Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Holly F. Peterson, 63, passed away on January 10, 2024 surrounded by her loving family. She lived with breast cancer for nearly 10 years, demonstrating faith, strength, and acceptance.
Holly was born in Sparta, WI to August and Betty (Jerome) Vian. She married Michael Peterson in 1982 and they had two children, Karla and Matthew.
After graduating from Sparta High School in 1978, she received her nursing degree from UW Eau Claire and joined the U.S. Army as a Nursing Officer. She later received her advanced degree from the College of St. Catherine and had a rewarding career as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Holly retired from the Army at the rank of Major following a successful 20-year career that included active and reserve duty. She was deployed during Desert Storm and served as an ICU Head Nurse during her reserve duty.
Holly was dedicated to supporting her children in Girl and Boy Scouts, 4H, and school activities. As a young girl, she began to sew and make crafts. This became a life-long passion, and she created hundreds of quilts to recognize special people in her life. She cherished attending Quilt Camp with her daughter and dear friends. She continued to sew and create personalized gifts until her death, and sewing for her granddaughter brought her immense joy. “Rory’s Grandma” was her dearest role in her last six months. Holly enjoyed flower, vegetable, and herb gardening and had many varieties of peonies. She loved giving to others, and many received her home-made jelly or salsa. Her household was not complete without at least two small dogs that brought her much joy.
Holly is survived by her husband of 41 years, Michael of Sparta, daughter, Karla of Onalaska, and son, Matthew (Jessica) and granddaughter, Rory of Winona. She is also survived by her mother, Betty Graack, and siblings, Nancy Donovan, Jeff (Karen) Vian, Lisa (Jim) Hill, Sabrina (Jason) Schultz, Glenda Vian, and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Additional survivors include, David (Yvonne) Peterson, James (Sandy) Peterson, Karen Peterson, and Tracy (John) Pecka. Holly is also survived by dear friends from high school, her long career in nursing in Duluth, quilters, military, and her cancer support group. Holly was a friend to all who met her…a very kind and compassionate soul.
She is preceded in death by her father, grandparents, Ernest Graack, nephew, Ryan Donovan and great-nephew, Kale.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Sparta, with Reverend Josh Buzbee officiating. Military honors, provided by VFW Post 2112 and American Legion Post 100 of Sparta, will follow at the church.
Family and friends are invited for visitation from 12 noon until 2 p.m. on Saturday at the church. Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Sparta Area Cancer Support (SACS) at PO Box 130, Sparta, WI 54656 or the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.