Darel Peterson, 73

Published 6:02pm Monday, March 4, 2013

Darel L. Peterson, 73

Born: July 6, 1939

Died: March 2, 2013


Darel L. Peterson peacefully passed away surrounded by loved ones on Saturday morning in St. Joseph.

Darel was born in Benton Harbor July 6, 1939, to the late Tom and Nora (Case) Decker. She became a beautician and worked in Stevensville and then Sister

Lakes, where she retired in 2002.

She married the love of her life, Walter W. Peterson, on April 13, 1968, in Benton Harbor. Together they built a loving home in Sister Lakes where they

shared many holidays and gatherings with family and friends. She loved spending time with her husband, especially fishing and traveling.

Together they enjoyed many color/casino tours as well as trips to the ocean shore. Her favorite places were Dewey and Virginia Beach, where she loved combing the beaches for shells, watching for dolphins and long walks on the shore.

She especially enjoyed their most recent trip to Niagara Falls in September.

Darel also loved to play cards. After retirement, Darel and friends formed the Spectacle Club and played at every opportunity.

Of all her attributes, the qualities that helped build such a loving and strong foundation in her family was her exuberant, childlike excitement and appreciation for all life had to offer.

She was an incredible strength, influence and blessing to those who had the privilege of knowing her, and will be dearly missed.

Darel is survived by her husband of 44 years, Walter Peterson; three children, Deborah (David) Hodges, Patricia Wilds, Rose (Chris) Chandler, Wendy Hall, siblings Don (Deb) Decker, Donna (Doug) Schmutte, Janice Reitz, Tom Decker, and brother in law Eli Rolland, as well as 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Nancy (Eli) Rolland, brother-in-law Dennis Reitz and son Kevin Peterson.

Friends will be received Wednesday at Starks and Menchinger Chapel , 2650 Niles

Road, St. Joseph. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. A Celebration of Life Service begins at 2, officiated by Minister James Tippin. Burial will follow at North Shore Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice at Home or Berrien County Cancer Service .

Friends wishing to send condolences may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

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