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Margaret N. Petersen

Nov. 10, 1914 - March 11, 2014

Margaret Nancy (Patterson) Petersen, 99, died Tuesday, March 11, after a brief illness.

Mrs. Petersen, a 10-year resident of Sonora, was born in Butte, Mont., to Anne M. (Northey) and Charles H. Patterson. She moved to California with her parents as a child and lived most of her life in California. A gifted pianist, at age 16 she began teaching others to play the instrument. She graduated from Alameda High School in 1932.

Mrs. Petersen and her husband, Charles Petersen, moved to San Jose in 1948, where she lived for 56 years, teaching piano and bringing music and friendship to the lives of scores of private pupils and hundreds of adult education music students. Two of her piano students wrote their college admission essays on her contributions to their lives.

In her 60s Mrs. Petersen accompanied the Mini-Minstrels and other performing groups for the San Jose Light Opera Company. She also traveled extensively, including trips to China, Japan, Korea, Turkey, the British Isles, Europe and New Zealand. She snorkeled the reefs in Hawaii on her 80th birthday and strolled the streets of Mazatlan while celebrating her 90th birthday.

Mrs. Petersen taught piano until age 89, giving her last private lesson the day before she relocated to Sonora to be close to family.

She is survived by her children and their spouses, David C. Petersen and his wife, Eileen, of Lone Tree, Colo.; Nancy Petersen Ackley and her husband, Michael, of Sonora, and Mark Petersen and his wife ,Janet Halsebo Petersen, of Twain Harte; her grandchildren, Kristin Hayek, Amy Tavss, Aubrey Fulmer, Laura Ackley, Jonathan Ackley, Katie and Sarah Petersen; as well as nine great-grandchildren.

A private family remembrance will be scheduled.

Death notices

Death Notices in The Union Democrat are published free of charge. They include the name, age and town of residence of the deceased, the date of death; service information; and memorial contribution information. The deadline is noon the day before publication.

WILLIFORD - Former Tuolumne County resident James "Jimmy" Scott Williford, 55, died March 3 in Billings, Mont. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary in Billings handled arrangements.