Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Jeanie Elder Peterson


January 7, 2021

Jeanie Elder Peterson

Jeanie Elder Peterson

Jeanie Elder Peterson passed away on December 17, 2020, in Spokane, Washington, at the age of 72.

Jeanie was born in Spokane on August 13, 1948. She grew up in the small farming town of Garfield, Washington. Jeanie was proud to be the eldest daughter of Tom and Nancy Elder. She appreciated her small town roots and the wonderful opportunities she enjoyed as an "Elder Girl". One of those opportunities which Jeanie cherished was babysitting the children of Ted and Shirley Fanning, starting when she was in fifth grade. This relationship developed into a treasured lifelong friendship with Ted and Shirley. She also studied dance, piano, organ and flute. During high school Jeanie was a member of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls which culminated in being selected as Grand Page. She developed an interest in politics which was fostered by a trip to Girls State. Jeanie also represented Garfield as a princess at the Whitman County Fair.

Jeanie graduated from Eastern Washington State College and began her teaching career in 1970 as the librarian at Keystone Elementary, an open concept school, in the Central Valley School District. During her 15 years at Keystone she taught all grade levels and became very involved in the Central Valley Education Association. Jeanie worked to successfully negotiate the first master contract and in 1999 she was awarded the Honorary Teacher Advocate of the Year. Jeanie spent 31 years educating numerous children and positively impacting countless families in the Central Valley School District. When Jeanie retired from teaching she enjoyed the company of her many friends, cruising and sightseeing around the world, and meeting new people.

Jeanie is survived by her two daughters, Christy Keeland (Jeff) of Frisco, Texas, and Holly Anzano (Gene) of Alexandria, Virginia; and her three grandchildren, Matt Keeland, Elizabeth Anzano and William Anzano, who were her pride and joy. She is also survived by her mother, Nancy Cochran and her sisters, Jan Hinton (Dan), Cheryl Elder and Betsy Williams; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Jeanie is preceded in death by her father, Tom Elder.

Services are being planned for spring or summer 2021. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice.


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