On June 9, 2021, Grace Haden Peterson, age 100, of Palmyra, Virginia and of Fluvanna County, passed away in her home, gracefully, three days after her 100th birthday. She was the widow of Bouson E. Peterson, Sr., who was the love of her life and to whom she was very happily married for over 58 devoted years.
Grace Peterson was born on June 6, 1921, at Pleasant Grove near Palmyra, the County Seat of Fluvanna County, to the late Otis Fletcher Haden, Sr. and Annie Taylor Haden. In addition to her husband, Grace was preceded in death by her nine siblings, five brothers, Ritchie, Otis, Jr., Billy, Buddy, and Sonny; and by her four sisters, Mollie Shackelford, Virginia Lee Haney, Mary Ann Parrish, and Frances Parrish, all also born on Pleasant Grove.
In her youth, Grace and her family moved from Pleasant Grove up Virginia State Route 53 (now the Thomas Jefferson Parkway) toward Cunningham and settled on another lovely farm which was sold after Grace’s beloved father’s death, and which is now the “Stage Coach Hills Subdivision”.
After her graduation from Fluvanna County High School and one day while fox hunting with hounds with her father in the Cunningham area, she first met Bouson, Sr., who was also an avid fox hunter, and then ensued a courtship culminating in their marriage.
After her marriage, Grace first lived for about seven years with her husband and some of his family members at what now is the “Black Family Farm” on now Hidden Valleys Road, Palmyra. While living there, the only child of Grace and Bouson, Sr. was born, namely their son, Bouson E. Peterson, Jr., who survives his mother and who lives in the town of Scottsville in Fluvanna County.
Next, the then young family of three moved only about one mile to another Fluvanna County farm, this time on Virginia State Highway No 639, now Long Acre Road, Palmyra, where Grace and her beloved husband lived and farmed the rest of their lives. Thusly, Grace lived her entire life on four (4) farms and she always proudly lived in Fluvanna County.
On “Peterson’s Farm”, near Antioch, she was involved in her husband’s farming “industry”, namely, “Peterson’s Cannery”, which canned various garden vegetables, especially tomatoes, and which shipped a significant quantity of canned goods overseas to Europe in support of American personnel serving during World War II.
Grace then began work as a sales clerk in the Hawkins Brothers Store on what is presently the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, and in which she was in charge of the Boy Scout Department for 18 years. While she was still employed there, she founded a Cub Scout Den at her own home. Then, she worked another 18 years as a sales clerk at The Hub on Valley Street in Scottsville.
Grace always relished being a “farm woman” and often hand fed and raised numerous calves which became devoted cattle to her for many years. Likewise, she loved feeding and caring for chickens, and she made many pets of them as well.
Grace loved gardening, both vegetables and flowers, especially roses, and she was famed for her prolific vegetable gardens, which she irrigated and from which she generously and delightedly shared their bounties with neighbors and friends.
Early in her marriage, Grace joined the Wesley’s Chapel United Methodist Church and since she loved children, she taught the children’s Sunday School class there for a number of years. Moreover, she was renown as being very generous to generations of “Trick-or-Treaters” for many decades of Halloweens.
Grace also loved reading newspapers, especially The Daily Progress and later The Fluvanna Review as well. It was very important to her to be well informed, especially about Fluvanna County news. Because she was such a “people person”, she was eager to discuss current events with her friends and neighbors.
Grace Peterson was a very avid University of Virginia sports fan and she always kept incredible track of the UVA basketball and football teams. She was especially fond of the UVA basketball players and coaches and she was a huge fan of Tony Bennett (the UVA basketball coach and not the singer). Throughout the past UVA basketball season, as well as decades of them before, on game days/nights, she would ask her son, “Don’t we have a game today/tonight?” If the upcoming game was not on tv, she would ardently listen to the game on the radio.
One of the leaders of the former Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad called Grace Peterson a “legend” among the Rescue Squad members. One summer afternoon, while clearing brush behind her house, she suffered a horrendous fall and a resulting broken hip. She was somehow able to low-crawl a very considerable distance to reach up and call on a rotary telephone the Rescue Squad for their life saving assistance.
Without the many wonderful blessings from her Lord, and without her grace, tenacity, perseverance, and resilience, Grace would not have been able to live the very long, very happy, and very productive life which she lived.
Grace will be dearly missed by her friends, her nieces and nephews, her devoted and wonderful caregivers, her caring friends from Fluvanna Meals on Wheels, and by all who knew her, including her loving and devoted son, “B.E.”
Because of the life she lived and because of her many medical recoveries, many of which were assisted by the Lake Monticello Volunteer Rescue Squad, as well as the former Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad, Grace Haden Peterson received the well deserved nickname, “Amazing Grace”.
Funeral arrangement are being handled by Thacker Brothers Funeral Home, Scottsville and services will be conducted at the Wesley’s Chapel United Methodist Church on Rolling Road South near Kidds Store on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Viewing will be from 10:00 am – 11:00 am in the church. The funeral service, conducted by Rev. Anthony Clore, will be at 11:00 am. Interment will immediately follow in the church cemetery.
Family and friends may share memories and photos at thackerbrothers.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Grace Byrle Dunlop (Haden) Peterson, please visit our floral store.