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“Im so sorry for the loss of your mom Chris... I did not know her but I do know the pain of such loss. I hope you can find comfort in the many...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: Danielle (Candea) Mueller - SCS

With a will that was strong as steel and possessing an inimitable constitution, Helen Juanita Peterson was not one who let this life's hardships keep her down. She saw many things during her nine decades on this planet, but through each hurdle, she stayed consistent and was a rock and matriarch for her family who depended on her strength.

Born on February 11, 1925, Helen was the second and final child born to Harry Sr. and and Goldie Mason (née Williams) in New Albany, Indiana. To support his small family, Harry worked as an ice-man, a police officer for the Louisville Police Department and finally as a security guard at the Liberty National Bank also in Louisville. Goldie was employed as a seamstress in a local shirt factory and later as a china painter.

From the time Helen was a small child to well into her teenage years, she would witness The Great Depression and how it took its toll on the United States and not long after, the country would enter into World War Two. During this time in Helen's life, she would graduate from New Albany High School in 1944 and within a matter of months, would board a train that would take her and her life's possessions to join her mother in the prospering city of Detroit.

The eighteen year old Helen did as most girls her age were doing at this time; she sought employment at the local Chrysler Automotive factory and started work as their newest secretary.

Not long after she began working at Chrysler, Helen would take interest in a nice young man named Eugene "Gene" Peterson who she had been introduced to by her matchmaking relatives. The two would date and finally were wed in 1947. Their first home together was on Altar Street in Detroit and it wouldn't be long before their family was made complete by their children; Pam, Danny, Karen and Larry.

As a mother, Helen stood above the rest. Each evening, her family was greeted with the warm smells of her rich southern delicacies; recipes that had been passed down from her family for many generations. Of all Helen's culinary masterpieces, it was her southern fried chicken that was a must have at least once a week. Gene could be sure that after a long day of working at Ford Motor Company, that his beautiful Helen would have their home looking impeccable and their children would be well cared for. Gene would later be employed by Art-Van as a furniture salesman and the family would relocate to St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

As time would pass, Helen would watch her children graduate or start their careers and leave home, but it was her special son, Chris, who Helen would lovingly care for until he grew into a young man as well. After the sudden passing of her beloved Gene at only forty-seven years of age, Helen, though crushed, knew she had to carry on if not for herself, at least for Chris. She would be employed at this time for the General Safety Company where she worked on the production line creating and making seat belts. It brings a smile to one's face thinking about the countless lives Helen must have saved thanks to her craft and the care she put into what she did.

Helen was a hard worker and though she was not afforded many opportunities to travel, when she did, Chris was always at her side. The two would vacation to Mackinac Island and occasionally make their way to a cottage owned by one of Helen's coworkers.

After twenty-six years of very dedicated service, Helen would retire from General Safety at the age of sixty-seven. Though her time with the company was through, Helen kept up with the many friends she had made from during her time there and you could always count on seeing her at a party or get-together.

As the years would go by, even as Helen's health began to deteriorate, she still enjoyed spending time with her family and telling them stories of her days as a little girl and her migration to Detroit from decades earlier. Many of her "good ol' stories" are still told today and will leave anyone with a smile on their face.

After several years of physical decline, Helen Juanita Peterson departed this life peacefully on the evening of May 15, 2014. Though she has left us for her greatest adventure yet, we take great joy knowing that we will see Helen again someday. As for now, we are left with the beautiful memories and stories that our strong and loving matriarch left us with to cherish and we will continue to pass them on to each new generation. Helen was a wonderful lady, a beautiful spirit and was loved by all who were fortunate to have met her during this life.

She will be greatly missed.

Helen is survived by her children, Pamela (Robert) Seeley, Karen (Dennis) Kleinsorge, Larry (Linda) Peterson; special son, Christopher (Roxanne) Peterson; grandchildren, Heather Kleinsorge; great-grandson, Mason Peterson and many extended loved ones and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene "Gene" Peterson; son, Danny; grandsons, Bradley Wright and Matthew Kleinsorge; parents, Harry Mason Sr. and Goldie Mason and brother, Harry Mason Jr.