Virginia Elizabeth Lessman Peterson

Thursday, September 10, 2020
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Virginia Elizabeth Lessman Peterson, age 99, from Glendive, MT went to be united with her loved ones in Heaven on the evening of September 4, 2020 at Saint John’s United Home in Billings, MT with family by her side. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 A.M. on Monday, September 14, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glendive with Father Francis Schreiber officiating. Rite of Committal will follow in Dawson Memorial Cemetery in Glendive. Silha Funeral Home of Glendive has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Virginia was born on August 8, 1921 to Joseph and Cecilia Lessman in Sioux Pass, Montana.

Virginia married William Grant Peterson in 1938. To this union 6 children were born. Richard, Janet, Charles (Shorty), Patricia, Donna and David. Richard passed away when he was 21 years of age and Patricia passed away when she was 2 ½.

Virginia was a stay at home Mom for most of her life. She loved her children and was an excellent “MOM”. She loved to bake and made bread weekly. Often she would make several loaves at a time and give to neighbors and occasionally a homeless man. We lived next to a church and not far from the railroad tracks, so she had visitors wanting a “hand me out” coming from the trains. She was an excellent cook, as well, preparing many of our favorite meals for her family. Virginia, also, made the best candy and goodies at Christmas! Including fudge, divinity, caramels and cookies of all kinds. Her caramel rolls were to die for!

Virginia took in ironing for extra money. Later when her kids were all in school she started babysitting for the local Music Teachers, Ron and Audrey Wiley. She loved little Kent as her own.

When Kent went to school, Mom was left wondering what to do. My Dad worked at the Telephone Company and they were looking for someone to make lunches for the staff and the telephone operators. They set up a little kitchen and Mom would make rolls for morning and lunch for noon. Everyone loved her and enjoyed her yummy meals. She retired from the Telephone Company when the Operators were replaced by automation.

Mom and Dad loved company. You were always welcome at their home. Virginia was so helpful as a Grandma. She would take the kids for the weekend when we needed some time for ourselves. We knew she loved our kids deeply and it was reassuring to know the kids were in good hands. She always enjoyed visits from her children and grandchildren!

Virginia and Grant would drop everything to help their children. If you were painting or cleaning they were there to help you! They also built and remodeled several older homes, as well as, building a new home from the ground up. I remember she had a huge garden at this new home. Which meant she did a lot of canning of veggies.

Grant and Virginia loved to travel. We had probably 20+ different recreational vehicles. Starting with the pull-type trailer, to the pickup topper, to motor homes and 5th wheelers. Mom liked to have a lot of cupboard room so they traded often to find just the perfect fit in each category for living and sleeping space.

They traveled all over the US. Going to Mesa often in the winter, they decided to purchase a place there. There was a lot to do in that community of “Snow Birds” and they enjoyed the activities that were provided. Which brings me to cards. Mom and Dad loved to play cards. All kinds but especially pinochle. They would have friends over to play cards almost every Friday or Saturday night. They also played whist and gin rummy.

Mom was a very good seamstress. She sewed several centennial dresses for the 1976 Centennial Days in Glendive. It was a big event and she made many beautiful long dresses with matching purses and hats.

Mom was an entertainer, she liked playing in the kitchen band. She loved to make different costumes for the holidays and go around to the Nursing Home and Grandview Retirement in Glendive handing out candy to the residents. Some of the costumes she made were: February- she made herself a valentine, March- she was a Leprechaun, April- an Easter Bunny, May-Graduation gown for those graduating, June- Wedding Dress, July- she was all decked out in a top hat and clothes that were red, white and blue, September she would put a back pack on for back to school, October was a witch or ghost, November she was a turkey, December was different every year, sometimes an elf, angel, snowman, Santa.

When Dad passed away, Mom met a man at the Senior Citizens. His name was Harold. They enjoyed spending time together and he picked her up and drove her around where ever she would like to go. They enjoyed going to dinner together and kept each other company.

Virginia lived at Grandview retirement center for 5 years. She knew several of the people there and loved to play cards. She moved to Billings for medical reasons and lived at the River Ridge Assisted living in Billings for 3 years. She then transferred to St. Johns Chapel Court where she lived for a few years before moving to Rimview Square North at St. John’s United.

She was preceded in death by Grant, her husband of 59 years, son Richard, daughter Patricia, her three brothers, Richard, Bob, Ted and grandson, Chancy.

Virginia is survived by her children Janet Kelnhofer of Goodyear, AZ, Shorty Peterson of Red Lodge, MT, Donna (Rick) Kniepkamp of Lindsay, MT, David (Tammy) Peterson of Park City, MT.

She is also survived by several grandchildren; Joey (Donna) Kelnhofer, Vickie (John) McNeil, Danny Kelnhofer, Barry Kelnhofer, Ole (Alison) Peterson, Ginny (Bo) Segeberg, Kristi (Kevin) Chase, Staci (Doug) Hammell, Tiffany (Jaden) Erwin, Cassie Peterson, Kaylee Peterson, Cole Peterson and Richard Peterson and several great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers or memorials please take time to take a loved one out to dinner, read to a child, play some cards or go for a walk and enjoy what God has made for us!

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