Gwendolyn (Gwen) Peter, 88

Aug. 5, 1935 -
May 28, 2024
CRESCO - Gwendolyn Lea “Gwen” Peter of Cresco died at home surrounded by loved ones on May 28, 2024 after a brief cancer diagnosis. She was 88 years old.
Gwen was born on August 5, 1935 in Decorah, Iowa. She was the youngest of three daughters born to Irwin Lyle Eaton and Anna Iowa (Telford) Eaton. She attended school in Cresco, graduating from Cresco High School in 1953. After graduating, she spent a few months in Omaha attending an airline personnel certification program. Throughout her years at home Gwen and her sisters spent many hours washing milk bottles to be filled at her father’s milk bottling and delivery business - Eaton’s Dairy.
On September 19, 1954 she was united in marriage to Arnold Peter (son of Alfred and Elta Peter) at the Methodist Church in Cresco. They lived in Cresco for three years while Arnie worked in town and they started their family. In 1958, Arnie talked Gwen into being a farm wife - teaching her to drive a tractor and eventually all of the farm equipment: plows, corn pickers, balers - all of it. And since she knew about dairy sanitation from her formative years - she was in charge of the sanitation for their dairy operation, but she drew the line at actually milking those cows. Together, they raised pigs, chickens, cattle, hay, corn, oats and beans. She was a hard worker and through the years drove a school bus for How-Winn, worked at Leutholds Clothing store, and Opportunity Homes as a house manager. After retirement she was custodian for the United Methodist Church. 
She was creative and loved woodworking projects; turning bowls and vases, building furniture and trays. She and Arnie lovingly built three grandfather clocks, one for each of their three grandchildren. She was an active member of the United Methodist Church; singing in the choir, and was especially busy in her circle, making hundreds of pies and spending every morning in the kitchen of the church fair stand making breakfast during the Howard County Fair. She was active in Wa-tan-ye, volunteered with the hospital auxiliary, Red Cross blood mobile, and for many years served as an election judge.
Gwen is survived by her daughter Sherry (Alan) Whalen of Kasson, MN, son Steven of Cresco, three grandsons: Jeffrey (Mary) Whalen of Inver Grove Heights, MN, Michael (Bianca) Whalen of Kasson and Thomas (Allison) Whalen also of Kasson, eight great-grandchildren: Cooper and Audrey Whalen; Rainn, Isaiah and Ryleigh Whalen; Joseph, Benjamin and Phillip Whalen, stepsisters Rose (Dick) Feenstra and Janice Salazar, stepbrothers Stanley and Arlo Hildahl, several nieces and nephews and many dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Arnie in 2021, parents Lyle and Iowa Eaton, two sisters and brothers-in-law Margery (Ben) Jackson and Nancy (Frank) Jackson, stepmother Cora Hildahl Eaton, and stepbrothers Joseph, Casper and Alton Hildahl.
The family would like to thank all of her friends and neighbors who showed so much kindness and the Howard County Community Hospice group for their loving care, support and help during her journey.
Per her wishes, a private graveside service will be held, with a visitation at Lindstrom Funeral Home in Cresco on Monday, June 10, 2024 from 4 to 7 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Howard County Community Hospice or the Cresco United Methodist Church in her name. Lindstrom Funeral Home is handling arrangements. 

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

Sign Up For Breaking News

Stay informed on our latest news!

Manage my subscriptions

Subscribe to Breaking News feed