Jean Mae Peterson, 98, passed away peacefully on June 9, 2023 at the Wakonda Heritage Manor with her family at her side. Jean Mae Larson, the only child of Jeppe and Viola (Johnson) Larson, was born on December 13, 1924 on the family farm southeast of Wakonda. She attended rural Bluff Center School for 8 years and graduated from Wakonda High School in 1943, where she enjoyed being a cheerleader and carnival queen. She received her teaching certificate from USD at Vermillion and taught school in Volin two and one-half years.
On Christmas Eve in 1945, Jean Mae married her high school sweetheart, Dale Peterson, at the Methodist parsonage in Wakonda. After Dale’s discharge from the navy in 1946, they started their farm life west of Wakonda with his dad. In 1949 they moved to the present family farm northeast of Wakonda. Jean Mae and Dale loved the farm life. They had almost every kind of farm animal that you could think of, including many exotic birds. They also had a pair of draft horses and built a covered wagon to travel with the State Centennial Wagon Train in 1989. She was blessed with 3 sons to share her love of the farm. Dale and Jean Mae lived their dream on their farm for 62 years until he passed away in 2008. She then moved to Viborg for a short time, and spent the last 13 years at the Heritage Manor in Wakonda.
Jean Mae was a lifelong member of the Wakonda United Methodist Church, where she was active the United Methodist Women and Ruth Circle. She was a proud member of the Wakonda American Legion Auxiliary and recently received her 70 year certificate. She was also an officer of the PTA, Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, Cub Scout Den Mother, a member of the BMJ Extension Club, and a charter member of the Wakonda Heritage Manor Auxiliary. Jean Mae and Dale were instrumental in bringing the Heritage Manor into a reality in 1979. She even stained all of the doors and woodwork in the new building.
Most of all Jean Mae was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great gramma. She truly enjoyed visits from her family, holiday get-togethers, and almost never missed contacting each one of them on their birthday.
Jean Mae is survived by her three sons, Ron (Celia) Peterson of Wakonda, Rick (Debbie) Peterson of Vermillion, and Donnie (Carol) Peterson of Wakonda. Grandchildren, Josh Peterson (Patti Lyon) of Sioux Falls, Laura (Chad) Gloege of Brookings, Heather (Cameron) Will of Tea, Barry (Lindsay) Peterson of Vermillion, Heidi (Barry) Brown of Tea, and Greg Peterson of Wakonda. Great grandchildren, Donovan and Trevor Gloege, Matt and Mike Lyon, Benjamin, Sylvia Mae and Theodore Will, Tessa, Ajay and Ally Peterson, and Kyla, Carter and Camille Brown, great-great grandson, Rowan Lyon, sister-in-law Ilene Peterson and many nieces and nephews
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Dale in 2008, numerous in-laws and one nephew. Blessed be her memory.
Funeral Services will be at 10:30 AM on Thursday, June 15, 2023 at the Wakonda United Methodist Church with visitation from 9:30 to 10:30 AM prior to the service.
Memorials may be directed to the Wakonda United Methodist Church or the Union Cemetery.