Georgene (Jeanne) Peterson

Georgene (Jeanne) Peterson

Aug. 16, 1940 – Sept. 9, 2019

Georgene (Jeanne) Peterson, 79, died after a lengthy illness on Sept. 9, 2019 ,in her home near Homer, Alaska.

She was surrounded by those she loved. Jeanne was a loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother who cherished her family.

Jeanne was born in Detroit, Michigan, on Aug. 16, 1940, to Georgene and Paul Gassman. She attended Berkeley High School in Berkley, Michigan, and later graduated with a degree in sociology from Central Michigan University (CMU). It was at CMU where she met her future husband, Aron. They married in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 1962 and shortly thereafter moved to New Jersey where they raised three children whom she adored and with whom she could not spend enough time.

Jeanne was a lifelong scholar who loved to read. She valued education; as a parent she volunteered many hours in her children’s classrooms, and later she worked as a bank teller to help pay her children’s college tuition. She cared deeply for the world and wanted the best for mankind. Before moving to New Jersey, she worked on the Tecumseh Health Study in Tecumseh, Michigan. She owned her own craft business, The Lesser Lion, and she managed Peterson Technics, a small family-owned manufacturing business that made catheters for medical research. She was a self-taught architect who designed the Flemington, New Jersey, and Homer homes in which she and Aron lived.

Jeanne had a twinkle in her eye and strived to make others happy. She enjoyed cooking and was a great cook. She was a gifted artist, who especially loved weaving. She loved to travel and camp with her family in the public lands of the western United States. She especially enjoyed Native American history and art collection during many trips out west from New Jersey. That special interest extended to Alaska Native culture and art once she lived in Alaska.

Jeanne and Aron moved to Homer after Aron retired. They live next to daughter Jill, where there is a well-worn path between their homes, with a view of Kachemak Bay and the glaciers of Kachemak Bay State Park. Jeanne enjoyed the breathtaking scenery, wildlife, grandeur and spirit of Alaska.

Jeanne would not want to be characterized by the serious illnesses she survived. Her keen desire to remain in the world and keep up with her family kept her breathing through each struggle.

Jeanne was preceded in death by her parents, Paul Gassman and Georgene Karpiej.

She is survived by her husband, Aron, of 57 years; sister, Linde Gassman; her children Phil, Jill (Rife), and Dean; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

No funeral service will be held. Instead, a private memorial is planned. Condolences may be mailed to P.O. Box 1891, Homer, AK 99603. In her honor and memory, donations may be made to the American Heart Association or Hospice of Homer.

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