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Fern Maritha Hildegarde Peterson, 89, died on Monday, Oct. 28, 2002, at a Havre care center from natural causes following a lengthy illness.

Services will be conducted at 3 p.m. Friday at the First Lutheran Church in Havre. Interment will take place at the Silver Bow Cemetery at a later date.

She was born on Aug. 30, 1913, to John and Amanda Peterson of the Silver Bow community north of Hogeland. She attended elementary school at the Silver Bow School and high school in Harlem. She graduated from Harlem High School in 1931.

She dedicated herself to service within the Lutheran Church and initially took a position at the Montana State Orphans' Home in Twin Bridges. With the outbreak of World War II, she took a position in the defense industry before attending the Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis from which she graduated in 1946. She became a parish worker and served various congregations in North Dakota and California. She returned to Montana in 1959 and enrolled at Northern Montana College where she also served as a counselor to the Lutheran Students Association. Upon graduation from Northern, she embarked on a teaching career that she spent primarily in the Havre Public Schools from which she retired in 1975.

She devoted the remainder of her life to Christian education among young children. Failing eye sight forced her to abandon that work in 1999 and ultimately forced her into the care center in 2001.

She was preceded in death by her parents, six sisters, three brothers, one niece and four nephews.

Survivors include her sister-in-law, Eileen Peterson of Seattle; eight nephews; six nieces, including Glenda Cederberg of Stevensville, Fern K. Wilson of Sun River, and Virginia McCracken of Turner; several grandnieces and grandnephews; several great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews; and a host of friends and admirers.

Memorials may be sent to the First Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 303 Sixth Ave., Havre, MT 59501 or to the Northern Montana Care Center Chapel Fund.

Arrangements are by Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook.


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