Cheryl Gay Peterson

Peterson, Cheryl_oval

January 2, 1944 ~ February 28, 2018

Cheryl Peterson, 74, Brandon SD, passed away on February 28, 2018, surrounded by family.

A memorial service will be held at 2pm, on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at Heartland Funeral Home, 1801 Frontier St., in Brandon.

Cheryl Gay Westby was born on January 2, 1944 in Omaha, NE to Ervin and Helen Westby. When she was two the family moved from Omaha, where Ervin was stationed, to Sisseton, SD. Cheryl graduated from Sisseton High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Augustana College.

Cheryl married John R. Peterson on July 5, 1969. They had two children, Heidi Joy and Benjamin John Westby-Peterson, whom they loved dearly.

Cheryl was a passionate educator who believed in the potential for every student to learn grammar and how to write a good story. She taught English at Tri-Valley Junior High and Brandon Valley Middle School for many years. She was honored as Tri-Valley Teacher of the Year for 1996-1997. Cheryl loved her family, friends, music and her beautiful garden. She was a creative and enthusiastic writer. Cheryl’s cards and funny letters brought much joy, love and laughter to all that received them.

Cheryl is survived by her children and grandchildren, Heidi and Jacob; Ben, April, Hunter and Harper; sisters, Lynel and Jane; nieces, nephews and many friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband, John; parents, Ervin and Helen Westby; and brother, Dean.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Brandon Valley Middle School Angel Fund, 700 E Holly Blvd, Brandon, SD 57005.

The family wishes to thank Cheryl’s friends for their love and the staff of Bethany Home and Ava’s House for their compassionate care.

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  • Ann Bolson says:

    Cheryl Peterson lived two doors down from us for many years, all the way through the Brandon Valley education of our children. My son once told his wife that he spent as much time at the Peterson’s as he did at home! Tony and Ben were doubles partners in tennis for BVHS.
    Cheryl was an ebullient and effusive person who radiated love for life, for family, for holidays, for flowers and plants, for wild birds. Her clothing style often reflected recognition of upcoming holidays. Such a colorful gal. Our favorite activity was attending the outdoor art show in Brookings each year.
    I display many of the tasteful and colorful gifts with which she bequeathed me in our guest room here in Evergreen, CO. Cheryl, I pray that I will see you on “the other side.” Blessings, Ann Bolson

  • RoseMary Christenson says:

    Cheryl was a very dear friend. We had a blast working together at Brandon Valley Middle School. I have very fond memories that I will cherish. You have my deepest sympathies. I will keep Cheryl in my thoughts and prayers. Rosie—Rose Mary Christenson

  • Carole Mathieu says:

    Cheryl was a delight to know. We worked together at the former Daytons and my children attended Tri-Valley. Sad to know that she did not have more years to enjoy the blessings of life. However, the life that she lived brought joy to those who passed by her way!

  • Bruce R. Halverson says:

    The members of the Augustana Class of 1966 truly valued Cheryl for the joy and caring she shared during our days on campus and throughout the years since our graduation. We feel blessed that she was a part of our lives and give thanks for the gift of love she offered and the memories she created. We have lost a cherished friend. Our prayers are with Cheryl’s family.

    Bruce Halverson ’66
    President Emeritus
    Augustana University

  • Kazzi Foster - Teel says:

    To the entire family of one of all time favorite people in this world…
    I will never forget my days in class with your mom and grandma…Mrs. Peterson was truly one of the BEST!!!! She talked so highly of her Heidi and BENNY. I remember her smile when she spoke of you 2. My heart is broken for you. Please know prayers are coming your way. I pray that God surrounds you with love and peace during this very difficult time.

  • Dana Hansen 95'-96' says:

    So sadden to hear of her passing! She was my 7th and 8th grade English teacher at Tri-Valley and one of my favorites. She made everything about English fun and made me grow to like it also. She was the comedian of junior high teachers.I also believe I remember her being a little prankster also with the other teachers. From her funny story’s she told,(and her laugher that accompanied), her nicknames for people to help her remember your name….which in fact just became your new name:) (mine was Miss Deena Danna) the quick witted ways for coming up with ways to remember certain things with a made up jingle or how to know the spelling of words of the same. She also had the biggest heart ever and if something had you down and hurt, it hurt her too and she cried right along with you and hugged you till you both felt better. Her most famous line that still runs through my head today when people use it is….”Mrs. Peterson, can I go to the bathroom?” She would always reply, “I don’t know can you?” Until you would ask….May I? Lol So sorry for the lose your family feels of her being gone to soon from your lives. She was an incredible woman and definitely won’t be forgotten!

  • Christy Oberg says:

    I have much love for Mrs. Peterson. She was one of my all-time favorite teachers. When I was in 7th grade my sister was stationed in Saudi Arabia and Cheryl did a lot to help me through that. She had the most beautiful heart!

  • Maria Kendle says:

    I was blessed to work with Cheryl at Tri-Valley. I remember her being a wonderful mentor those first years there. She also taught my son in JH. I remember him coming home and saying that Mrs. Peterson would stand at the door as kids were leaving class and say she loved them. He asked me if I thought she really meant it. I said, I don’t know, what do you think. He said, I think she really does. I had to smile because I knew that she really did, and let me tell you, JH kids can be hard to love some days, but she really did. Loved her smile and her hugs. Cheryl was a beautiful person, inside and out. She’s been missed since she left Tri-Valley, and I know your family will miss her, but I’m sure your many wonderful memories will keep her alive in your hearts. Prayers to all.

  • Marilyn Anderson McGriff says:

    Cheryl and I were roommates at Augustana our senior year. We had many adventures! After graduation we each went on to our separate adventures, but whenever we would get together, it was like we’d never been apart. I had the opportunity to visit Cheryl a few times at Bethany Meadows when I was visiting in the area. I “ditto” the comments made by fellow Augustana classmate, Bruce Halverson, and I can certainly appreciate that Cheryl touched many lives through her years of teaching.

  • Bonnie Graversen Miller says:

    My sympathies to Cheryl’s family. She was older than I but I remember her bright smile around school. Her mother, Helen, was my 7th grade English teacher. I, too, am the daughter of an English teacher and taught English briefly. My sister and her brother were classmates and friends. I can imagine she was a wonderful influence on her students.

  • Bonnie Cook Stevens says:

    Mrs. Peterson was one of my favorite teachers. She said something in middle school that I still think of to this day. She said that you will really only have a handful of ‘true’ friends in your life. As a middle schooler at the time, I didn’t really believe her, but now as an adult, I know the truth in that. I’m sorry for your family’s loss. Your wife and mom touched a lot of people by teaching and giving her heart and joy and passion to the field. As a teacher now myself, I can only hope to teach with the same spirit. May you feel God’s comfort during this time.

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