Iris Helen (Walter) Petersen, age 82, died Monday, March 13, 2023, at Four Winds Manor in Verona, Wisconsin. Iris spent the last 4 years of her life in the caring hands of the people at Four Winds. Iris was born on December 11, 1940, in Linden, Iowa, to Wanda (Booth) and Phillip Walter. As a young person Iris spent some time living with her aunt when her mother contracted polio; Iris also learned that she herself had the sleep disorder of narcolepsy. She did an amazing job not allowing narcolepsy to negatively affect her life, but it did prevent her from driving throughout her life. She married David J. Petersen on June 17, 1962, at the Methodist Church in Lohrville, Iowa. Iris and Dave met at Morningside College where they made several lifelong friends, including Phyllis Frey. Dave became a United Methodist minister. They started their married life in Denver, Colorado, and then moved back to the midwest and settled in Wisconsin.
Iris and Dave lived in several small towns in Wisconsin, where Iris was a minister’s wife and worked unofficially as an office assistant for the churches Dave was a pastor in. In these small towns, such as Cuba City, they made more lifelong friends, including Shari Sailer. Iris and Dave shared their values and love of nature, animals, justice, equality and kindness with their daughters. Iris enjoyed the hobbies of sewing, crocheting, calligraphy, and card making. Iris shared her skill and love of doing crafts with Lisa and Shandra. Iris worked as a teacher, a teacher’s assistant, and a domestic violence shelter support person in Richland Center. She also spent a great deal of time involved in church activities, such as United Methodist Women. She will be remembered as a kind and caring person who put others first and liked to laugh.
Iris is survived by her and Dave’s two daughters, Lisa (and Ben) Senson and their 3 adult children (Aaron, Braxton & MaiaLynn) and Shandra Petersen (and Matt) Fink and their 2 adult children (Max and Mason), and her brother Gordon (and Nancy) Walter. Her death was preceded by her husband Dave.
Lisa and Shandra are planning a Celebration of Life event to honor Iris this spring/early summer. They will share information about the event details once the date is determined.
In lieu of flowers, please share memorials with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, https://abuseintervention.org/ in Madison, WI; or Passages, Inc, A Program for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, https://www.passagesrc.com/ in Richland Center, WI; or UW Health Carbone Cancer Center, https://cancer.wisc.edu/ .
We welcome you to share your memories here on Iris's tribute wall.
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