Bertha ‘Mae’ Peterson
Bertha “Mae” Peterson was born July 3, 1936 in Del Norte, Colo and died Oct. 9, 2017 in Grand Junction, Colo. at St. Mary’s Hospital. Mae grew up on the family farm near Hooper, Colo. In addition to all the normal household chores and cooking for up to 20 family members, she and her sisters irrigated fields at night so the “boys” could rest. Mae graduated from Hooper high school, home of the Bulldogs, in 1954. After graduation, she moved in with her Uncle John and Aunt Patty Haeflei and worked for Haeflei’s Honey Farms. Mae met her husband to be, Harry “Pete” Peterson, at a town team basketball game in the Fall of 1955, and they were married in Center, Colo. on Aug. 22, 1956. She and Pete then moved to Denver, Colo. where they owned and managed University Hills Mobil service station until 1961. Two sons were born to Pete and Mae in Denver, Terry and Rodney. The young couple then followed their dream of owning a ranch and did just that with the purchase of one on the Blue River near Kremmling, Colo. They stayed there for a short time until they were able to buy a larger ranch east of Gunnison, Colo. near Parlin, Colo. Pete and Mae had one more son born in Gunnison, Greg. Mae lived and worked on the ranch until her death. While living and working on the family ranch, Mae was active in many parts of the local community. She was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, P.M. Pass Time Club, worked with local 4-H and FFA programs that her kids were involved, and was always helping with her kids’ many other activities. Outside of being supportive of her kids, Mae was most passionate about her work within Gunnison Valley Cattlewomen. She served two terms as President of the organization, and for many, many years participated in numerous activities within this group that helped educate people about ranching and to promote the many positive attributes of beef in a healthy diet. While raising three sons, taking care of the household and her involvement in many community activities may seem busy enough, she also did everyday work on the ranch, plus the bookwork that is so necessary to keep up with in any business. While raking hay, she would never allow herself to do a sloppy job and leave hay in the field not raked for the baler. While doing books, Mae always balanced to the penny, and if she couldn’t, redid the work until her mistake was found. And, then, after all of this above mentioned time was spent, she always was welcoming to family and friends to stop by her house and say hello. There was always the candy drawer for many kids to find and look forward to, and homemade cookies in a ziplock bag to enjoy. She always put other people fi rst and wanted them to be happy. She is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Pete; Son, Terry; grandchildren Jason (Jessica); great-granddaughters Hailey and Ashley (Kyle); Son, Rod and grandchildren Sam and Aidan; Son, Greg (Kathleen), step grandchildren Joe and Bill. Numerous other relatives survive Mae and all will miss her dearly.