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Elvina Laura Petersen


Elvina Laura Petersen, 94, of Williamsburg, Iowa, went peacefully to her Lord on March 17, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. Visitation will be held Tuesday, March 19, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Williamsburg. Funeral services will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Wednesday, March 20, at 10:30 a.m., with graveside services at Wilton Cemetery at 2 p.m. Powell Funeral Home in Williamsburg is caring for Elvina and her family. Messages and tributes may be left at www.powellfuneralhomes.com.
Elvina was born in River Forest, Ill., on Sept. 25, 1924, the daughter of Rudolph and Laura Breseman. She met the love of her life and her future lifelong partner, Wilbert "Pete" Petersen, when she was 17 and he was 19. They were introduced by Elvina's brother, Bob. They had much in common their Lutheran faith, their German heritage and the major illnesses suffered by their fathers, respectively. She and Pete were married May 12, 1945.
Within a short time, Pete was off to San Francisco to resume his Army service. Elvina traveled with him, even though she had no money to get back home. Such was her faith that things would work out her uncle loaned her the money to return to Chicago. Their only correspondence for one and a half years was by mail.
Pete returned in 1946. Elvina soon became a farm wife, a life not completely unknown to her, since she had spent several summers at her cousins' farm in southern Illinois when she was a girl. Elvina loved life on the farm, and she especially loved raising her children there.
They continued their life's journey by moving to Williamsburg, Iowa, in 1965. Pete built a strong insurance agency, Elvina worked at the Lutheran Interparish School there, and together they raised their six children. They lived in the same big brown house for 50 years. Countless celebrations and good times were held there and you could find Elvina in the kitchen, cooking and baking the most wonderful food anyone could hope for, served with a big smile. Her recipes live on and are followed to the letter.
Throughout her life, Elvina was a loyal friend, a source of support and encouragement and a loving person to all who knew her. She practiced her Christian faith boldly and strongly, and her confidence in her salvation through Jesus Christ never wavered. Through good times and tough times, she always was there with a smile, a hug and just the right words a person needed to hear. Her legacy will live on through her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Elvina is survived by her six children, Judy Bryant (John), Cedar Rapids, Dennis Petersen (Brenda), Ames, Ted Petersen (Twig), Wasilla, Alaska, Dianne Thomas, Richmond, Va., Mary Merulla (Mike), Iowa City, and Lynne Doehrmann (Kevin), Williamsburg; 13 grandchildren, Matt, Sarah, Laura, Kelly, Amy, Tara, Jenny, Jake, Natasha, Camy, Kaitlyn, Sofia and Zachariah; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Elvina also is survived by her brother, Don Breseman and his wife, Donna; brother, Dick Breseman and his wife, Karen; and sister-in-law, Rosalie Petersen.
Elvina was preceded in death by her husband of 73 years, Pete; her parents; her brother, Bob; four brothers-in-law; and four sisters-in-law.
Memorials may be directed to the Lutheran Hour Ministries, LCMS Ministry to the Armed Forces, Compass Memorial Hospital Foundation, Marengo, Iowa, or to the charity of your choice.
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