Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Obituary: Mary Katherine Bernhardt Peterson

October 23, 2002

Services for Mary Katherine "Terry" Bernhardt Peterson, 84, Seattle, will be at 12:30 p.m. today, Oct. 23, 2002, at Kansas City Funeral Directors, 4880 Shawnee Dr., Kansas City, Kan. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Lawrence.

A memorial service was held earlier in Seattle.

Mrs. Peterson died Oct. 11, 2002, in Seattle. She was born Feb. 25, 1918, at home on the family farm in rural Reno, the daughter of Frederick and Josie Bernhardt.

She attended a one-room schoolhouse in Reno, and in 1936 she graduated from Tonganoxie High School. She then attended Lawrence Business College to prepare for a career as a legal secretary.

She moved to Topeka and worked in the Kansas state capitol building for 10 years starting at the motor vehicle department and rising to become secretary to Attorney General Edward F. Arn. She was the charter president of the Kaw chapter of the National Secretary's Association. The organization she and others formed in 1942 became Professional Secretaries International in 1981 and then, in 1998, the International Association of Administrative Professionals.

In fall 1948, she met her future husband, C.M. "Pete" Peterson, a Chicago man who was in the capitol building on business. The couple was married six months later in Leavenworth at the home of her brother and sister-in-law, George F. and Margaret Bernhardt. They moved to Tulsa, Okla., and later lived in Overland Park, Springfield, Mo., and Dickinson, Texas.

For the past 24 years, Mrs. Peterson lived in Seattle, near her daughter, Linda K. Marra. And for the past four years, she was a resident of Seattle's Bayview Manor Health Care Center.

Survivors include her daughter; and a son, Douglas M. Peterson. A niece, Janice Bernhardt, Tonganoxie, also is among survivors.

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