Sylvia “Jean” Gochnour Peterson

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Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 11:55 am | Updated: 12:12 pm, Fri Jan 4, 2013.

 March 25, 1923-Dec. 30, 2012


Sylvia “Jean” Gochnour Peterson, 89, passed away Sunday, December 30, 2012, in Payette. A memorial service celebrating her life will be conducted at a later time.

Jean was born in Burley, Idaho, on March 25, 1923, to Clyde and Bertha Christen Gochnour in a loving home filled with music. The eldest of eight children, Jean attended Burley schools before attending Linfield College at McMinnville, OR for a year then transferring to the University of Idaho. She graduated from the U of I with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and minor in English.

Upon graduation, Jean taught for a year in Payette. There she met her husband Bill Peterson. Marrying Bill on June 27, 1946, they lived briefly in Payette before moving to the orchards in Fruitland where they raised apples, plums and cherries. During this time they also were involved with a dairy for several years while Jean taught private piano lessons. Jean resumed her teaching career at Fruitland Junior High, retiring in 1984.

Jean and Bill were blessed with three daughters, Ann (Ed) Warr of Fallbrook, CA, Sue (Leon) Church of Amarillo, TX, Cindy (Tom) Dyer of Cambridge and one son, Bruce (Barbara) Peterson of Fruitland. Jean has eight grandchildren, Brad and Jon Warr; Jake, Pat, and Trisha (Jaramillo) Church; Ben and Nate Dyer; Jennifer Kelley; 15 great grandchildren; and 1 great-great grandchild.

Jean was organist of St. James Episcopal Church for many years. She also was a member of Chapter C, P.E.O. of Payette and Friday Musicale. Jean dedicated many years as a volunteer to the Treasure Valley Community Concert Series, accompanied musical groups in the Treasure Valley and assisted with Fruitland Lions’ Club activities. As a teacher, her outreach was felt beyond the classroom. She was known to be generous to students’ families in need.

Preceding Jean in death were her parents, her life partner, Bill, following 63 years of marriage, and siblings, Ruth Goode and David Gochnour. Surviving Jean are her four children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchild; brothers Everett, Ralph and Bryce Gochnour and sisters Beverly Johnson and Joyce Christenson.

The family wishes to thank the dedicated staff at Royal Villa Care Center who lovingly cared for Jean these past 4 years.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like to suggest donations be made to Alzheimer’s Research, Lions’ Club Eye Bank, the Hope House, Alma Matre, Inc., or St. James Episcopal Church, Payette in care of PO Box 706 Fruitland, ID 83619.

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