Abbie Van Siclen Peterson died at Elim Care Center, Fargo, on May 3, 2005. The descendant of Dutch settlers who first arrived in the New World in the 1630’s, she was born on February 19, 1918 at home on the family farm in Queens, New York. The youngest of the seven children of George E. and Abbie Baxter Van Siclen, she had two sisters who had succumbed to childhood diseases in their first year of life, and Abbie=s father donated a stained glass window to their church in thanksgiving for her survival. Abbie attended public elementary school in Hollis, New York and graduated in 1935 from the Cathedral School of St. Mary, an Episcopal girls= high school where she was an honor student, a hurdler on the track team and an archer. Although she was an excellent student, her parents wanted her to be self-supporting as quickly as possible during the Depression and sent her to secretarial school in New York City rather than college. Her first job was in Manhattan at Rockefeller Center for the movie company now known as Universal Studios.
Abbie married Robert F. Peterson, whom she had met at church, on October 18, 1939. They made their home on Long Island until moving in 1958 to Middletown, in the Hudson Valley region of New York State. There she was employed as the administrative assistant to the regional superintendent of schools until her retirement in 1979. She was very proud of her skills in shorthand and typing and was a perfectionist both at work and at home, typing many term papers for her four children in the days before computers and word processing.
In 1981, Abbie and her husband Bob retired to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Following Bob=s death in 1997, Abbie moved to Pioneer House Assisted Living in Fargo in May of 2000, and to Elim Care Center in November 2002.
Abbie loved her church work, dressmaking, needlework, dancing with her husband, playing bridge, and reading. She was a loving wife and devoted mother. She is survived by her four children: Abigail Peterson Reilly (Thomas) of Hartford, Connecticut, Deborah P. Tight (Robert) of Fargo, Meredith Peterson Tufts (Robert) of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, and Robert A. Peterson (Katherine) of Bethesda, Maryland; eight of her nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, and by a grandson, Thomas Tight.
A memorial service will be held in the chapel of Elim Care Center, 3534 South University Drive, Fargo, on Saturday, May 7 at 2 PM. Interment will be at a later date in Ancient Cemetery, Yarmouthport, Massachusetts. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Elim Care Center or to the charity of the donor=s choice.
Arrangements by Boulger Funeral Home. Please visit our online guestbook at www.boulgerfuneralhome.com