Imogene Peterson
Imogene Peterson
Imogene Peterson
Imogene Peterson

Obituary of Imogene G. Peterson

Imogene G. (Russell) Peterson

May 3, 1929 – Jan. 27, 2023


I was born May 3, 1929 to Doii and Ercil Russell in the home my aunt in El Dorado, Kansas.  In 1932 our family moved to the Emmett bench in Idaho and farmed. We lived on 4 rented places there. My brother Alfred joined us in 1934. In 1935 I started school at Hanna (a 2-room school with an outhouse and shed for horses to be stalled).  A new Hanna School was built in 1937 by the W.P.A. (a program to help people by paying them to work under President F. B. Roosevelt).  In 1941 my parents bought a place SE of New Plymouth.  I attended Plaisted, a 1-room school with a path.  There were only 3 in my 8th grade graduation.  I graduated from New Plymouth High in 1947.


In Aug. 1946 I went on a blind date at the “Log Cabin” SE of New Plymouth. A new 1946 Plymouth car pulled up.  One of my friend’s yelled “I get the one with the car!”  That left me with Bob Peterson.  New cars had not been manufactured for 5 years because of WW II.  My folks told me “Never date a returning WW II G.I. as all they wanted to do was get married!”  Bob had returned in June, 1945 from the airforce in Italy where he had flown over Germany and had been shot down and a prisoner of war for 8 months.  He had bought an 80-acre farm on Hyline Road, N. of Ontario, OR.  Bob always said “Imogene didn’t heed her parents!”  We eloped and were married Nov. 19, 1947 and moved into the 2-room house with a cellar underneath, a lean to added on, no running water and a path to the outhouse.  The Congoleum rug would dance when the wind blew. In Aug., 1950 we welcomed daughter Dixie Lee.  By Jan., 1953 we moved into our new home with 6 rooms, real hardwood floors, bathroom and a fireplace.  In Sept. 1953 we welcomed son Kelly and Aug. 1956 we welcomed a daughter Shelley Jo. 


I was a helpmate to Bob in milking cows and working in the fields and claimed to be an unpaid hired man with fringe benefits!  I was a 4H leader, worked in PTA when the children were at Pioneer, a member of Solana Club since 1948, cancer society volunteer, member of Malheur Historical Society, active in Hyline 4H when the children were involved and Treasure Valley Crankers.  Creativity was a big part of my life, enjoying ceramics, crocheting, loved to sew and quilt, and entertain with dinners for family and friends.  My garden (including flowers) was HUGE and 1 year I fed 32 families from it. Bob and I played pinochle with a group of Hyline friends for 35+ years.  I enjoyed playing board games and was the Chinese Checker “Queen” of my family.  In Ontario, I worked retail for 21 years. For over 30 years I wrote local news for the Argus Observer. In 1975 we bought 2 lots at Sumpter, clearing the land making way for a mobile home cabin where we enjoyed relaxing, snowmobiling, fishing, hunting and the flea markets.  Many good times were had in Sumpter until selling in 2015 after 40 years. Bob and I enjoyed traveling and attended many of his 459th Air Force and POW reunions over the USA, always enjoying Shelley as our tour guide.


My Mother passed away at 48 years from cancer.  At 47, when I got cancer I was scared!  However, 46 years later with 3 major cancer surgeries under my belt and living with a type of blood cancer (polycythemia) including phlebotomies each month at MSTI, I still felt mighty lucky to be alive.


Hyline Road (Oregon Slope) was my home for 74 years, same house 69 years, and I was the last of the “oldies” on Hyline to leave our farm.  I moved in with Shelley in Boise and was very happy living there with her great care (after all, I’d trained her and she attended to me like I would have to her.)  Accept what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be.


Imogene was a loving, caring mate to husband Bob who passed away in April 2015 after 67 ½ years and being his caregiver for the last 5 years of his life.  She was loving, caring, nurturing and giving to her children Dixie (Ontario), Kelly (OR Slope) and Shelley (Boise), grandchildren Alex Johnston and Natosha Erlebach, great grandchildren Aixa, Kali, Colson, Quinn and brother Al Russell (Meridian) and his family, and very special remaining friends from the community: Lola Schwartz and Lenora Winkleman.  Many people and medical personnel throughout these past several years commented on how mentally SHARP she was and they enjoyed being around her. Imogene will always be remembered for her generous heart, fun-loving ways, unconditional love and words of wisdom and encouragement.  She was a “light” to us all and showed us love only grows by sharing.  You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.


She was preceded in death by her Mother (1954), her Father (1991), Grandson Chris Johnston (2009).  We would like to thank Dr. Andy Peterson, Dr. Isaac Elam, St. Lukes’ Hospice (especially Sue G., Megan and Samantha) for their excellent care. 


No flowers please.  Per Mom’s words:  “A better use of money is to donate to MSTI Respite Home”, 1118 NW 16th St., Fruitland, ID, 83619.  She tremendously valued their services. 


Graveside services are Sat., Feb. 4 at 11:00 a.m. in Rosedale Memorial Gardens, 10350 Iowa Ave, Payette, ID, arrangements through Shaeffer-Jensen. Wear PURPLE if you have it!

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Graveside Services

11:00 am - 11:30 am
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Rosedale Memorial Gardens
10350 N Iowa Ave.
Payette, Idaho, United States