Dixie Mae PetersonAugust 25, 1931 ~ February 21, 2018 (age 86)
Dixie Mae Parsley Peterson, much loved spouse, mother, sister, and friend, died peacefully on February 21, 2018. She was surrounded with the love of her son, Russell Peterson of Los Angeles, California and her daughter-in-law, Jeannie Peterson of Boise, Idaho. Dixie was preceded in death by her son, Dan Alan Peterson in 2008, and her loving and devoted husband and best friend of 63 years, Gerald R. Peterson in 2014.
Dixie was born August 25, 1931 in Lewiston, Idaho to Edith Parsley Fleck and Tony Parsley. She was the second of four children; Fred, Dixie, Tony, and Mona. She is survived by her younger sister; Mona Agne of St. Louis, Missouri.
Growing up in Lewiston was just perfect for Dixie. It was a place that was full of friends and comfort and she blossomed becoming one of the most popular girls at Lewiston High School. That’s where she met the love of her life, Gerald – Jerry and the two were a perfect match. Neither one of them “ever met a stranger”.
After graduation, Jerry and Dixie married in September of 1951 and while Jerry served in the Army, Dixie began to create their home. As time went by, they had two sons Danny and Russell and Jerry began his work as a dental technician and started building his business, the Peterson Dental Laboratory, which eventually brought them to Boise.
Dixie loved taking care of her family and thoroughly enjoyed decorating her home. She was always the first mom to volunteer at school, travel on field trips and signed up to be the Den Mother whenever needed. She was completely supportive of her children’s passions and was always there for them.
In her free time, Dixie enjoyed sharing the ski slopes with her husband and playing golf with her many friends. She loved the theatre, literature, and music and spent lots of time supporting her sons as they followed their dreams in the arts.
Dixie developed a passion for travel and had an astounding knowledge of the world and its geography that was frequently a subject around the dinner table. She pursued this passion and became Idaho’s very first Certified Travel Consultant and was appointed to the Idaho State Travel Council by then Governor Cecil Andrus. It’s no doubt that this wanderlust would help her and Jerry take many trips and cruises around the world once retirement time arrived.
Dixie and Jerry had a very active social life and enjoyed their circle of friends, entertaining in both their McCall and Eagle homes. They would attend concerts at the Morrison Center and never missed their son Danny’s openings wherever he was performing. It was always a source of pride to see what Russell was doing in the entertainment and software business in Los Angeles or watch the Idaho Shakespeare Festival grow each year that their son Danny helped to start.
Life took two very hard turns when Danny died unexpectedly in 2008 of a massive heart attack and just six years later, her beloved Jerry died so quickly of pancreatic cancer. But even with these setbacks, Dixie’s indomitable spirit stayed buoyant. She has been a joy to anyone who crossed her path and passed out her endless supply of smiles and held hands with anyone she could reach. Dixie was love.
Dixie will be greatly missed by all who knew her including her son Russell and daughter-in-law Jeannie, her sister and numerous nieces and nephews and all her friends. The family is so very grateful for the wonderful services of Signature Hospice and the angels at Beehive Homes/Golden Years, Inc. who provided loving care at their immaculate facility.
No funeral is planned at this time but memorials may be made to the Danny Peterson Scholarship Fund at Boise State University or to the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. And if you can, attend a performance in the Danny Peterson Theatre at BSU or go to the Shakespeare Festival and on your way in, sit on Danny’s bench near the entrance to the performance space. That will make Dixie smile and you’ll feel the touch of her hand on your heart.