Jerome D. Peterson
Jerome D. Peterson, life-long resident of the agricultural community in Cherokee County, passed away Saturday December 14, 2019, at the age of 92, in his winter home in Mesa, Arizona. His passing was peaceful, surrounded by loved ones. “Jerry” leaves us a legacy of devotion to his church; service to his community and nation; a model of humbleness, kindness, and charity toward all; and a family rooted in these same values.
Jerry was born on March 31, 1927, in Cherokee, Iowa to Paul and Vera (Roseen) Peterson. He graduated from Cherokee High School in 1945. Jerry enlisted in the Army Air Corps at age 17 and completed his basic training between his Junior and Senior years of high school. Upon graduating, he served in the Armed Services through the end of World War II. He then completed his formal education at both Iowa State University and the University of Iowa, graduating with a Liberal Arts Degree in 1949, before returning to Cherokee County, where he met, courted, and later married Joyce Ida Pyle on December 30, 1950 at the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cherokee.
Together they made a home in the rural Cherokee area; gave birth to five children; carried the burden of grief from losing a daughter in early childhood; and then persevered to positively influence the growth and development of the rest of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Both Jerry and Joyce were active throughout their married life in the Methodist Church. In addition to farming, Jerry served in many other capacities. He was a member of the Willow Consolidated School Board and served as its Chairman. He traveled on United States Agricultural Commissions to both the Ukraine and China. He sponsored the residency of a promising young Ukrainian man into the United States. Jerry also taught Sunday School in the United Methodist Church in Washta; enjoyed travel; had a deep interest in studying world history; and valued the company of friends and family.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Vera Peterson, daughter Debra, his sister Patty (Peterson) Pyle, six brothers-in-law and seven sisters-in-law.
Jerry is survived by his wife Joyce; daughter, Judy (Peterson) Lee (husband Mike) of Spirit Lake, Iowa; and three sons Rick (wife June), Guy (wife Teri), and Jim (wife Julie) all of Washta, Iowa; 9 grandchildren; 5 step-grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and 6 step-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother-in-law Virgil Pyle of Cherokee, Iowa and sister-in-law Gladys (Pyle) Bliss of Sacramento, California.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 28, 2019, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Cherokee, with meal at the church to be held immediately after the graveside service at Oak Hill Cemetery in Cherokee, Iowa. Rev. Cris Decious will officiate. There will be military rites at the graveside by L.A. Wescott Post #2253 of the V.F. W. and the Cherokee American Legion. Visitation will be from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, December 27th, at Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee with the family present from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
The family would be grateful for any memorials to be directed to Cherokee area hospices; Operation Smile; or to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cherokee.