns, New York, N.Y., and Michael, Patricia, and Alexander Minter, Bowling Green, Ky.; and stepsons, Paul Minter and Steve Minter and their families.
Richard Peterson and Beth Peterson Sumner, her nephew and niece, and their families were also very close to her heart. Danielle and Anna Marie Sumner were, according to her, her "Georgia granddaughters." She also leaves many dear nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
She was born Nov. 19, 1928, at home in Huffer, Ga. She was the eldest of four children and attended West Green School and Douglas High School, where she was salutatorian for her class. She earned an A.S. from South Georgia College in Douglas, a B.S. in chemistry from Women's College of Georgia in Milledgeville, Ga., and an M.A. in microbiology from Duke University. Her doctorate was earned from the University of Tennessee. She was a brilliant student and spent her career in education.
After living in England for several years, in the early 1960s she returned to the States and joined the faculty of Columbus College in Columbus, Ga., as associate professor and head of the Chemistry Department. While continuing to purse advanced degrees, she later moved her family to Oak Ridge to work on a fellowship with Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In 1970, she married Jerry Minter, a physicist at the laboratory, and their families joined together. In 1971, she and 11 other educators joined the staff of the new Roane State Community College, and she served as head of the Mathematics and Science Division until her retirement at age of 60 as professor emeritus of chemistry. Upon retirement, she returned home to Douglas.
Some of the more remarkable career achievements during her life include various scholarships and fellowships, the Distinguished Professor Award at Columbus College in 1966, and the Southern Regional Award for 1975 from the Manufacturing Chemists Association, an award based on contribution to chemistry education. When Roane State Community College celebrated its 40th anniversary recently, the conference room of the Mathematics and Sciences Division was named in her honor. She was also proud of her retirement work of tutoring local students in chemistry and math. She served the Coffee Regional Medical Center Auxiliary for more than 23 years.
She was avid player of bridge and most likely held the Coffee County record for completing the New York Times crossword puzzle in the least amount of time. She loved to travel, a life hobby that was recently showcased in the "Coffee County Magazine." A voracious reader, she was a regular at the local library and loved sharing books with family and friends. The family therapy dog, Chester, was a favorite of hers.
In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to either Lone Hill United Methodist Church of Douglas, c/o Maggie Crosby, 4540 U.S. Hwy 221 N., Douglas, GA 31533; or the Coffee Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, c/o Coffee Regional Medical Center, 1101 Ocilla Road, Douglas, GA 31533.
The family received friends in Sims Funeral Home, Douglas, on Wednesday, Dec. 26. A memorial service to honor her is planned for Sunday, April 7, at Lone Hill United Methodist Church in Douglas, Ga. The church will conduct regular first Sunday services. The family will greet friends at 1 p.m., and the memorial service will begin at 1:30.