Norma Lee Peterson was born on July 30, 1936, in East Chicago, IN to loving parents, Reverend Thomas Lee and Lucy Bell Daniel. She was the sixth of seven children.
Norma met her handsome and beloved husband Austin Peterson Sr., and they were united in matrimony in 1954. Their wedding was remembered to be the grandest, largest event ever witnessed in their community. The young couple resided in Hammond, IN then built a home in Gary IN in 1964. Norma was a proud resident of the City of Gary for nearly 60 years.
Norma was a PK, a Preacher's Kid. Baptized at an early age, Norma enjoyed worshipping the Lord. She joined St. John AME, the church where her father pastored. Some years later, Norma joined her husband and united with Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in East Chicago, IN under the leadership of Reverend Sykes. While a member of Antioch, she attended Sunday School and Bible Study. She was a faithful member of the Inspirational Choir in the alto section. Later, Norma served dutifully as a member of the Nurses Guild/Healthcare Ministry, and she served several terms as President. She loved representing the church at the Progressive National Conventions and the New Era District departmental meetings. Not allowing her age to deterrent, Norma joined the praise dance team, and she took her participation in the performances seriously. Let's not forget the decades of service in the kitchen ministry and she participated faithfully on the Food Pantry under the leadership of Sister Odell Battle. Norma was a humble servant until her health was impaired.
Norma was a proud graduate of East Chicago Roosevelt High School. She was a member of the Booster Club and Choir. She attended the infamous Odessa Beauty College where she received her credentials as a licensed cosmetologist. She secured employment as a shampoo and hair stylist at Jodi's Beauty Salon in Highland. Norma was employed at Blaw-Knox Steel Company as an Administrative Clerk and retired from the company after 10 years of committed service.
Norma is best remembered by her family and friends for her Ministry of Caregiving. Because of her attentiveness to the individuals, she cared for, lovingly she would exclaim I should have been a Nurse. Norma often provided spiritual counseling and advice whether it was solicited or not. Even when she was homebound or at a healthcare facility, Norma could often be heard offering prayers to the doctors, nurses, and aides. If you listened closely, you could hear her serenading them her favorite hymn, “Near the Cross.”
Norma displayed a spirit of appreciation of God's creations. she would point out the tall green trees, the colorful birds, the white mounds of snow and the pretty blue sky. Details that others would just take for granted and go unnoticed. Through her health challenges, Norma maintained a spirit of gratitude. She was thankful for each new day. She expressed words of gratitude for every act of kindness bestowed upon her. Most of all she was grateful to God for her life and being able to serve her fellow man.
From March 9, 2023, Norma Peterson was hospitalized in several hospitals and nursing facilities until she transitioned to be with the Lord at the regal age of 86, on July 20, 2023, 10 days short of her 87th birthday. She is preceded in death by her parents, Rev. Thomas and Lucy Daniel, husband, Austin Peterson, Sr., siblings, Eloise Johnson, Jean Goodall, Donald Daniel, Hattie Daniel, Thomas Daniel, Jr. and Delma Daniel and grandsons, Richard and Jason Hayes.
Norma's favorite activities was being active within the church. She liked attending senior community activities at Oak Street Health like bingo, exercise, arts and crafts. She loved to make people smile and laugh. She enjoyed attending health classes like A Matter of Balance and Diabetes though Northwest Indiana Community Action, she also attended classes through the Senior CURE College at Indiana University Northwest. Norma's most favorite thing was her children, she was a proud mother, supporting their endeavors and encouraging them to be the best that they could be.
Norma leaves to cherish in her memory her beloved children, Dr. Linda L Peterson (Gary, IN), Elder Austin Peterson Jr. (Jennifer Lynn) Phenix City, AL, Sandra Peterson (Gary, IN), Terence Peterson (Theresa H.) Alexandria, VA, Reverend Michelle Peterson (Milwaukee, WI), loving sister Rose White (Gary, IN), sisters-in-law Marjorie Peterson (New York) Dorothy Daniel (Texas) and Henrietta Daniel (Texas), brother-in-law Amos Peterson (Ann) Alabama; 9 grandchildren Danielle A. Peterson, JeBryan J. Robinson, Alexis L. Peterson, Alexandria L. Peterson, Thaddeus Jackson, Josiah Jackson, Robyn A. Peterson, Terence J. Peterson, Taylor Grace Peterson; 2 great grandsons: Jaxon Maverick Johnson and Latrell Trotter; goddaughter: Kimberly R. Peterson and a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives, too many to name. Norma Lee Peterson will be truly missed by her family, extended family, and friends.