Florence E. Peterson, age 100 of Amery, WI, formerly of Ellsworth, WI, and Balsam Lake, WI, passed away September 25, 2019 at the Willow Ridge Health Care Center in Amery. Florence was born in 1919, in Bloomer Wisconsin, the fifth of six children born to Nels and Emma Nelson. She was baptized, confirmed and married in Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Bloomer WI. Florence graduated from Bloomer High School.
During World War II, as part of the war effort, Florence worked in a munitions factory near Chicago making 20-mm shells.
Florence married Gerald B. Peterson of Ellsworth Wisconsin in 1944, and they lived there for 34 years. Jerry owned and managed a very successful insurance agency serving the town and surrounding area. Florence and Jerry were very active in the community and were members of the English Lutheran Church. Jerry was part of the Masons, Lions, and Shriners. Florence was busy with the church, Church Circle, and Ladies Aide Society.
Together Florence and Jerry lovingly raised two children, Tom and Marcia, whom Florence stayed at home to care for. Florence encouraged the children to participate in Boy and Girl Scouts, church activities and sports.
Florence’s husband, Jerry, retired in 1978. They moved to their summer home on Balsam Lake and lived there for four years before her husband passed away in 1982. Despite missing her husband, Florence came into her own. She took over finances, and became admirably independent. She continued to live in Balsam Lake and became even more involved in frequent swimming, golf, and bowling. She won several trophies, and enjoyed her friends and a good game of bridge.
In 1998, at age 79, she gave up caring for the lake house, and moved to Amery Wisconsin to live near some close friends. They often ate dinner together and visited back and forth. She was always very close to her older sister Norma, who eventually moved to Amery so that they could support and care for each other in their 90’s.
Florence’s independence, exercise, and determination kept her living in Pondhurst on her own until age 96 when she moved to Riverbend Assisted Living and made new friends while keeping in touch with family and old friends. She had a goal: to reach her 100th Birthday. Despite breaking her hip, she met that goal and celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends in June, 2019!
Florence was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Jerry; and all of her siblings: Agnes Holleen, Hazel Nelson, Norma Hart, Donald Nelson, and Richard Nelson.
She is survived by her two children Tom Peterson (Janet Vodvarka) of Wayland MA and Marcia (Jim) White of Keithville LA; three grandchildren, Dale and Larry Hanson, Jerry Rogers; six great-grandchildren, Josh and Danielle Hanson, Justin and Jessica Hanson, and ShyAnn and Alexandra Rogers; six great-great grandchildren, Chase, Carter, Quinn, Tristen, Conner, and Colton; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.
Funeral Services Celebrating Florence’s Life will take place 2:30 PM Saturday, September 28, 2019 at the English Lutheran Church, 229 W. Main St., Ellsworth, with Pastor Jeff Smith officiating. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at church. Interment will take place at Maple Grove Cemetery in Ellsworth. Memorials preferred to Shriners Healthcare for Children – Twin Cities. Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of Ellsworth (715) 273-4421. www.oconnellfuneralservices.com