Jerrilee K. Petersen obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Jerrilee K. Petersen

August 1, 1928 - March 17, 2017

Obituary


Wife, mother, homemaker, educator, seamstress, volunteer, caregiver - Jerrilee ("Jerri") K Petersen of Yelm died March 17, 2017, at the age of 88.

Jerrilee was always fun loving and ready for a party, with a great smile and unique laugh. She loved everyone and was loved by many. Everyone has a mother, but we were blessed to have Mama.

Her baby book says she smiled the day she was born - August 1, 1928, in Friday Harbor, Washington to Melvin and Katherine (Yount) Hjelm. Jerrilee joined her older brother George Hjelm. As...

Wife, mother, homemaker, educator, seamstress, volunteer, caregiver - Jerrilee ("Jerri") K Petersen of Yelm died March 17, 2017, at the age of 88.

Jerrilee was always fun loving and ready for a party, with a great smile and unique laugh. She loved everyone and was loved by many. Everyone has a mother, but we were blessed to have Mama.

Her baby book says she smiled the day she was born - August 1, 1928, in Friday Harbor, Washington to Melvin and Katherine (Yount) Hjelm. Jerrilee joined her older brother George Hjelm. As a young child, her family moved to the Olympia area where she attended local schools and graduated from Olympia (William Winlock Miller) High School in 1946. She attended the University of Washington, Pacific Lutheran College, and the College of Puget Sound.

While attending the University of Washington she met her husband-to-be, Harry Jess Petersen. They were married December 26, 1949, and had a full and happy life together until Harry died in April 2014. Jerrilee was the mother of four children: Jeff (Paula) Petersen, Thor (Kellie) Petersen, Kaia Petersen, and Gunnar (Elaine) Petersen. She was an awesome Grandma Jerri to Erik (Marie) Petersen, Lenna Petersen, Kirsten (Tony) Colyer, Kiel Petersen, Max Petersen, Yokiko Hayashi-Saguil (Will), and Mieko Petersen. She was Great-Grandma Jerri to Tuuli Walton, Aiden Petersen, Kyla Petersen, and Noelani Colyer. Nephews, nieces, cousins, and many other people that she loved and cared for are also included in the Petersen family.

The family lived in Duvall, Carnation, and Lakewood before moving to Yelm in 1967. Jerrilee was committed to public service and was an active volunteer in every community she lived. She taught sewing at Faith Home in Tacoma and later served on their board of directors. After moving to Yelm, she was a 4-H leader and taught sewing and tailoring in evening classes at Yelm High School. From 1984 to 1998 Jerrilee served on the Board of Yelm Community Schools where her focus was always "what's best for the kids."

Jerrilee loved to sew. Many beautiful brides wore dresses that she helped fit before their big days. She is well remembered for her standard bridal shower gift - a hand-sewn casserole carrier along with a casserole dish.

She was active in the Episcopal Church where ever she lived: St. Mary's and St. Joseph-St. John's in Lakewood, St. Timothy's in Yelm, and St. Benedict's in Lacey. Jerrilee applied her tailoring skills to making vestments, altar clothes, and church banners. Services for St. Timothy's were often held at the family home and Jerrilee would travel to share communion with those who could not attend service.

The family would like to thank Stephen and Christina Magdadaro and their daughter Jasmin at Abundance of Care for the amazing care they gave to Mama the last three years of her life. Jerrilee's memorial service will be Sunday, April 23, 2017, at 1:00 pm at St. Benedict's Episcopal Church (910 Bowker St.) in Lacey. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jerrilee's honor may be made to the Yelm Dollars for Scholars Program at Yelm Community Schools.