Obituary: Mary Peterson
Mary was born 90 years ago on May 28, 1926 to Frank and Mary (Judish) Popish. She entered the gates of heaven during the early morning hours on April 11, 2017. Born in Globeville (Denver) where she was raised in the Catholic faith while attending Our Lady of Grace church and was taught by the nuns. She graduated at the early age of 16 during the onset of World War II in 1942. Accompanied by her parents she moved to Portland, Ore., where she worked at a cannery and then landed a position with the Union Pacific Railroad working at the train depot.
Portland is where she met and married her next door neighbor Vern Everett Peterson in 1946. They honeymooned in Cannon Beach, Ore. Returning to Denver after the war accompanied by her parents and in-laws seven years later she gave birth to her 2nd daughter Bonnie (Brown) and then another seven years later to Philip Peterson.
During this time she began her lifetime career working for the United States Department of Defense at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, she was a contract administrator and received many certificates for the her many accomplishments.
It was during that time she and her husband purchased property in Grand Lake and built a summer cabin with the help of her parents in 1957. They were the first to build in the division known as Villa Harbor Estates on the shores of Shadow Mountain Lake. In 1962 she transferred to the D.O.D. in Santa Ana, Calif., where she enjoyed their beautiful home in Yorba Linda. She had a palm tree in her front yard as well as many tropical flowers and vegetation and was surrounded by lush orange and avocado groves. They never forgot their little cabin in the woods and would return each summer for vacations for many years.
After her retirement of 20 years’ service in 1973 they moved to Lake Elsinore, Calif., where she worked in catalog sales for Sears another five years. During this time, they enjoyed their boat in Dana Point harbor and took trips over to Catalina Island while harvesting lobsters.
She moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, full-time in 1992 and then obtained her property and home in Hayden, Idaho.
Mary was an avid needle-arts enthusiast, artist, gardener and avid coupon clipper and above all a great cook. Mary also liked to whistle and had a great voice. She loved going to Bingo and wheeling around in her little cart (buying it from the proceeds of a win at bingo). An avid baseball fan Mary enjoyed her Mariners games. She couldn’t wait till April 1st opening season this year to watch her favorite team. Only this year she didn’t recognize many of her familiar players not because of her keen wit but most had moved on. For many years she knew all the players names numbers and positions. Then there was the Seahawks she had pajamas that matched their colors and always rooted them on. She never forgot her Broncos.
She is survived by her children Bonnie Brown and Philip Peterson, (Hayden, Idaho) – seven grandchildren, including Sebastian “Cody” Vass and Molly M. Brown. She leaves many nieces, nephews and other cousins and relatives throughout Colorado.
She was loved by many and lived a rich and full life with many experiences giving of herself in so many ways.
She was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Mary Popish, her brothers, a son-in-laws: JJ William Brown III (Cordova, Tenn.) and her first-born grandson Paul Peterson (Lake Elsinore, Calif.).
She was hanging on in the end in anticipation of her daughters memoir detailing her relationship with her now famous granddaughter Jennifer Shrader Lawrence Molly Brown to her. She couldn’t wait for it to be published and is gathered now in heaven with her Molly’s father and angels all anticipating the final chapters.
At Mary’s request there will be no services at this time and wishes a celebration of life to be held after the restoration of her beloved cabin in the woods in Grand Lake also her final resting place.
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A surge of car thefts and break-ins across Grand County have police reminding people to lock their cars, remove valuables and not leave the keys in the car.