Helen G. Peterson

October 18, 1925April 1, 2018

Helen Peterson, 92, died on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018, in Mansfield, Mass., following an illness.

Mrs. Peterson (née Marchese) was born in Perth Amboy, N.J., and attended Georgian Court College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She later earned a master’s degree in education from North Adams (Mass.) State College. In 1950 she married Richard Peterson, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of World War II.

Mrs. Peterson was an accomplished writer who worked as a reporter for the Newark Evening News in New Jersey. After moving with her family to Massachusetts in 1954, she became a freelance writer for the Williamstown News, covering subjects ranging from the region’s prehistoric geology to its cultural heritage. She later taught English and literature in the North Adams public school system.

In 1977, Mrs. Peterson moved with her husband and youngest son to Eastham, Mass., on Cape Cod. For the next 30 years she was the full-time at-home caregiver for her husband and son, both of whom were unable to live independently.

Mrs. Peterson was active in cultural programs at the Eastham Council on Aging, which published her original anagram puzzles for many years. She was an avid reader, gardener, Scrabble player, amateur artist and photographer who enjoyed sharing stories of her Italian heritage with her good friend, Gloria Moll. She was a long-time congregant of St. Joan of Arc Church in Orleans, Mass.

She is survived by her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, Jane, Perry and Laura Ellis of Mansfield, Mass.; her daughter, Lucy Peterson of West Springfield, Mass.; her son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Pam Peterson of Madison, Wisc.; her grandson Kyle and his wife Meghan Peterson of Madison, Wisc., parents to her great-grandson Galen; her grandson Drew and his wife Stephanie Peterson of Minneapolis, Minn.; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Richard in 2008, and by her son David in 2003.

There will be a celebration of Helen Peterson’s life on Monday, April 9, 2018, at noon at the Nickerson-Bourne Funeral Home, 40 MacArthur Blvd., Bourne, Mass. Family and friends are welcome to visit starting at 11:00 a.m. A private burial will immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Friends of the Eastham Council On Aging, P.O. Box 1203, Eastham, MA 02651; or to Old Colony Hospice, 321 Manley Street, West Bridgewater, MA 02379.



  • Visitation Monday, April 9, 2018
  • A Celebration of Helen's Life Monday, April 9, 2018


  • Burial is private

Helen G. Peterson

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Diane Peterson

April 5, 2018

Aunt Helen was the ultimate woman of dignity, pride and many, many stories she loved to share.
She took care of her husband, Uncle Dick, and son, David with loving care daily. Never once complained of their endless care and needs. She sacrificed and always put their care before herself.
She always had a mischievous smile and a little side comment that made you feel welcome in her company.
I remember clearly the day her daughter, Jane got married. She hurried into the bathroom. I asked, "is everything ok Aunt Helen, you seem anxious." She smiled, and said, "my shoes are too big and I keep stumbling. She laughed and added, "everyone is probably thinking I drank too much!"
With that, I too laughed and told her to give me her shoes. "We will do what Italians do and no one will know."
I stuffed the toes of her shoes with toilet paper until they fit her. With that we left without another word about her toilet paper filled shoes...
A few weeks later I received a note in the mail thanking me...It was written on a piece of paper towel!!!
Every year we laughed about both while she beat me at Scrabble.
Ahhh, one could not visit Aunt Helen and not play Scrabble!!!
She was one amazing woman, who is now, Upstairs sitting in the Front Row...Watching, Singing and Smiling. She is Home!!

Deena Maniscalchi

April 4, 2018

I knew Helen best as the mother of my friend Lucy and shared fun times playing Scrabble with them during the past two years. In addition to the talents and skills shared in her obituary, Helen was a sensitive and accomplished artist. She had a big personality and sense of humor that I will miss. Heaven has a special new resident.