Gretchen Kay Peterson

November 17, 1941 - May 23, 2023

Gretchen Kay Peterson, 81, of Lincoln passed away May 23, 2023.

Born November 17, 1941, in Lawrence, NE to Ralph and Eleanor (Yilk) Pohlmeier. She attended college for nursing at Duschesne University in Omaha and finished in Grand Island at St. Francis Nursing School.

Gretchen was introduced to Jim Hoarty in 1962, and after a courtship of friends and dancing they were married in 1963. Gretchen and Jim had two children, Raymond in 1964 and Peggy in 1967. After Jim passed in an accident in late 1966, Gretchen moved her son and newborn daughter to Grand Island in August of ’67 where Gretchen resumed her nursing career.

Gretchen met Neal Peterson in the summer of 1968, and they were married in December. Gretchen’s family, now expanded with Neal’s daughters Sherri and Sue, moved to a farm northwest of Grand Island. Gretchen and Neal together had three children, Bryan, Stephanie and Shauna. Gretchen enjoyed farming, volunteering at the Resurrection Catholic parish, and her growing family.

Later on, Gretchen moved to Lincoln in the early 2000’s and found much joy in this new stage of her life. She remained active in playing Bridge, working as a volunteer at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ and following Husker women’s sports. Gretchen was an avid Husker women’s volleyball and basketball fan. She enjoyed playing bridge, growing iris, bird watching, traveling to see her siblings, and a good, scorching hot cup of coffee. Gretchen had many friends whom she continued to write and call as long as she could. Attendance at any grandchild sporting event was a must.

Gretchen had a number of sayings that we will all miss, including “Move out like a herd of turtles” and “See you later, alligator.” She didn’t miss an opportunity to laugh.

Family members include her daughters Peggy (Greg) Dynek, Stephanie (Keith) Basham, Shauna Fenton, Sherri (Scott) Baxter, and Sue (Glen) Beed; sons Raymond and Bryan (Laura) Peterson; twenty-one grandchildren and six great grandchildren; siblings Janet Pohlmeier, Vernon (Candy) Pohlmeier, Dale (Virginia) Pohlmeier, and Mary Ely; numerous nieces, nephews, and beloved cousins. Preceded in death by her parents as well as husbands James Hoarty and Arden Neal Peterson.

Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023, followed by a Rosary at 7:00 pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 7900 Trendwood Drive.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023, St. Joseph Catholic Church. Burial in Calvary Cemetery at 1:00 pm.

Memorials to the Food Bank of Lincoln Backpack Program or Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation for Sunken Gardens.

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St. Joseph Catholic Church

7900 Trendwood Drive, Lincoln, NE


Mass of Christian Burial


St. Joseph Catholic Church

7900 Trendwood Drive, Lincoln, NE

Share a Memory or Condolence

May 30, 2023

I played a lot of bridge with Gretchen…she was a real sweet lady and I am saddened to hear of her passing. I called her “Rachel” in an affectionate manner…I guess that is an inside joke. I’ll miss you!!

– Barbara Rothenay
May 30, 2023

Gretchen was such a pleasant person, and so much help with the Light of the World retreats at Cathedral of the Risen Christ. She always had a smile and a kind thing to say. May she rest in peace.

– Marron Zimmer Keady
May 30, 2023

Gretchen and I spent lots of time together raising our families at Grafton and Grand Island. Miss having our friend near. She was a great lady!

– Dorothy & Harold Moravec

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