Janice Yuvonne Peterson passed away peacefully into the arms of her Lord and Savior, on Friday, October 13, 2023, at age 69, in Mattoon, IL. Janice is survived by her husband of 51 years, Philip Peterson of Foosland, IL, and three children, Jason (Sarah) Peterson of Gibson City, IL, Erika (Brian) Johnson of Stockbridge, MI, and Kim (Toussaint) Whetstone of West Chicago, IL. In addition to her husband and children, she is survived by four grandchildren, Sadie, Isaiah, Eliana, and Elisabeth.
Janice shared her zest for life with all she encountered. A talented vocalist, she shared her gift for many years in community chorus and theater performances, taking prominent roles in Handel’s Messiah and the leading role in several musicals, including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Showboat. When not on stage, Janice selflessly ministered to shut-ins, performing regularly in nursing facilities and her local church. When racial violence impacted the local high school, Janice responded by writing and directing a musical at her church, which mobilized over 300 church and community members to support youth and pursue greater unity in their town.
A trained Stephen Minister, she devoted time regularly to sitting with those experiencing grief, divorce, chronic illness, domestic abuse, addiction, or dying. Her compassion brought comfort to countless souls as she demonstrated the presence of her Lord and Savior by sitting and praying with those in pain.
Her commitment to service extended beyond her community to include work as a founder and leader in the Ford County Tea Party and 2012 delegate for the Republican National Convention.
More important than her service to those outside her home was her care and devotion to those inside her home. Janice loved her family deeply, teaching the value of connectedness, care for one another, service, and laughter. Janice enjoyed traveling, reading good books, attending dance classes, and hosting dinners with her beloved husband, Philip. Further, Janice always made time to offer her son or daughters a needed hug, pep talk, advice, or humor. Janice’s quick wit frequently led her family to erupt with laughter and join in her comedic antics to spread joy to others. A devoted grandma, she delighted in her grandchildren, seeking to spend as much time with them as possible. When not tending to her community or family, she spent time with her beloved pets and often took in animals who had been injured or abandoned.
Visitation will be held 12:00 pm-1:00 pm Friday October 20, 2023 at Rosenbaum Funeral Home in Gibson City. Funeral service will be at 1:00 pm with the Rev. Brian Johnson officiating. Burial will be at Drummer Township Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home or the Alzheimer’s Association.