Lois Arlene Peterson, 97, of Eau Claire stepped out of time and into eternity and the loving arms of her Lord and Savior on Friday, July 23, 2021, at Care Partners Assisted Living in Eau Claire.
She was born on October 27, 1923, in Miltonvale, Kansas, to James and Lora (Campbell) Freeborn. She was raised on a dairy farm, and after her chores were complete, she then walked or rode horse to school each morning. During her senior year of high school, Lois attended Normal Teacher Training. While she was still 17 years old, she became the teacher of a one-room school with students grades 1 to 8. She arrived early enough each day to build the fire in the woodstove so the school was warm for the students.
While attending Miltonvale Wesleyan College in Kansas, she met her future husband, David D. Peterson, as he also attended MWC in preparation for the ministry. On August 28, 1945, they were married in the MWC Chapel. After continuing college at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, the couple moved to Wisconsin and began 50 years of ministry together in Wisconsin Wesleyan churches. They served churches in Stone Lake, Spooner, Appleton, Janesville, Onalaska, and Eau Claire.
Lois was an accomplished pianist and played for church services, weddings, funerals, and accompanied vocalists for many years. While living in Spooner, she taught private piano lessons to young students in her home.
In both Spooner and Onalaska, Lois established an active children's ministry, CYC, and helped each program to grow and flourish. She was devoted to child evangelism in particular, leading Vacation Bible Schools, and directing the Child Evangelism Fellowship Gospel trailer program at the Washburn County Fair for many years. She was a regular substitute teacher at Spooner Middle School, sometimes subbing six to seven months during a school year for teachers with long-term illness.
Her faith in the Lord of Heaven was the foundation of her life, having come to a personal decision to follow Him early in her youth. Her actions and decisions were born on that foundation from that point on. She was known for her loving and caring nature and taught many the way to know the love and forgiveness her Heavenly Father offered.
Lois was an exceptionally great mother and grandmother who showed deep devotion to her family. She was an excellent cook, baker, canner of countless jars of produce, accomplished seamstress, and a warm and gracious hostess to all who entered her home.
She is survived by sons, Bob (Janet) Peterson of Overland Park, Kansas, and Kent (Hannah) Peterson of Eau Claire; daughter, Faith (Tom) Tasker of Spooner; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and other family members.
Lois was preceded in death by her parents; husband, David D. Peterson, in 1997; infant daughter, Carol Dawn Peterson; sisters, Hope (Merven) Reed, Faith (Meredith) Turner, and Betty Freeborn; and brother, Stanley (Melva) Freeborn.
A celebration of Lois's life will be held at a later date this fall. Interment will be in McCombs Cemetery, town of Wheaton, Wisconsin. Evergreen Funeral Home and Crematory in Eau Claire is serving the family.