Miss Marian Adell Peterson, 90, passed away gently from this world on March 13, 2023 into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at BeeHive Homes in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Marian was born on April 4, 1932, to Margaret Louise (Chapman) and Elliot Newman Peterson in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She grew up in a large family, one of eight children on East Grand Avenue in Eau Claire. After graduating from Eau Claire High School as a member of the infamous class of 1950, Marian entered the workforce in the food industry at Peters Meats and later tackled defense work at Presto Industries. She eventually moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana to continue her professional career.

Indicative of her lifelong love of learning, Marian began attending Marion College, now Indiana Wesleyan University, in 1958. She graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Education and moved back to Wisconsin to begin her teaching career at C.W. Dodge School in Stanley. Never one to shun additional duties, she became the Title I Reading Teacher in 1968 and ultimately the principal of the school in 1971 upon receiving her Master of Science in Teaching from the Wisconsin State University at Eau Claire. Not content to simply run the school, she continued to teach for a few years. After retirement in 1990, she remained on the school board for five years, ever committed to her district.

The quintessential Norwegian, Marian was ever busy and had numerous hobbies. As one keen niece noted, “Aunt Mim knows everything.” Mim was very handy and credits her brother Dave with teaching her basic carpentry. She started small with decorative crafts, often gifting friends and loved ones with handmade decorations for Christmas and other celebrations. She quickly moved to home renovations, confidently repairing her Stanley homestead, Florida getaway and northern Wisconsin cabin. When frustrated, the only utterance to be heard was “Oh Marian.” When she orchestrated the joist replacement and raising of her Grindstone Lake cabin, her brothers Dave and Dan acquiesced to her superior knowledge. After a long day under the cabin Dan commented to Dave, “Marian does know everything.”

Marian also enjoyed puzzles and games, using Yahtzee as a method to teach math to her young nieces and nephews. She cherished time at her Hayward cabin, “Columbine Cove,” spending time sailing and relaxing with family. She was an avid quilter, creating dozens of baby quilts throughout her life for donation to Apple Crisis Pregnancy Center. Her thirst for knowledge and love of family collided in her extensive genealogy work, tracing the Peterson and Chapman family trees back to Europe.

Wisely, she remained single her entire life. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by brothers, David (Lois) Dale, and Elliot (aka Joe) (Allene); sisters, Marjorie (Alvin) Olson, and Jean (Robert) Foster; and dear friend, Eulah Lane.

Marian is survived by sister, Dorothy (Richard) Schwankl; brother, Daniel (Wava) both of Eau Claire; and brother-in-law, Robert Foster of St. John’s Florida; along with a host of nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and friends.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, May 10, 2023, 11:00 AM, at Smith Funeral Chapel, 2222 London Road, Eau Claire. Visitation will precede the service at 10 AM, and lunch will be provided immediately after the service. Interment of ashes will follow lunch at McCombs Cemetery, Wheaton Township, Chippewa County. Friends and family may leave online condolences at www.smithfuneralec.com.

Marian’s life was one well lived, and she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Apple Crisis Pregnancy Center, 2600 Stein Boulevard, Eau Claire, WI 54701 or Liberty Christian School, 17250 County Hwy J, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729.


  1. Marian was my principal for more than a decade. I enjoyed running into her, often in the puzzle aisle at Farm and Fleet, after her retirement. She gave so much of herself to the Stanley-Boyd District. May she rest in peace.

  2. Dorothy and Richard,
    I send my condolences to both of you as well as Dan and Wava in the loss of Marian. I met Marian only one time but always heard wonderful tributes about her work as an educator and administrator. Obviously, you, Dorothy, and several members of Peterson family were cut from the same cloth as educators. I have several cousins in Stanley so I’m sure she was part of their academic and life successes. According to her obituary, she was fully dedicated to many worthy causes and certainly her extended family. Clearly she had a life well lived, mostly in service to others. Please know I’ll be thinking of you as I well know how difficult it is to lose a sibling. She has certainly earned her eternal life with her Lord. Also, I hope all is well with both of you.

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