Virginia Marie Peterson (born 3/21/27) - (alias GG, gran, Gin and mom) passed a few weeks short of her 96th birthday on February 25, 2023 at her home in Vestal N.Y. She departed with her loving daughter and sons at hand, and to the last day mouthed her rosary and eagerly listened to updates about the lives of all – probably even you the reader! NYC born of the late Patrick and Mary Hannon she noted that you can take a girl out of the Bronx, but you can't take the Bronx out of the girl - even 68 years since living there.
She was married 56 years to the late Carl R. Peterson and also was predeceased by her precious great-grandchild Joseph Peterson.
She leaves 3 children; Christine (Bob) Wunders, Robert (Colleen) Peterson and William (Debra) Peterson. A constant stream of visitors were drawn to hear her wisdom, insight, and in-fun insults and sarcasm. One or more of her sons, daughter and favorite son-in-law were there daily her last years.
Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren also were drawn to her presence regularly. She freely shared with all the secret to her long life – coffee and m&m's! She was on no other medication. At times she asked, "what am I still doing here?" We all knew what she was doing – thinking and praying for others; keeping track of the lives of 3 kids, 12 grandkids, 16 great-grandkids, (and literally everyone else that she ever met); reading murder mysteries to discuss with Robert Wunders, her favorite (and only) son-in-law; following the weather (though she rarely went out); giving birthday cards with money to countless "kids" (from age 75 to newborn); writing letters to lifelong friends and relatives; and, finding endless ways to share her care, best wishes, and love to all and any (from the Dunkin Donut server to her closest relatives). Even near the end the priest noted how she was still quite "a pistol", and she noted that he was "dressed like the cat's meow."
More than generous, she was truly magnanimous – a rarely used term today – but one befitting a very rare human being. It reflects her greatness of spirit – an outpouring not only of material gifts and time, but a greater giving of heart, humor, and a caring soul that left little room for thought of self. One became more generous, caring, and a better person just being with her. Gin had a wry sense of humor. When cops came and told her they were investigating an area murder she said she always wanted to live next to a serial killer. They were shocked and asked, "why"? She said because people always say "but he was the best neighbor!" The investigator also was at a loss as to how to tell who lived in each apartment - so she advised him to just look at the mailboxes!
She was a prolific snail mail letter writer and card sender with special pen pals including: all of her nieces: Sheila P: Sheila and Kevin Finnegan; the late Sister Margaret Rose; Sister Catherine (Vigg); Maura F; the Flecks; Anna Marie; and the late Sister Margaret Rose; Betty Sobocinski; Ethel, Donald McCullum, and cousins Kay Bonatakis, Rita Kugler, and Helen. She regularly sent greeting cards to perhaps 100 children and adults.
Grandchildren (with spouse in parenthesis) included: Scott (Jen) La Vare; Ross (Danielle) La Vare; Mindy (Joseph) Visgitus; Marcy (Jacob) Peterson. Matthew (Mary), Mark (Julia), Paul (Terese) and Bobby - all Peterson, James –Sarge (Heather) Wunders, Kim (Travis) Robinson; Mary (Brandon) Dostie; Kate (Jacob) Howell.
In lieu of flowers her favorite charities were St. Jude's for children; Cystic Fibrosis, and St. Joseph Indian School. HOWEVER the best tribute you can pay her memory is 1. always be kind, 2. think of others and never yourself, 3. be generous (to others and yourself) 4. watch your weight (don't eat too much bread) 5. after you think of others, do something for them 6. sit up straight.
A Funeral Mass will be offered on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Vestal, with visitation starting at 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Burial will be in Vestal Park Cemetery.