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Billie Peterson

WALNUT — Billie E. Peterson, 83, of Walnut died Thursday, March 7, 2013, at Walnut Manor Nursing Home in Walnut.

Bill was born on June 16, 1929, in Clinton, Iowa, the son of Clair and Jessie (Rollo) Peterson. He was united in marriage to Sue J. Livey on May 3, 1953, in Walnut.

Bill spent his youth in Prophetstown. After moving to Walnut he would visit his grandparents in Prophetstown by hitching a ride on a train from Walnut to Prophetstown. He would throw his bike on the caboose and spend the day visiting relatives and return to Walnut on the train again. As a child, Bill spent much of his time going around the country watching his dad, Clair, race his No. 10 race car.

During Bill’s high school years, he loved sports and was a member of the undefeated and unscored upon, “Raiders.” Bill attended Bradley University to study watchmaking. He later served with the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. Upon returning home, Bill and Sue were married.

Bill was employed for many years with Steel and Haurberg and Bruce Jewelry, both of Walnut. He also enjoyed driving a school bus for the Walnut School District. In the early 1980s, Bill and Sue purchased the jewelry store in Walnut and ran Peterson’s Jewelry and Gift Store for about 20 years.

Bill was a member of the Walnut Rotary Club and was very active in various committees at Walnut United Methodist Church for many years. He was a member of the Walnut Chamber of Commerce, inducted into the Walnut Hall of Fame, and was the Walnut Township supervisor for many years. Bill was a sports fan of the Walnut Raiders and Bureau Valley Schools for years. He enjoyed watching all of his kids and grandkids participating in the sports. Bill spent his life loving this community and his large loving family.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Peterson of Walnut; his children, Bee-Ja (Joe) Thompson, Tami ( Harold) Huseman, Cari ( John) Durham, Corey (Valerie) Peterson, Jenny (Steve) Koser and Chad Peterson, all of Walnut; 18 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his stepfather, Frank Kopriva; two brothers, Clair Jr. and Forrest “Buck” Peterson; one grandson, Shane Thompson; and one great-grandson, Noah Lind.

Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Walnut United Methodist Church with the Rev. Gale T. Brandner, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in the Walnut Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Garland Funeral Home in Walnut and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Walnut United Methodist Church.

A memorial has been established to the Walnut United Methodist Church, the Walnut Park District, the Walnut Fire Department and Walnut Manor Nursing Home.

Condolences may be left at

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