Wilma Petersen
Wilma Petersen
Wilma Petersen
Wilma Petersen
Wilma Petersen

Obituary of Wilma Petersen

Wilma Laura Storey Petersen, 91, of Boise, Idaho passed peacefully at home in the company of her family on Thursday, March 14, 2013. Wilma was born on September 21, 1921 at home in Gifford, Idaho to Ira Edgar Storey and Nola Coffin Storey. Her parents were pioneers and farmed the Gifford and Culdesac lands for many years. Wilma had six brothers and a sister: Norman, Robert, Marvin, Stanford, Junie, Marjorie, and Eddie. The Storey family was made up of folk who believed that "A handshake is worth more than any written agreement." They worked long and hard to put together a very successful ranch. The family bought land as they could afford it and also rented farmland from the Nez Perce Indians. Wilma told many stories of trading with the Nez Perce people that took place as she was growing up. Hard times struck during the depression but the family worked together and got through it. Wilma attended school from the first grade through the eighth grade at a one-room schoolhouse called Black School in Gifford. She and her brothers and sister rode horses several miles to Black School daily. Wilma's favorite horse was named Rosey. The family later moved to Lewiston and Wilma graduated from Lewiston High School in 1939. That same year she married Tommie H. Nelson. When her husband left to serve in World War II, Wilma moved to Seattle and worked there for three years. She moved back to Lewiston and when Tommie returned from the war they started a family. Tommie L. was born in 1944 and Byron was born in 1950. Wilma worked at Montgomery Ward as a saleslady for several years and loved her job. Wilma's mother was fond of saying that her daughter "could sell a saddle to a nightmare", and she was right! Wilma was honored as the top salesperson company wide, beating out hundreds of others. In 1960 Wilma and her family moved to Honolulu, Hawaii. She continued her sales career there at Liberty House and continued to win awards. She was talented and prided herself on never missing a day of work, but it was her joyful presence and great pleasure in people that made Wilma a true treasure to employers, coworkers, and the public. After three years, Wilma returned with her boys to Lewiston. She worked at Washington Water Power Company for 20 years and then retired. During that period she married Roy G. Petersen, a long time Lewiston resident. Roy and Wilma eventually moved to Boise and in January 1984 pooled resources with Tom and his wife Karen; and Byron and his wife Donna, to found Nelson's R.V.'s Inc. The six of them went about the work of building a nationally respected business. "Six people working together as a team was better than 50 that didn't" Wilma would say. A sales meeting that Wilma put on only three years ago was recorded and will be played at company functions for years to come! Wilma lived a life of great spiritual strength and was definitely a Golden Rule person. She was a very loving, kind, sharing, and loyal lady. She was also a playful soul who was full of laughter, spirited fun and went through life with a twinkle in her eye. Wilma took great joy in living and in people. Anyone who knew her—from family to the most casual acquaintance—will recall Wilma's ability to recognize and bring out the best in others. She had a talent for seeing through to the most special part of another person and then calling that goodness to the surface. Wilma saw beauty in everyone, and her boundless love created lightness, joy, and hope in the lives of all those who were lucky enough to know and love her. She especially enriched the lives of her grandchildren: Cynthia (Cliff) Nelson-Robinson, Brian Knipe, Natalie Nelson, Nola Nelson, and Tyler Nelson. She also enriched the lives of her great-grandchildren: McKahl Kronmiller, Sydney Kronmiller, Olivia Robinson, Alex Knipe, Jack Knipe, and Cameron Kronmiller. Wilma had two step-grandchildren that she loved dearly: Kent Petersen of Clarkston, WA, and LeeAnn Hostetler of Asotin, WA. She also profoundly touched the lives of her many nieces and nephews. Wilma is survived by her sister, Marjorie of Palm Springs, CA, brother Eddie of Winchester, VA, brother Junie of Culdesac, ID, sons Byron (Donna) of Star, ID, Tommie (Karen) of Eagle, ID, and all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and her beloved pets. Wilma had many special friends that should be mentioned. Three of those include Deana Ashton who was her caregiver for the last many years. Suzanne Lewis provided friendship and other special care. Jack McCullum of Boise took her dancing just a short while ago and the two of them had a brief but wonderful time together. Funeral services will be held at 5:30 P.M. this Thursday, March 21, 2013 at Summers Funeral Home, 1205 W. Bannock Street, Boise, Idaho followed by a reception. Graveside services will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, March 23, 2013 at Lewis & Clark Memorial Gardens, Lewiston, Idaho next to her Mother and Father, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers,the family is asking that contributions in Wilma's name may be made to either the Boys & Girls Club of Garden City or the Idaho Humane Society.
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