In loving memory of

Mary R. Peterson
December 8, 1947 - February 4, 2020

Mary Rosalie Peterson, 72, of Algona, IA, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, at the Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona.

Mary was born to parents, Pat and Rita McGuire, on December 8th, 1947 in Cherokee, Iowa. She grew up the eldest of seven children, and graduated in the last class of Cushing High School, in 1966. After a year at Clark College in Dubuque, IA where she met the love of her life, Marc Peterson, on a blind date, she graduated from the University of Iowa in 1970, with a degree in Medical Technology. Mary worked at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, in Chicago, for one year before accepting his proposal of marriage. Upon his return from Vietnam, Mary and Marc were united in marriage on December 27th, 1969, during a very memorable and horrific blizzard. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past December. Throughout her life, Mary worked in hospital laboratories in Chicago, Iowa City, Yankton, Cherokee, and Algona. She was a lifelong learner, earning a second degree in elementary education, from the University of South Dakota, during their years in Centerville, SD.

Mary was, first and foremost, a wife and mother. She focused on family...her husband, four children, ten grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She lived selflessly and dedicated her whole life to taking care of others. Mary was a loving and devoted wife for over 50 years, a mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her professional careers have included that of a medical technologist, teacher, and an in-home daycare provider...not to mention, a dedicated girl scout leader, swim team mom, varied sports and school activities chauffeur, and the loudest cheerleader. To all that had the pleasure and delight of knowing her, Mary was very generous with her time. She enjoyed swapping stories, and giving sound advice, and was always willing to share her tribal, and self-proclaimed, 'useless' knowledge. Mary took pride in her multitude of talents and attributes, as an amazing 'from-scratch' pie and dessert baker, a short-order cook, seamstress, rough draft generator/editor, scratch paper user, grocery list maker, and 'thank you' note writer. All will remember her as an article, recipe, and newspaper clipper and collector, an avid obituary proofreader, correct grammar and language lover, infamous Scrabble winner, master of trivia, psychic, therapist, and a tough-love giver. During all of those different stages and times in her life, she was readily, and selflessly, putting others' needs before her own, and never uttered an unkind word. Mary had the biggest heart, and shared her love and laughter freely and unconditionally. She always encouraged her children to be sensitive but strong, kind-hearted, self-confident, and to take pride in all aspects of life. She was supportive, and taught that even though life wasn't always fair, to have gratitude, be humble, follow through with commitments, smile, come through the storm, and be stronger on the other side. She had a 'tee-hee' belly laugh, bright eyes, and a smile and voice that would warm your heart...even from several hundred miles away. You could always count on her to be there to talk on the phone, for hours on end, comfort, advise, console, and love unconditionally, without judgement.

Mary is survived by her loving husband and dedicated caregiver, Marc; daughters, Mary Berniece, Peggy, and Erin; and son, Andy, and his wife, Kerri. She was devoted to her grandchildren, Anthony, Natasha (Luke) Edwards, Michael, and Hunter Peterson; Luke Edwards; Ethan and Caleb Peterson; and her great-grandchildren Keziah, Isabel, Kaelan, and Tristan. She is also survived by brothers, Mike (Anne), PJ (Amy), and Dan (Andy) McGuire; and sisters Kathleen (Jim) Piper and Sheila (Scott) Riggs. Numerous nieces and nephews and their families will also miss Aunt Mary's cheerful and genuine interest in their lives. Mary is preceded in death by her parents, Pat and Rita McGuire, sister, Colleen McGuire, sister-in-law, Janiece Lehmann, and grandsons, Cameron, Jacob, and Justin Edwards.

A funeral Mass will be held Friday, February 21st, 2020 at 11:00 AM at St. Cecelia Catholic Church, in Algona, IA. Visitation with the family: Thursday, February 20th, from 4 to 7 PM, at Oakcrest Funeral Services, Algona; Rosary, at 4 PM; and Scripture Prayer Service, at 6:30 PM. The family will continue to greet loved ones and friends, one hour prior to the Mass at the church on Friday. Burial of the cremated remains will be later this spring in the Our Lady of Good Counsel Cemetery, Holstein, Iowa.


Lark Ricklefs wrote on Feb 14, 2020:

"Losing the love in your life is so painful! Thinking of all of you today."

Lark Ricklefs wrote on Feb 10, 2020:

"Dear Marc and family, Mary was such a special person. I loved working with her, and we often talked about our teaching experiences and our work in the lab. We both loved blood banking, and she was always willing to help me when I had questions. What a bright and lovely person. We also frequently talked about our grown kids and her grandchildren. She always bubbled when she spoke of her family. Losing your partner, mom, and grandma will always be painful, but Mary left us all with cherished memories. I am so sorry for your loss, but I always hold on to the promise that we will see our loved one again. With my deepest sympathy, Lark Ricklefs "

Colleen Schneider wrote on Feb 9, 2020:

"Marc and family, So sorry to hear about Mary. My sympathy to all of you. I always enjoyed visiting with Mary at KRHC. Cherish your memories,"

Char Elbert wrote on Feb 9, 2020:

"Marc and family, Prayers to you on the loss of your wife, mother, grandmother and great mother. What a legacy. I had the pleasure of working with Mary in her early years at UIHC in the DeGowin Blood Center. She had a super personality."

Judy Eisenbacher wrote on Feb 8, 2020:

"Marc & family. I am so sorry to hear of Mary?s passing. I enjoyed visiting with Mary at the lab at KRHC. She always has a smile & was pleasant to talk with. Share your memories of Mary with each other. My Prayers & good thoughts with her family & friends. "

Kim Etherington wrote on Feb 8, 2020:

"Marc & family, I am so sorry to hear of Mary?s passing. I truly loved working with her in the Algona clinic. I loved teasing her and hearing her laugh. One of my favorite sayings...? Mary, Mary how does your garden grow?? And always her response. ?I don?t know! Marc does all the gardening!? Enjoy all those precious memories. She truly was a special person who loved you all very much! Kim Etherington "

Kathy asimonsen wrote on Feb 8, 2020:

"Marc, Bernie, Peggy, Erin, Andy: the Simonsen family sends our condolences to your family. Mary and I roomed together one summer at Morningside College and then became neighbors in Cherokee when our families were young. Such fond memories of those days. What a wonderful wife, mother, and friend and we feel fortunate to have known her. Mark and Kathy Simonsen "

Connie Farnham wrote on Feb 7, 2020:

"Marc & family, So sad to hear of your loss of Mary. She was one of my favorite people To work with. My thoughts and prayers are with you. "

Sandi Markla wrote on Feb 6, 2020:

"Marc & family, I am so sorry to hear of your great loss. She was a joy to work with, always a smile and kind word for everyone. Treasure your memories and she will be in your hearts forever."

Terrie Shipler wrote on Feb 6, 2020:

"Marc and family....All of my sympathy to you all. I really enjoyed working with Mary and I have so many great memories, such an awesome lady!! "

Dar Elbert wrote on Feb 6, 2020:

"Marc and family - I am so sorry! Mary was one of the kindest, funniest people I've had the pleasure to work with. And, a great cook - I was just talking about her monte cristos yesterday! Hugs and prayers to you all! Dar "

Ann Forristal wrote on Feb 5, 2020:

"I'll always remember Mary for her calm, easy going nature, and her sweet, sweet smile. My Dad, Pat, and I are keeping her family close to our hearts with the loss of their beautiful Mary Rosalie. "

Molly MacDonald wrote on Feb 5, 2020:

"Marc, I am so sorry! I loved visiting with Mary after Mass. She was so sweet and funny. I feel that Bing is still with me and I hope you will feel that way about Mary. You are in my prayers. Molly"