Carolyn Peterson

Carolyn Faye Peterson, 78 of Gothenburg, ended her life’s journey on Oct. 6, 2021, at Gothenburg Health in Gothenburg. She was born May 21, 1943, in Gothenburg, the daughter of James and Lila (Barnes) France and the cute baby sister to Max, Milford, and Shirley.

Carolyn attended grade school at N-2 east of Gothenburg and graduated from Gothenburg High with the class of 1961. Carolyn married Larry Alton Peterson on Aug. 18, 1963, at the Gothenburg United Methodist Church in Gothenburg. To this union four children were born: Stephanie, Crystal, Page and Paul.

Like so many others in her family, Carolyn wanted to be a teacher.  She received her teaching certificate from Kearney State College and began teaching at 81-R school.

Larry and Carolyn moved to the family farm in February of 1967 where they worked side by side for almost 50 years building a successful family operation. In 1998 the Peterson Family received the AKSARBEN Nebraska Pioneer Farm Family Award for 100 years of family ownership.  She took great pride in seeing the farming legacy carried on to the next generations. “Buy Dirt” was the farming advice she always gave her family.

Because of her love of agriculture and passion for teaching, Carolyn helped organize the Tail Twisters 4-H Club in 1977. She spent many hours helping youth write and practice their 4-H speeches. After her years as a 4-H Leader ended, she continued to support the 4-H program by working at the 4-H Café and attended as many 4-H events as possible.

She was a 66-year member of the Gothenburg United Methodist Church where she served on various committees. An active member of United Methodist Women, she held offices both locally and on the district level.

Carolyn loved to entertain family and friends, her signature meal was ham balls and cheesy potatoes. If you happened to just drop by the farm, cookies and coffee were always ready. Teaching others how to bake bread or cookies truly made her happy. She would gladly share a recipe, (along with a few helpful hints) or even invite you out for a cooking lesson in her kitchen.

Survivors include two daughters, Stephanie (Vaughn) Ross and Crystal (Todd) Fangmeier; two sons, Page (Karen) Peterson and Paul (Shannon) Peterson; 10 grandchildren, Justin (Jincy), Amber, and Reagan Ross, Morgan (Jared) Segner, Colton and Alanna Fangmeier, Patrick and Evan Peterson, Savannah and Emma Peterson: two brothers-in-law, Roger Aden and Ivan Vrtiska; three sisters-in-law, Virginia (Raymond) Rieker, Beverly Drullinger, and Glenda (David) Walker; special friends, Dennis and Carol VanOverbeke; along with many extended family and friends.

Carolyn was preceded in death by her husband, Larry Alton Peterson; her parents; brothers, Max France and Milford France; sister, Shirley Aden; sisters-in-law, Opal France, Yvonne France, Glenda France, Marge Hennek, and Karen Vrtiska; brothers-in-law, Don Hennek, and Gerald Drullinger.

Visitation will be Friday, Oct. 8 from 3 - 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Gothenburg, with family present from 5 - 7 p.m. Services will be held at First United Methodist Church on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. with Pastor Grace Gichuru officiating. Burial will follow in the Gothenburg Cemetery. Memorials may be given to the Larry and Carolyn Peterson Memorial Ag Scholarship or a 4-H Program.