TRAVERSE CITY — Evelyn Ann Petersen, 76, of Traverse City passed away Oct. 18, 2012, at her home after an eight-month battle with cancer.
Evelyn was born on July 2, 1936, in Gary, Ind., to the late Eric Maxwell and Julia Ann (Kustron) Ivany.
Evelyn was a graduate of Lew Wallace High School in Gary, Ind., and pursued her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics and Child and Family Life from Hanover College and Purdue University; she later fulfilled her Master's Degree in Child Development and Early Childhood Education at Central Michigan University.
On June 13, 1964, she married Jon E. Petersen. They shared 45 years together before he passed away in 2009.
Evelyn was an award-winning author, parenting columnist, early childhood educator, and longtime contributor to the Record-Eagle. She co-founded the Traverse City Co-op Nursery School and was their first teacher. At the time of her death she had just completed teaching an online course in Early Childhood Education for Bay Mills Community College, which she had continued teaching during her cancer treatments.
Evelyn was interested in different societies and cultures, and was able to pursue this interest during her work with the Head Start program among 16 Tribal Nations in the U.S. She and her late husband Jon also hosted several foreign exchange students through the Rotary Club exchange program. Evelyn enjoyed traveling both in the U.S. and abroad; some of her most recent trips included a visit to former exchange students Anja Forsberg and Eeva Kärki in Finland, and a Caribbean cruise with her sister, Kathi Ivany-Mort. Other interests she enjoyed were music and the arts, and she participated in many volunteer activities at Interlochen Center for the Arts, where her late husband had been a faculty member. Evelyn liked to entertain family and friends at their Long Lake home, which they shared with her two (utterly spoiled) cats, Tiger and Buddy. She also enjoyed snorkeling, Ai chi, and tending her beautiful gardens.
Evelyn is survived by her daughters, Heather (Bill) Hewett of Kewadin, Karin Petersen of Traverse City, and Kristin Petersen of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; son, Eric Hebert of Gainesville, Fla.; grandchildren, Jason Seixas, Amanda Hebert, and Melissa Hebert; great-grandchildren, Hunter and Natalie Seixas; sister, Helen Kathleen (Jef) Ivany-Mort; nieces Erica (John) Biek and Erin (Matthew) Larson-Rockwell; great-uncle Llewellyn Ivany, great-aunt Doris (Ivany) Timmons; and numerous cousins of Nova Scotia, Canada.
A celebration of Evelyn's life will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. at the Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions in memory of Evelyn may be directed to the Women's Resource Center and Traverse City Cooperative Preschool. Envelopes will be provided at the funeral home.
Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share your thoughts and memories with the family.
The family is being served by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.