March 19, 1931 ~ November 10, 2021 (age 90)



Lois Dorothea Peterson, 90, of Waltham MA passed away peacefully at home with her family by her side on November 10, 2021 following a struggle with cancer.  Born on March 19, 1931 in Waltham to Joshua Magee Polley and Lydia Beatrice Polley (Dorey), Lois grew up in a loving family with one brother and three sisters.  She was graduated from Waltham High School in 1949, the Centennial Class, before attending the New England Baptist School of Nursing and becoming a Registered Nurse. She served honorably in the Air Force during the Korean War, achieving the rank of 1st Lieutenant. The Montgomery GI Bill afforded her the opportunity to attend Boston University, and earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree in 1960.  She was also an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, taught at Lasell College and Newton Wellesley Hospital School of Nursing, and was Assistant Director of Nursing Service at Somerville Hospital.


In the mid-1960s, Lois met Roland O. Peterson, the man who would thereafter call her his "honey bunch".  They married in 1966 at Beth Eden Baptist Church in Waltham, and together shepherded their three children through college. She volunteered at the school library, as a Cub Scout den mother, and as a Girl Scout Cookie Mom. Never one to be idle, as her children grew she re-entered the work force, pursuing a variety of occupations, ranging from tax preparation to circuit board assembly. As an active member at the First Parish Church of Waltham, she served in many roles, including working in the archives, ministerial and flower committees, and was a member of the church's book club for decades.


She is survived by her husband, Roland (Waltham MA); her daughter, Beth P. Peterson (Riverhead NY) and Beth's daughter, Beatrice Stefan; her son, Erik O. Peterson (Windham NH), his wife, Bushra Zawaydeh, and their three children: Laura, Adelina, and George; her son, Joshua Peterson (Hollis NH), his wife, Juili (Lin), and their daughters Danielle and Lydia; her sister Myrtle Matejski (CO); her brother Donald H. Polley (Londonderry NH); her sister Marilyn Crawford (Sudbury MA); her stepson, Dr. Thomas T. Peterson of Greeley CO, his wife Dorothy (Patrick) and their five children and four grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews. A devoted friend, Lois carried on friendships and correspondences with many she had met throughout her life, from her lifelong friend, the late Louise Pearson; to her Air Force and nursing comrades; to those she had met through church, as well as those she had mentored, such as her dear niece, Laura Coulter. 


She was predeceased by her parents, and her sister, Doris Link (Spokane WA).


A Celebration of Life has been planned for 10:30 on December 4, 2021 at First Parish Church in Waltham. In honor of her military service, and her passing on Forget-Me-Not Day, donations in Lois's memory can be made to the Military Women's Memorial( At Lois's request, her body has been donated to the University of Massachusetts Medical School ( for the advancement of science

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of LOIS, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
December 4, 2021

10:30 AM
First Parish Church (Waltham)
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

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