Iona Peterson Reiver
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Iona Peterson Reiver

AGE: 97 • Wilmington, Del.

Iona Peterson Reiver, age 97, of Wilmington, died January 18, 2017 following a short illness.

She was the fifth of six children born to Andrew and Agda Peterson, Swedish immigrants. She was raised on the family farm in Bridgeville, DE, where she attended school in a one-room schoolhouse. She attended University of Delaware (initially Women's College) on an academic scholarship, graduating in 1941.

During her freshman year, Julius Reiver, a senior and campus VIP, caught her eye. She invited him to the Sadie Hawkins dance, and he accepted, sparking a lifelong romance. As Iona put it, "we just continued dancing down the years." They were married three days after her college graduation. While Jules served in the Army and fought overseas during WW II, Iona was raising two small children in their Wilmington home. Two more children were born after his return home.

She designed their simple north Wilmington home with a "great room" unusual for its time, promoting family interaction. Iona encouraged Jules and their children to explore, read, learn, develop their interests and hobbies, be playful, and engage life fully with strength, understanding, and humor. An inveterate punster, she encouraged this unfortunate trait in her children. The family home was a gathering spot for her children and their friends, often having a clubhouse atmosphere. Among Iona's papers she left a note with her credo: "A well kept house is the sign of a misspent life." She faced teenage rebellion and spats with equanimity and accepted tremendous losses philosophically. Despite life's challenges she fondly recalled that their family life was never dull. Iona maintained her interests and independence throughout her life.

Iona was central to the lives of her children and grandchildren, nephews and nieces, and also remained close to family friends whose children and grandchildren she treated as her own. She was a loving inspiration, steady influence, and role model to all.

Iona was predeceased by her husband, Julius Reiver; son, Daniel L. Reiver; grandson, William McCurdy DeMarino; five siblings, three sisters-in-law; two nephews and one niece. She is survived by her brother-in-law, Ernie Reiver, of Wilmington; three children: son A. Ted Reiver and wife Ann, of Wilmington; daughter Joanna Reiver and husband Arnold "Skip" Rosoff, of Wilmington; daughter, Betsy DeMarino Weisbrod and husband Ed Weisbrod, of West Chester, PA; four grandchildren: Pamela R. Marts and husband Doug Marts of Pennsville, NJ; Amelia R, Schlusser and husband Doug Sheldon of Portland, OR; Daniel R. Schlusser of Kennett Square, PA; Alex R. DeMarino and wife Noelle Rose DeMarino of West Chester, PA; two great-grandchildren, Carter Marts and Blake Marts; six step-grandchildren; and 18 nephews and nieces.

Friends and family may visit from 2 to 3 pm on Sunday February 12, 2017 at the Chandler Funeral Home, 2506 Concord Pike, Wilmington where a Celebration of Life will begin at 3 pm followed by a reception. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to your favorite charity.

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Published in The News Journal from Jan. 29 to Jan. 31, 2017.
02:00 - 03:00 PM
Celebration of Life
03:00 PM
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11 entries
March 6, 2017
My family was so sad to hear of Mrs. Reiver's passing. She truly touched so many in such a positive way. My memories of visits to the Reivers' home as a child are still filled with brothers and I always knew the visits would be filled with hands-on fun and exploration. And years later, my son, Matthew, experienced similar experiences while visiting the Reivers' with his grandmother. Mrs. Reiver was always the same person-caring, attentive, happy.
She was the kind of person who always made you feel welcome in her home and happy to be in her company. She will be sorely missed.
Jeff White
Family Friend
February 12, 2017
Dear Friends, I recently received word of your Mom's passing. I am proud and happy to have known her. Happy because she was always such a pleasant person to be around. Proud because she entrusted Shirlee and I with her home and most importantly with her 4 children, for weeks! She will be missed. God rest her soul.
Ron Clark
Family Friend
February 8, 2017
Joanna, Ted and family, I am are truly sorry to hear about your loss. Your Mom was a great lady and she will be truly missed and always be remembered. Kind thoughts, Bud
Bud Duncan
February 6, 2017
Dear PID Ted

Our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family on the passing
of your beloved mother.
We will remember her in our prayers.

Yours sincerely
PID Charlie & Dora Chan
Charlie Chan
February 5, 2017
Dear PID Reiver,

We were very sorry to hear about the recent terribly sad loss of your dear mother.
We know she will be sorely missed.

Please accept our deepest condolences at this most difficult time.

We will keep your family in our prayers.

Yours sincerely,

PID Somsakdi and Somran Lovisuth
Lions Club of Bangkok Cosmopolitan
Somsakdi Lovisuth
February 4, 2017
Ted, My condolences on the passing of your mother. See seemed like a wonderful woman.

Gene Vogel
Gene Vogel
February 2, 2017
Iona was a lovely and gracious woman totally devoted to her family and community. Few will equal her. My sincere condolences to the extended Reiver family.
Julian Leidman
February 2, 2017

We are sorry for the loss of your Mother. I am sorry I never met her because it seems she was a good friend to all. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the Family.
Eileen DiFelice
February 1, 2017
Aunt Iona was a loving aunt, who worried about us all. She made sure my Mother went to my wedding. She made sure I was taken care of when I had polio.
Iloved her very much.
Larry Spanish
January 31, 2017
Joanna, my sincerest condolences upon the death of your Mother. She must have been one fine lady!
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Norma Zumsteg
January 31, 2017
She was such a loving Aunt and I loved taking my Dad to visit her and then visiting her after his passing. She loved outdoor flowers and family. She was truly a beautiful person who was so kind. I will miss her so much but know that she is at peace. She lived a very long life - 97 1/2 years. My sympathy to her family.
Susan Klecan
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