Mary Peterson, 97, long-time resident of Atascadero passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 23, 2020. One of ten children, Mary was born to Antonio and Maria Colombo on a ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley in 1922.
After moving to Atascadero in 1940 and while working as a caregiver at “The Old Kentucky Home” Mary met and married the love of her life, Robert Peterson. They shared 54 wonderfully happy and memorable years together raising their children, working side by side, and enjoying life.
Mary’s sweet smile and the twinkle of her eyes reflected the warmth, kindness and generosity of her heart. She loved children perhaps more than life itself. Nothing seemed to bring her more joy than wrapping her arms around the little ones and sharing in their lives, games, and laughter. And, curling up beside her brought the children an enormous amount of joy as they absorbed the warmth and security of her love for them.
Second only to her love of children was Mary’s love of hummingbirds, gardening, and needlecrafts. She delighted in watching “her” hummingbirds hover over the feeder outside her kitchen window. Her flower beds bloomed each Spring with iris, lilies and daffodils. She was an accomplished needlecraft artist having learned to crochet and embroider, at her mother’s knee, at the early age of seven. Her amazing embroidered artwork earned many Blue Ribbons at the county fair. And, her meticulous attention to detail yielded beautifully crocheted items. Mary’s generosity and love of others led her to gift many afghans, holiday dolls, and ornaments to family and friends. Her needlecraft artistry was perhaps most evident in the apparel she crocheted for her large collection of Storybook, Holiday, and Cultural dolls. Many of Mary’s Storybook dolls were exhibited in the Atascadero Library.
Mary is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Margaret and Burt Young; son Robert Peterson Jr.; six grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; 14 great-great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and some very special friends, all of whom will miss her dearly.
Graveside services were held at the Atascadero Pine Mountain Cemetery Monday, March 2, 2020.