Joan Peterson

  • "This is my farewell to Aunt Joan since I can't be there in..."
    - Philip Shevory
  • "What a beautiful tribute to a most remarkable lady. Joan..."
    - Pat Young
  • "Thank You for being my Aunt"
    - Philip Shevory

Joan Leah Peterson

Joan Leah Peterson of Albuquerque, N.M. passed away peaceably at home in the early morning of February 16, 2018 after a valiant struggle against cancer. She is survived by her husband, Jon Peterson of Albuquerque; daughters, Kristin Peterson and her partner, Mark Summer of Nairobi, Kenya, Kara Peterson and son-in-law, Dion Gallant of Tijeras, NM; granddaughter, Sophia Gallant; and grandson, Theodore Gallant, both of Tijeras, NM; and a sister, Colleen Hansen of Maple Plain, MN. Joan was born on September 7, 1931 in Bricelyn, Minnesota, a small farming community in southern Minnesota. Her parents were Alfred and Agnes Halvorson. She grew up and attended school in Bricelyn, was very active in school activities as a cheerleader and band majorette, played in the band, attended Minnesota Girl's State, and represented the community as the first Miss Bricelyn in 1949. She was also active in the Bricelyn Lutheran Church. After graduating from high school, Joan began nurse's training at the Naeve Hospital in Albert Lea, Minnesota, receiving her RN certificate in 1953. After receiving her certificate she worked as a nurse mostly in surgeries in several locations including Los Angeles, California and Thomasville, Georgia. She returned to Minnesota and settled on Psychiatry as her primary specialty. She was working as the nurse in charge of the Child Psychiatric Ward at the University of Minnesota Hospital when she met Jon who was working there as a part-time orderly while attending school. They were married in November 1959. They lived in Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C. initially, moving as a result of transfers, first to Garland, Texas for a year, then permanently and with pleasure to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Joan and Jon were living proof of the old adage that you can tell the difference between a Norwegian and a Swede because a Norwegian will talk with strangers. Joan, the Norwegian, was one of the friendliest of people. She interacted with anyone standing in a line, clerks, medical aides, and anyone seated next to her. Indeed, passengers have followed her after getting off a plane in order to fill in details of their family history. Full of energy, Joan would usually be the first to volunteer for work and always performed the tough tasks first. Losing that energy was for Joan the most frustrating part of her decline, but she never complained.

Joan was a long-term member of Sanado Woman's club and served in most offices including President. She loved playing bridge, gardening, puzzles, reading at a sustained rate of two to three books a week, breakfast and luncheons with friends, and watching sports, especially baseball, college basketball, and her favorite Minnesota Vikings. Over the years, Joan often singlehandedly hosted buffet dinners in their home for Jon's visitors from around the world. A typical guest list might include engineers from five or six different countries with a complete mix of diets, religions, ideologies, and cultures. She managed these parties without creating a single international crisis and was always an excellent example of what a smart, hard-working American wife can accomplish. Joan was forever unafraid, independent and positive, and she instilled the same enthusiasm and independence in her daughters who have both established successful careers in the field of science and technology. Joan was a very warm and caring person, a wonderful wife and mother and friend who will be deeply missed by her family. Somewhere in time, perhaps we can be together again. A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, February 25, 2018, 1:00 p.m. at FRENCH â€" Lomas. Please visit our online guestbook for Joan at

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Feb. 22, 2018