Irma Regina Peterson


April 17, 1931 - March 3, 2015



Irma Regina Peterson was born April 17, 1931, on a farm near Badger SD in Kingsbury County to Walter Otto John and Therese (Kautz) Fenske. She was baptized May 3, 1931 and confirmed at the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Arlington SD. She graduated from Hetland High School in 1949 and from General Beadle Teachers College in Madison, SD with a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education. Her teaching career included teaching in rural schools in Brookings and Miner County. In Miner County she taught at Laketon District #37, Woodworth #1, Lone Rose, Burbank and Glee Lake District #36. She also taught at Edgerton Independent (Farmer school), Hanson Elementary (Alexandria) and Millbrook Colony School. After 40 years in elementary education, Irma retired in May 1999.

On August 12, 1951 she married Alvin Eugene Peterson at the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Arlington. They farmed in the Fedora area until Alvin’s health no longer permitted him to farm. In 1985 they moved to Mitchell.

She was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Mitchell, Women of the Moose, James Valley Senior Citizens and the Mitchell Palace Promenader’s Square Dance Club.

She is survived by her son, Alan Eugene and his wife, Jean, of Fort Pierre; her grandson, Adam Eugene and his wife, Denise Langley-Peterson of Pierre; foster great-granddaughters, Ariana and Isabela Cournoyer, step great-granddaughter, Dakota Smith and great-grandson, Denver Alan Gerald Peterson all of Pierre; sisters: Hilda Chapel, Greeley CO, Doris Gueck and husband, Dale, of West Minster CO, Selma “Sally” Crain and husband, Bill, of Knoxville TN, Mildred Fenske, of Knoxville, TN, Barbara Perschke and her husband, Fred Lueck, of Beaver Dam WI; brother, Dr. Arnold Fenske and wife, Alanna, Winona MN; sisters-in-law, Lorraine Butrum, of Garretson SD, Bonnie Peterson of Mitchell SD and Dolores Morrow and her husband, Bill of Punta Garda FL; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Alvin on March 22, 1991; her parents, two sisters: Ruth Ann Fenske in infancy and Edna Hu; her grandson, Eric Peterson in infancy and brothers-in-law: Jerry Chapel, Terry Perschke, Patrick Hu, Joseph Yarnell, Robert Butrum and Clair Peterson. 




Sunday, March 8, 2015
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Bittner Funeral Chapel
Prayer Service ~ 5:00 PM
805 West Havens
Mitchell, South Dakota


Monday, March 9, 2015
10:30 AM
First Lutheran Church
411 North Duff Street
Mitchell, South Dakota


Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Artesian, South Dakota

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Posted by Bob&Barb Lager-Miller,SD on March 8, 2015
Alan&family, Our condolences to you on Mom's passing. your parent's were great neighbors of our family and always willing to help when needed. Our thoughts & prayers are with you in this time of loss.
Posted by Jeff Iverson on March 7, 2015
I taught with your mom at the Farmer School. She was a great mentor and fabulous friend for many years. My condolences.
Posted by Cheryl Kelsey on March 6, 2015
I remember your Mom fondly from 4-H and all the community events in Fedora and Artesian. My condolences.
Posted by Lelia Guilbert on March 4, 2015
Wonderful friend, we had many great and goofy times together. We went to singles dances and were game to go to any dance most any distance. Irma loved meeting guests at my Bed & Breakfast and would offer to help do dishes as a way to meet people from all over the world. Irma enjoyed being in the passenger seat whenever i was off on a new adventure. We actually went from Coast to coast, Washington, DC to California, Portland, Oregon to Toronto, Canada. I should count the number of states we visited going to Singles in Agriculture regional and national events. If I took on the chairmanship of an organizational event, Irma was always on the committee either as secretary or treasurer. When the New Horizons Band of Sioux Falls played concerts in Mitchell, Irma helped serve lunch between concerts. She loved coming to the art workshops I hosted and when asked what medium was her art, she replied, "Oh, I just watch Lelia make the messes." I was also Irma's traveling hairdresser - it was my first profession and I knew how to backcomb her "bubble" style. We were quit a pair - kinda like the "Odd Couple" - a member of the square dance club said after hearing a discussion between Irma and me said, "I would sure like to be a mouse in a corner when you two had a disagreement." We always came out laughing sooner or later. I enjoyed Irma's humor - she was a keen observer and usually had an off the wall remark, loved a good joke, and loved a good time. When I moved to Colorado a year ago, I knew I would miss Irma but I always spent time with her when I went back to call a square dance or attend a meeting. I am truly sorry this will be my last visit to see her. I will miss her but I have many good memories of my "Travels with Irma." It could be an interesting book that probably won't get written.
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