Esaw Peterson

December 23, 1944February 17, 2019
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Esaw Peterson was born on December 23, 1944 in Ypsilanti, MI and passed away on February 17, 2019 in Bloomington, Illinois.


  • Cleotha Peterson, Wife
  • John H Peterson, Father
  • Addie M Peterson, Mother
  • Clarissa Peterson, Daughter
  • Laurie Peterson, Daughter
  • Camri Peterson, Granddaughter
  • Marajei Joiner, Granddaughter
  • John (Maryetta) Peterson, Brother
  • Clara Pope, Sister
  • Johnnie Mae Joplin, Sister
  • Ann Anthony, Aunt
  • Bernice Holly-Fails, Sister
  • Carrie Williams, Sister

  • Contributions to the Family in care of Cleo Peterson for Granddaughter Marejei Joiner's college fund


  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 2, 2019

Esaw Peterson

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Michael Harris

March 1, 2019

Cleo and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. I am so glad that I got to know Esaw and to hear about his amazing journey. Mourn but also cherish the memories, that will help to get you through. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

Rosie Smith

February 28, 2019

Cleo, May God give you the peace you seek. Our deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. May you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you. Esaw will truly be missed and forever remembered

Michele Mathes

February 27, 2019

Cleo and family, I'm so sorry for your loss. Esaw was a helpful and supportive co-worker when I first joined State Farm. He was always there to answer my myriad of questions about corporate life. I'm so glad to have known him. May God bless you and provide you comfort.

James Shiverdecker

February 26, 2019

We are so Sorry for your Loss of Esaw. James & the Staff At Advanced Computing enjoyed our talks with Esaw. He was a kind and thoughtful man. He was a True Man Of God in every sense and will be missed Dearly.

Chip Chipman from Pastoral Care OSF St. Joseph Medical Center

February 25, 2019

Please know of our continued prayers for you and your whole family.
May God bless Esaw with the peace of Christ.

Susan Schindler

February 25, 2019

Cleo and family, Esaw was an important mentor and friend to me for many years. He always had a smile and a kind word to say. He was important to many, many people in the Michigan Regional office.

Rest In Peace dear friend.

Brenda Lemmie

February 25, 2019

Please accept our condolences and prayers. You and Esaw are a part of the pleasant memories of our time in Bloomington.
Gods’ peace be with you Cleo.

tom wood

February 25, 2019

Cleo, Esaw was a good friend and co-worker. He was good hearted and always positive. Mary Jane and I want to express our condolence to you and your family for your loss.

Susan Rink

February 24, 2019

Esaw was a sweet, supportive, wonderful co-worker. I’ll always be grateful to him. My deepest condolences for your loss.

Jeanne Starnes

February 24, 2019

I was privileged to work with Esaw for many years in Service & Systems at State Farm. May God bless you in your sorrow and may you find comfort in your favorite memories and in your faith in God.



Esaw was born December 23, 1944 in Ypsilanti, MI to Addie Mae (Pugh) and John Henry Peterson.

He was a member of Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church where he accepted Christ at an early age.

He graduated from Willow Run High School in Ypsilanti, MI in 1963. He attended Eastern Michigan University (EMU) where he met his best friend, Eliehue Brunson.

In 1965, while at EMU, he pledged the Delta Nu Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Esaw earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1967, the same year he entered the Army.

After being honorably discharged from the Army as a Sergeant E-5, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with two campaign stars for his tours in Vietnam. Upon returning to Ypsilanti, Esaw founded the Ann Arbor Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and served as the Polemarch.

Esaw began his career at State Farm Insurance Company in 1971 in Marshall, MI where he met his future wife, Cleotha Moore-Reed. They were wed on November 17, 1974 in Battle Creek, MI. Esaw served with distinction at State Farm and retired as a Service and Business Analyst in 2003.

He lived a very productive life while in Bloomington. He became a member of the Optimist Club in 1984 and was awarded a Life Membership for Outstanding Service. On July 12, 1985, Esaw founded the Bloomington-Normal Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

In 1992, Esaw was appointed to the McLean County Board to complete an unexpired term. He then was elected to serve a four-year term for a total of six and one-half years, serving on Justice, Finance, Human Services, and Executive Committees.

Esaw is also a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 454; a Life Member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., served on the Mid-Central Community Action (MCCA) Board of Directors; Youth Services of Mid-Illinois; the child Protection Network of McLean County; Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and Sugar Creek Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) as Board President.

He was also a member and 33rd Degree Free Mason and Shriner of the Elijah S. Betts Lodge No. 23 Prince Hall Grand Lodge State of Illinois.

Esaw was a 35-year member of Wayman African Methodist (AME) Church with 12 years as a member of the Steward Board. he also served as Steward Emeritus on the Layman's Board. He also served as the Pastor's Steward during the tenure of Reverend Robert Harvey while he pastored Wayman.