Bernice Rose Peterson, 87, of Havre, was called home to be with her Lord and Savior Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. In accordance with Bernice’s wishes, cremation has taken place, and a memorial service will take place at St. Jude Thaddeus Catholic Church at 1 p. m., Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, with Father Dan Wathen officiating.
The family plans a reception following the service at St. Jude’s Parish Center. Her ashes will be placed next to her loving husband in Highland Cemetery in a private family ceremony. Memorials in Bernice’s honor can be made to Northern Montana Care Center Chapel Fund. Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements.
Bernice was born on Oct. 28, 1924, in Harlem, Mont., to Irv and Lucy (O’Brien) Fitzsimmons. She spent her childhood on the family ranch near Savoy, Mont. Bernice graduated from Harlem High School in 1942. She married Francis (Pete) Peterson on Aug. 28, 1942. The couple spent a brief time in Whitefish, Mont., and later in Idaho Falls, Idaho, but spent most of their lives in Havre. To this union five children were born; Rosie, Frank, Sheila, Gary and Mike.
Bernice was a sweet, kind and gentle lady and a good friend to many. Among her closest friends were Rita Mapes, Betty Kuntz and Mary Lou Golden. She truly never met a person she didn’t like. She was a wife and homemaker, not only for her own family, but other family members who lived with her through her life, including her father-in-law and nephew., Later she was a caregiver for her mother for nine years and her husband during his last years with Parkinson’s. Her family was her pride and joy.
In her early years, she enjoyed bowling and camping, and loved board games and games on her computer. She was a member of TOPS for 20 years. She loved baking and yard work and keeping up her home, and in her last years, Sunday dinners with family that daughter-in-law Connie prepared. Her last several months at the Care Center were special, filled with bingo, activities and friends.
Bernice was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 60 years, Pete; her daughter, Sheila Otterstrom; her parents, Irv and Lucy; brothers, Paul, Jack and Ted; and sister; Lois.
She is survived by her children, Rosie (Pat) Tierney, Frank (Connie) Peterson, Gary (Robin) Peterson all of Havre, and Mike (Laura) Peterson of Beaver Dam, Wis., and her son-in-law, Craig Otterstrom of Havre; her sisters, Irene Gilbert of Great Falls, Mont., Mary (Tom) Sanford of Helena, Mont., and Jan Clawsen of Tucson, Ariz. ; sisters-in-law, Charlotte Hargrave of Enumclaw, Wash., and Joan Fitzsimmons of Center, N.D. ; eleven grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren. She was also close to several nieces and nephews.