Jessie Marie Isom Peterson, 89, died peacefully on Sept. 6, 2020, with her family by her side in Lynden. A family graveside service was held at the Lynden Cemetery.
Jessie Marie was born on Oct. 25, 1930, in Bellingham. Her parents, Elbert and Marie Isom, had settled in Lynden from Murphysboro, Illinois, in 1930. Jessie Marie and her sister adored their parents, and she never forgot her roots. She was a farm girl at heart, and it was here that she learned the many values of family life: love, respect, loyalty, humor and self-discipline.
Jessie Marie graduated from Lynden High School in 1949 where she made friends that would last her a lifetime. Her early years were lively and fancy-free. It did not hurt that her father was the superintendent of Lynden schools and head boys basketball coach! She cherished her time growing up in Lynden and was very proud of her hometown.
Jessie Marie attended the University of Washington, graduating with a degree in elementary education in 1953. She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority when she met the love of her life, Robert “Pete” Peterson. In May of her senior year, he asked her to marry him and they were married in Lynden the following weekend. Invitations were delivered via word of mouth and everyone in town showed up for the ceremony! After returning to UW to graduate, they moved to Biloxi MS, Houston and then Los Angeles before settling in Santa Clara, California, where they bought their first and only home in 1958. It was here that they raised their three daughters. They were a family of swimmers and had many good times with their girls at the Santa Clara Swim Club. Always ready with a dry towel, wool hat or a sandwich, she kept everyone warm and well fed.
Jessie Marie’s talents were widespread. She became an elementary school teacher and later in life worked for the State of California-Employment Development Department placing unemployed and at-risk youth in job training programs. She was smart, organized, compassionate and never late! She was a member of San Jose Junior League, PEO, ToKalon, Eastern Star, Rainbow Girls and a cherished group called MASP. Jessie Marie loved gardening, cooking, Stanford football, tennis, golf, cribbage, sewing, “antiquing”, dancing, flirting and a glass of wine at the end of the day. She was fiercely competitive, especially with her friends’ children, and had a sense of humor that endeared everyone. Jessie will always be remembered by her deep blue eyes, her caring heart and her warm embrace. She was always there for you — it was just her nature. She deeply cared for her family, friends and neighbors.
“You will forever be with us, Mom. There will never be another to replace you or the love we shared.”
Jessie Marie was preceded in death by her husband, Robert “Pete” Peterson, and her parents, Elbert and Marie Isom.
She is survived by her sister, Luanne (John); her three daughters, Kristine (Gareth) Bolt, Sara Peterson and Ginger Brogan; her six grandchildren, Matthew and Scott Largent, Meghan and Christopher Bolt, and Jessica and Julie Tramp; four great-grandchildren; and countless friends.
In light of the COVID-19 restrictions, the family had a private memorial service in Lynden.
Her family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
To share memories of Jessie Marie, please visit Gilliesfuneralhome.com.