Polly Peterson entered into heavenly rest on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. She was 98 years old.
Her story starts in Aurora, Illinois on July 5, 1925. Polly was born to her parents, Arthur and Helen Van Fleet. She lived in Illinois for quite some time, graduating from West Aurora High School in 1943. Polly met the love of her life, Melvin Nelson Peterson. They were married on July 3, 1948 at First United Presbyterian Church in Aurora, IL. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Peterson had four daughters.
The family moved to Texas for Mr. Peterson’s job, then to Iowa, and eventually settled in Turlock, California in 1963. When the family moved from Iowa to Turlock, Polly made sure all of her daughters were equipped with library cards! It was important to her that they were able to read books and spend time at the library. Polly made a lot of school clothes for her daughters and also found time to pack lunches every day. She worked as a secretary for Snider Lumber Co. in Turlock for 15 years before retiring. And in the end, from meager beginnings, Polly and her husband sent all their daughters to college and on to professional work.
Polly was an avid member of First Presbyterian Church, never wavering from her faith. Polly loved chit-chatting and knitting with the Presbyterian church Prayer Shawl group and regular sessions of the Presbyterian Women Bible Study group. Polly and Melvin (“Pete”) always assisted in the church’s big annual BBQ Chicken Barbecue, which was held at the old War Memorial building on Canal Dr. After the church built its popular swimming pool on N. Berkeley Ave., Polly helped with its maintenance in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Polly loved baking, mostly breads and cakes. Her best bread was her oregano bread and dinner rolls. She made communion bread for church. During Christmas time, Polly made toffee and sweet breads. She was very talented, shaping and decorating “cut-up” cakes to look like lions, giraffes, and elephants to name a few. Her specialty was red velvet cake.
Polly was great with Word Search puzzles. They were a fun activity while she was in Sequoia assisted living facility at Covenant Living in Turlock.
Polly was a loving, fun, and amazing wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She will be deeply missed by all who had the joy of loving her.
Polly was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur & Helen Van Fleet; her husband, Melvin Peterson; and her daughter, Melinda Peterson.
Polly is survived her daughters, Candace Peterson (Thomas Holsinger), Cindy Peterson, and Carmen Scott (Dennis Scott); her son-in-law, Don Torrey; and her grandchildren, Joe Holsinger, Leo Holsinger, and Anne Holsinger (Robert Cich).
Please join the family for a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 19, 2023 at First Presbyterian Church, 2619 N. Berkeley Ave., Turlock followed by a luncheon.
In lieu of flowers, family suggests making a donation in Polly’s memory to a charity of your choice.