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Memories of a Lifetime of Love



Laura Maud (MacArthur) Peterson

March 30, 1926 ~ July 28, 2018 (age 92)

Laura Maud MacArthur Peterson peacefully passed away on July 28, 2018, at age 92. She was preceded by her husband, John Ridgeway Peterson.

She is survived by her two children, Laura (Laurie) Lee Peterson O'Meara and husband, George Matthews O'Meara of Charlottesville, VA and her son John Ridgeway (Ridge or JR) Peterson II of Atlanta; four grandchildren, Shannon O'Meara Kibler and husband Jonathan R. Kibler of Elkton, VA, Morgan Stuart O'Meara and wife Terri O'Meara of Clayton, NC, Michelle Peterson of Atlanta, and Brandon Peterson of Atlanta, and three great-grandchildren, Juliana Lee Kibler, Sydney Ann Kibler and Reid Matthews O'Meara.

Laura was born on March 30, 1926 in Albuquerque, New Mexico to the late Margaret Lee MacArthur and Archibald Stuart MacArthur. She lived in Wagon Mound, NM where her father owned the A. MacArthur Company General Merchandise store and later, owned The Vermejo Ranch raising sheep and cattle.

Laura loved her hometown roots of Wagon Mound, but as a young child she spent her elementary school years with her grandmother Lee in Albuquerque.  She continued on to high school at The Sandia School for Girls.  When it was requisitioned by the US Government during WWII, she spent one year in Jacksonville, FL attending The Bartram School for Girls.  From Florida, she went to Ferry Hall, now a part of Lake Forest Academy in Illinois. She attended Smith College in Northampton, MA graduating in 1948. During most holidays and vacations she would go back to New Mexico by train to see her parents.  A favorite memory of hers was to help with the Round-Ups during the summers at her Uncle Floyd Lee's ranch at Mt Taylor in New Mexico.

After her college years, she lived in Albuquerque, where she met her future husband, John R. Peterson who was stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque.  After a whirlwind courtship, they were married on July 7, 1950. Not long after they were married the Korean War broke out.  John was transferred to an airbase in Shreveport, LA where their daughter Laura (Laurie) was born in 1952.  Towards the end of the Korean Conflict, John left the Air Force and they moved back to Albuquerque, where he worked for Standard Oil Company as a "landman". Their second child, John (Ridge), was born in 1955.

Laura was involved with The Junior League where she made many friends over the years.  In 1963 they moved to Springfield, VA where John had accepted a job with the CIA.  They transferred to Atlanta in 1972. During summers they visited with Laura's parents at the ranch in New Mexico and also visited John's family in Ailey to attend Peterson Family Reunions and for visits to St. Simons Island and Sea Island.

During their retirement years, John and Laura vacationed to various European countries.  They lived seven years on Sea Island, GA before moving back to Albuquerque to care for Laura's parents.  Afterward moving to St. Simons Island, until John passed away in 2009.  After John passed away, Laura came to Charlottesville, VA to live at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge to be near her daughter.

The family wishes to thank all the employees and nurses at Westminster Canterbury who helped Laura with her struggles with dementia towards the latter years of her life along with Hospice of the Piedmont. She was known as "The Cowgirl from NM" and was recognized for her red cowboy boots.

 A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 11th at 10:00 a.m. in the Ailey United Methodist Church with Reverend Brian Durden officiating.  Burial will follow in the Peterson Cemetery in Ailey.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either the Peterson Family Cemetery, c/o Tom Peterson, PO Box 7, Ailey, GA 30410; or Hospice of The Piedmont, Attn: Advancement Office, 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22911.

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