Theresa Janette Weeks Peterson

Theresa Janette Weeks Peterson was born on Thursday, April 14,1938, in Gansville, LA to the union of James Faxon and Leola Harris Weeks. Maternal grandparents were James Nash “Jim” and Ella Effie Rhymes Harris, and paternal grandparents were Wiseman Everett and Ethie Lindy Rushing Weeks. She passed away Wednesday, July 3, 2019 after a brief illness.

Growing up, she was very active in her church, having accepted Christ as her Savior at an early age. As a teenager, she felt the call to home missions. Theresa attended Dodson High School and graduated Salutatorian of the Class of 1956.

On September 12, 1956, she married Leonard Leo Peterson and started her new life in Ward 10. Theresa and Leonard were blessed with four children. They raised their family in the church and even sang gospel music as a family. Both Leonard and Theresa served in leadership positions in the church, with Theresa serving as a Sunday school teacher and as the church pianist for over thirty years. In turn, all of their children went into some form of ministry or other church support work.

The importance of a good education was stressed in the Peterson household, and they graduated four honor students including two valedictorians and a salutatorian. All four children attended college, with two earning bachelor’s degrees and teaching certificates and one going on to earn a master’s degree. In fact, all nine of their grandchildren acquired post-secondary certifications and degrees, including associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Theresa continued to set a positive example for her family when in the fall of 1979 she began her college career. Displaying great character, determination, perseverance, and stamina, she received her bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate in library science with a minor in English in the spring of 1983, graduating with honors from NSU in the same week that her last child graduated with honors from Calvin High School.

Theresa taught English and reading at Winnfield Middle School for one year and substituted at both Dodson and Calvin, but she spent most of her time being Granny to her grandchildren. She was a wonderful seamstress and a great cook and enjoyed passing on these skills to the next two generations. It just wasn’t “family Christmas” without Granny’s dressing and custard rolls. Theresa also enjoyed spending time working in her yard, tending her flowers and riding her lawn tractor. She could man-handle a tiller with the best of them. She and Leonard raised a garden every year for well over fifty years, sharing vegetables with family and friends throughout the community. She was a hard worker and spent countless hours battling the beavers and keeping the spillway open in the pond behind their house.

After Leonard’s retirement, they opened their home not only to both of their mothers but also to children and grandchildren as the need arose for however long the need existed. Some of her grandsons will always consider Granny’s house their home, more so than anywhere else. At one point Leonard and Theresa were providing a home for eight additional family members, harkening back to a time when multiple generations lived under the same roof.

The years brought much happiness - weddings, births, graduations, holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special events. But Theresa also experienced her share of tragedy. Her father passed away in 1988 and her baby brother in 2000. Theresa’s baby girl lost her battle with cancer in 2005 at the age of 40. Her mother went home to be with the Lord in early 2011, and her grandson, only 22 years old, was killed in a tragic automobile accident just a few short months later. In late February of 2012 she lost her husband of more than 55 years, and just two years later her daughter-in-law passed away at the age of 51. Through it all, she kept her faith and looked to her Heavenly Father for comfort, strength, and peace.

Thinking back to her early years and her call to missions, Theresa once told her daughter that she had realized that her mission field was her family and her community. God had planted her right where He wanted her, right where He needed her. She indeed had an amazing impact on both, and the ripples continue to spread with each new generation.

Theresa is survived by daughters Rosalind Peterson Lowe of Campti, LA and Gwen Peterson Fogger (Tim) of Jonesboro, LA; son Prinston Leo Peterson (Lori) of Tioga, LA; grandchildren Randall Lowe, Rebecca Lowe Cason (Dr. Josh), Robert Lowe (Megan), Meghann Peterson- White (Lisa), Heather Peterson Holland (Tommy), Brandon Smith (Miranda), Justin Smith (Amanda) and Benjamin Smith (Jennifer); great-grandchildren Michaela, Chloe, Tanner, Alyssa, Johanna, Dean, Shaley and Hunter with MacKenzie on the way; brother Preston Dwight Weeks of Gansville, LA; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents James Faxon and Leola Harris Weeks, her husband Leonard Leo Peterson, her daughter Katarina Peterson Smith, her grandson Christopher Joseph Peterson, her daughter-in-law Janet Coen Peterson, and her brother Richard Evon Weeks.

Serving as pallbearers will be Theresa’s grandsons: Randall and Robert Lowe, Brandon, Justin, and Benjamin Smith, Dr. Joshua Cason, and Tommy Holland.

Friends visited with the family from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Friday, July 5, 2019, at Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield, LA. Funeral services were held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at Antioch Community Church in Brewton’s Mill with Reverend Hayward Hossler and Reverend Ricky Kelley officiating. Interment was at Antioch Cemetery in Brewton’s Mill under the direction of Southern Funeral Home of Winnfield.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to: Antioch Cemetery Association, 400 Leonard Peterson Road, Goldonna, LA 71031.

Friends may express messages of condolence to the family online by visiting www.southernfuneralhome.com.

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