Jacquelyn “Jacquie” Mae Peterson

Jacquelyn “Jacquie” Mae Peterson

April 24, 1934 – August 22, 2021

Jacquie was born in San Jose, California on April 24, 1934, to Gust Carl Bergquist and Hazel Malvia Johnson Bergquist.  She had an older brother, Carl, and older sister, Maurine who were like a second set of parents to her.  At her birth, the family each put a name into a hat, and Maurine drew out the name Jacquelyn, nicknamed “Jackie” until age ten, when Maurine thought up the spelling JACQUIE.  In October of 1944, Jacquie accepted the Lord as her Savior after a Sunday night service at the Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant Church of San Jose.

Her musical ability became visible as early as age three when she took her eighteen note, toy upright piano, out on the sidewalk and was seen by the neighbors as she played and sang the old gospel hymn, “Years I Spent in Vanity and Pride.”  She took piano lessons from different teachers, including Lucille Thurman, and at age ten she auditioned and became a student of William Erlandsen, the head of the music department at San Jose State College, who gave her the freshman college piano course over the next two years.  When Jacquie was twelve years old, she became the pianist at the Covenant Church, and soon after started accompanying the choir.  She credited her style of playing hymns to listening to, and watching, Verna Carlson Hubbard who had been the church pianist.  She played the piano and organ for churches in San Jose, Kingsburg, Ukiah, Scotts Valley and Turlock for 73 years, until 2019 when a bout of pneumonia led to hypoxia/hypoxemia which left her with the effects of a stroke.

At age 15, during summer camp at Mission Springs, Jacquie met her future husband Charles “Chuck” Peterson from Kingsburg, Ca.  Jacquie graduated from Willow Glen High School in 1952 and went on to North Park College in Chicago.  While in Chicago, Chuck wrote her a letter every day.  After one semester, and an engagement ring, Jacquie transferred to Fresno State College to be closer to Chuck.  They were married on April 10, 1954, just two weeks before her 20th birthday. 

Through her life, Jacquie was offered many work opportunities, each one giving her experiences that would open new doors.  Jacquie worked as a Secretary to the Superintendent of the Kingsburg Elementary School District, then became a teller at Bank of America.  Chuck took a job in Hanford, Ca., so Jacquie transferred to the Bank of America in Hanford.  Later work led Chuck back to Kingsburg so Jacquie took a part-time job as a School Secretary at Roosevelt School in Kingsburg.  While living in Kingsburg, they had sons Craig, Clark and Lance. 

In March of 1964 the family moved to San Jose, Ca. where Jacquie became the secretary at the First Covenant Church of San Jose (Chuck was the custodian).  She later worked as a teller at the Willow Glen branch of the Bank of America and was later transferred to the Snell Blossom Hill branch to help open this new branch.  Jacquie went on to work as secretary of the Challenger Pre-School and then as the secretary of the Luther Burbank School District in San Jose.

In March of 1972, due to a job opportunity that opened up for Chuck, the family moved to Ukiah, Ca.  Jacquie went to work for the Savings Bank of Mendocino County (South Branch) first as a teller then became the Loan Secretary, then transferred to become the first Manager of the North Ukiah Branch, then transferred to the main office to become secretary to the Real Estate Department.  Later, she worked in the office of the Penner Insurance Co.  In August, 1974, Jacquie’s great nephew, Jeffery Briscoe, came to live with the family in Ukiah and within a few years an adoption was finalized, but Jeff had already become a Peterson.  The family was actively involved in the Evangelical Free Church of Ukiah.

In March of 1983, Jacquie, Chuck and Jeff moved to Mission Springs Conference Center where she started as the Guest Group Coordinator, then added the lease-holders business and then became the Bookkeeper.  They were active in the Scotts Valley Covenant Church.

In January of 1998, after Chuck’s stroke, they decided to retire and move back to Ukiah.  Jacquie was offered a job as part-time secretary at the Evangelical Free Church.  Later they would become involved at the First Baptist Church of Ukiah.  On November 16, 2000, Chuck died after having a massive heart attack. 

On August 18, 2001, Jacquie had the pleasure of marrying Robin Peterson of Kingsburg, Ca.; it was a natural fit as the two families had been intertwined for decades.  Jacquie was once again living in Kingsburg and active in the community.  Together for the next 13 years, Robin and Jacquie drove their R.V., took cruises, and traveled all over the world.  In Jacquie’s words “Robin has been so good to me, and fun to be with.  I am grateful that God gives us the capacity to love someone again.” 

After Robin’s death on June 16, 2014, Jacquie moved to the Covenant Village of Turlock, where she knew so many people (some since she was a young girl), and became very involved in the community’s activities.  In February of 2019, Jacquie’s life abruptly changed when a bout of pneumonia led to hypoxia/hypoxemia which left her with the effects of a stroke.  Since then, life has been frustrating, especially not being able to play the piano, but she was able to keep a good attitude and sweet spirit even through the extra difficulties of the pandemic.  On Sunday morning, August 22, 2021, Jacquie went to be with the Lord.

Jacquie is survived by: Sons, Craig, Clark (Cathy), Lance (Dina) and Jeff (Kalyn); Step Daughter, Lori (Eric Sanders); Grandchildren: Brittney (Robert Gossard), Nicolas (Virginia), Jonathan (Megan), Jacob, Jessica (Daniel Huskey), Caleb and Corey; Step Grandchildren: Jonathan, Vanessa & Diane Ewert, and Matthew & Mark Peterson; Great-Grandchildren: Brandon, Prudence & Kadence Gossard; Tesla & Titus Peterson; Madden Peterson; and, Hope, McKinley & Luke Huskey; and, Step Great-Grandchildren, Kamryn Ewert and Brennan DeLong.

Jacquie will be buried with her first husband, Chuck in the Ukiah Cemetery, Friday, September 10, 2021 at 2:00pm.

3 Comments

  • Buz & Florine Smith August 29, 2021 1:39 am

    An incredible lady we feel so blessed to have known. Our loss is heaven’s gain!

  • Judy Christenson August 29, 2021 2:22 am

    One special lady! I remember her well from San Jose First Covenant Church and Mission Springs. Beautiful lady and beautiful pianist!

  • John and Gwen Gettmann August 29, 2021 2:40 pm

    We have so many fond memories of all the things we did with Jacquie and Chuck I in Ukiah. We look forward to the future when we join them in Heaven . We will have eternity to catch up and listen to her play the piano so beautifully.

Leave a Remembrance