Elizabeth J. Peterson

Elizabeth J. Peterson

HEATHSVILLE—Elizabeth Jane Peterson, 90, of Heathsville died on November 27, 2019, after a short, but courageous, battle against lung cancer.

Born July 30, 1929, to Gladys Isabelle Hallock and Bennet Hunter Ertel, the youngest of four children, Jane grew up in Hempstead, N.Y.  She descended from a long line of first settlers of New Netherland and Long Island, and was a member of the DAR.

Jane married in 1949 to the late Alan Ellwood Peterson, a navy veteran of World War II, and they raised three daughters, Holly Jane Peterson of Nova Scotia, Canada, Isabel Dale Silver of Gainesville, Fla., and Dana Anne Peterson of Richmond. The family spent many weekends and summers boating and sailing on the Great South Bay and swimming at Jones Beach and off Fire Island.

Widowed at the early age of 49, Jane had the courage to enter the working world as an insurance agent for Equitable Life, taking on Alan’s (“Pete”) clients after his death. She later followed her dream and went to college, earning a bachelor’s from Dowling College, N.Y, 1991. Jane later studied to become a master naturalist and taught visiting school classes and groups about local flora and fauna at a Long Island nature preserve.

In 1994, Jane moved to the Great Wicomico River and discovered the lovely natural environs of the Northern Neck and the Chesapeake Bay region. She also became an active volunteer in the community, including the Northumberland Historical Society, Northumberland Public Library, Chesapeake Bay Garden Club, NN Native Plant Society, and the Light of Christ Anglican Church, Heathsville, where she worked in the altar guild.

Jane was an enthusiastic and accomplished tennis player well into her 70s. She had a lifelong passion for gardening, home decor and gourmet cooking, and was a voracious reader to satisfy her intellectual curiosity. In her later years, Jane greatly enjoyed her grandchildren, bridge and knitting socks for her family and those in need. She was engaged in all of these activities until the end, modeling an excitement for life that continues to inspire her daughters and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, December 26, at the Light of Christ Anglican Church, Heathsville. In lieu of flowers, send donations to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, cba.org, click on “Join Us.”

Currie Funeral Home LLC of Kilmarnock handled the arrangements.