Olga Shirley 'Babe’ Peterson, 97

Shirley Olga ‘Babe’ Peterson passed away Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, at the Elim Nursing Home in Watertown, MN, at the age of 97.

Born Sept. 7, 1918, in Sidney, MT, to Frances (Link) and Richard Hass. She lived at the Hass ranch until age five, when her family moved to Pleasant Valley near Sidney.

She attended junior college in Miles City, MT. During WWII she proudly did her part for the war effort by working at an aircraft plant in Helena, MT.

Shirley married Leroy “Pin” Peterson in Miles City, MT Dec. 29, 1945. They welcomed adopted son Kenneth into their family May of 1950. They lived several years in Montana and Colorado before retiring to Sun City West, AZ, in 1984.

Kenneth passed away in 1996, and Leroy in Nov. 2013. Shirley moved to a nursing home in Watertown, MN, in Feb. 2014, where she could receive the level of care she needed, and to be close to her niece and guardian, Ellen Schafer Loux.

Shirley embarked on her life-long interest in art at the age of 30, and enjoyed painting pictures and making note cards for the remainder of her life.

She leaves a wealth of artwork as her legacy, with many pieces cherished by family and friends.

Later in her life, Shirley started journaling so she could commit her experiences and thoughts to paper before her memories “took a powder.”

One of her profound statements in her journal included, “Living during the depression years was very trying, but very educational in many ways, and those years gave us the strength to live the past 90 years.”

Shirley maintained a loving relationship with her many nieces and nephews over the years.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Frances; husband, Leroy; son, Kenneth; brothers, Gordon, David, Rodney and Gerry; sister, Jane Lewis Landigreen; niece, Valerie; nephew, and Richard.

She is survived by her sister, Margaret Schafer of New Rockford, ND; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

She was a lifetime member of the nationwide professional sorority, Beta Sigma Phi.

The family wishes to express their gratitude to Ellen Loux for making Shirley’s final years comfortable and meaningful, and to the staff at Elim Nursing Home for their compassionate and loving care of Shirley.

Shirley’s life will be honored at a family service in New Rockford, ND, Dec. 27, 2015, 2 p.m. at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd. Interment will be at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis, MN, at a later date.

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