PETERSON, Mary L. (Yeldell)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Mary Lou Peterson, 96, Wataga, died at 2:40 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, at OSF St. Mary Medical Center. She was born Oct. 3, 1916, in Elmer, Okla., the daughter of James D. and Miriam Walk Yeldell. She married Virgil "Pete" Peterson on Feb. 3, 1944, at Ft. George E. Mead in Laurel, Md. He preceded her in death January 12, 2001.


She is survived by a son, James "Chooch" (and Linda) Peterson of Wataga; three grandchildren, Rodney (and Michelle) Smith of Calif., Kim (and Joe) Alaniz of Galesburg, and Tony (and Emily) Salazar of Rio; and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Susan, and a grandson, J.B. Peterson.


Mary Lou graduated from the University of Science and Arts in Oklahoma, minoring in piano. She was a teacher in Altus, Okla., for 17 years. After moving to the Galesburg area, she taught for another 20 years with District 205.


She taught at Allen Park, Wataga, and L.T. Stone before retiring from Gale School in 1977. Mary Lou was a member of Allen Park Baptist Church, the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, and the Knox County Retired Teachers Association.


Funeral will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in Hinchliff-Pearson-West Galesburg Chapel. Rev. James Ecklund will officiate. Visitation will be 10-11 a.m. Thursday at the chapel. Burial will be in Wataga Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Galesburg Rescue Mission. Online condolences may be made at