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Harriet Edith Williams Peterson

August 9, 1906 - September 30, 2006







The Norman Transcript
October 6, 2006


Harriet Edith Williams Peterson, 100, of Norman died Sept. 30. At her request there will be no services. Burial will take place at the Riverside Cemetery in Ladysmith, Wis., under the direction of Guardian Norman Funeral Home.

Mrs. Peterson was born in Madison, Wis., on Aug. 9, 1906, to Glenn H. and Victoria Fish Williams. She was raised and educated through high school in Ladysmith. After graduation she earned a B.A. degree in 1929 from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude. She received a master's degree in Latin from Columbia University in 1935. For several years she taught Latin and French in schools of Red Wing, Minn., and Chippewa Falls, Wis.

After a shipboard romance on her first trip to Europe, Mrs. Peterson married Horace C. Peterson, a University of Oklahoma history professor. Shortly after their marriage the world witnessed the outbreak of World War II. The Petersons then spent time in Miami Beach, Fla., and in Rio de Janeiro where Major Peterson served as an attach? for the U.S. Diplomatic Corps.

At the end of World War II the Petersons returned to live and work in Norman. Following the death of her husband in 1952, Mrs. Peterson worked at the University of Oklahoma Press as a proofreader, editor and indexer. She later taught one year in Lawton, and for 10 years she taught French and Latin at Norman High School. While teaching at Norman High she was chosen to receive a federal grant to participate in the Overseas National Defense Act Institute for Advanced Study. Participants in the rigorous nationwide competition spent nine weeks in France, engrossed in travel and study.

After retirement she worked for the next 16 years doing freelance editing for the OU Press and grading Latin papers for the OU independent study correspondence courses.

Mrs. Peterson was the oldest member of the First Presbyterian Church, where she served as elder and trustee. She belonged to several educators' associations, as well as the Les Commeres French Group of Norman and the University of Oklahoma Women's Association.

Mrs. Peterson's hobbies included exploring various regions of France, which she had done about 10 different times; visiting the family summer home at Lac Court Oreilles in Wisconsin with her sisters; and attending OU football games. She also liked to play bridge, read and work crossword puzzles.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Peterson was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Harold F. Williams and her sister Jean V. Williams.

She is survived by her sister Marjorie Williams, of Appleton, Wis.; two nieces, Betty Salvino and husband Patrick of Fairfax, Va., and Denise S. Parker and husband David and their children Alexander and Anna of Dakton, Va.; and three nephews, David C. Salvino and wife Mona and their children William, Emma and Nathan of Oak Hill, Va., Jeffery H. Salvino of Hayward, Calif., and Stanley Peterson and wife Fay of Cedarpines Park, Calif.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Horace C. Peterson Memorial Scholarship Fund, University of Oklahoma Foundation, 100 Timberdell Road, Norman, OK 73019, the First Presbyterian Church, 555 S. University Blvd., Norman, OK 73069 or a charity of the donor's choice.




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