WALNUT – Billie E. Peterson, 83, of Walnut, died Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Walnut Manor Nursing Home.
Bill was born June 16, 1929, in Clinton, Iowa, the son of Clair and Jessie (Rollo) Peterson. He was united in marriage to Sue J. Livey on May 3, 1953, in Walnut.
Bill spent his youth in Prophetstown. After moving to Walnut, he would visit his grandparents in Prophetstown by hitching a ride on a train from Walnut to Prophetstown. He would throw his bike on the caboose, and spend the day visiting relatives and return to Walnut on the train again. As a child, Bill spent much of his time going around the country watching his dad, Clair, race his No.10 race car.
During Bill’s high school years, he loved sports and was a member of the undefeated and unscored-on “Raiders.” Bill attended Bradley University to study watchmaking. He later served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Upon returning home, Bill and Sue were married.
Bill was employed for many years with Steel and Haurberg and Bruce Jewelry, both in Walnut. He also enjoyed driving a school bus for the Walnut School District. In the early 1980s, Bill and Sue purchased the jewelry store in Walnut, and ran Peterson’s Jewelry and Gift Store for about 20 years.
Bill was a member of Walnut Rotary Club, and was very active in various committees at Walnut United Methodist Church for many years. He also was a member of the Walnut Chamber of Commerce, inducted into the Walnut Hall of Fame, and was the Walnut Township supervisor for many years. Bill was a sports fan of the Walnut Raiders and Bureau Valley schools for years. He enjoyed watching all of his kids and grandkids participating in sports. Bill spent his life loving this community and his large loving family.
He is survived by his wife, Sue Peterson of Walnut; his children, Bee-Ja (Joe) Thompson, Tami ( Harold) Huseman, Cari ( John) Durham, Corey (Valerie) Peterson, Jenny (Steve) Koser, and Chad Peterson, all of Walnut; 18 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his stepfather, Frank Kopriva, two brothers, Clair Jr. and Forrest “Buck” Peterson, one grandson, Shane Thompson, and one great-grandson, Noah Lind.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Garland Funeral Home in Walnut. Visitation also will be at 9:30 a.m. Monday, with the funeral conducted at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Walnut United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Gale T. Brandner, pastor, officiating. Burial will be at Walnut Cemetery.
Memorials have been established to Walnut United Methodist Church, Walnut Park District, Walnut Fire Department, and Walnut Manor Nursing Home.
Visit www.garlandfuneralhome.com to send condolences.