Betty Jane (Witney) Peterson

October 2, 1933 ~ July 17, 2020 (age 86) 86 Years Old

Betty Peterson Obituary

Betty Jane (Witney) Peterson, 86, of Nebraska City, Nebraska, passed away at Bryan East Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Friday, July 17, 2020.
Betty Jane Witney was born on Tuesday, October 2, 1933, in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, to William Reilley and Edythe Vesta (McCombs) Witney. She was the second daughter of three. Betty graduated from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, KS, in 1951. She was working as a secretary for a bank and telephone company, when she met the love of her life, John Burton Peterson. They were united in marriage on October 6, 1954 in Berwyn Pennsylvania. Betty moved to Nebraska City, Nebraska, where she helped John in the family business.  To their union they had four children: Cheryl Lynn, William (Bill) Witney, Jonna Jane, and Alyssa Ann. Betty was a housewife and homemaker. She also worked at: the Otoe County Assessors Office, becoming deputy Assessors early 1960; working side by side with John in Peterson Mortuary, Andrews Monument Works and Peterson Apartments; then worked at the Apple Core until John had health issues. In Betty’s lifetime, she was active in many organizations: First Presbyterian Church (50+ year member), charter member of  PEO - Chapter FV (past president); charter member of J. Sterling Morton Questers #1021 (past president); Queen Esther Chapter of Eastern Star #1; Jobs Daughters Bethel 13 (serving on council board member for 14 years, Honorary Member); Beta Sigma Phi (past President); Daughters of the Nile (past president); and as a cancer survivor for 47 years she became volunteer for Reach to Recovery. Betty loved to be with her kids & grand-kids, visiting with friends, playing all card games (bridge), gardening, cooking, calligraphy, reading, doing crossword puzzles, arts and crafts (proud of making the wedding flowers for her daughters). She was a collector of many things including, Hummel’s, Owls and cookbooks. Betty was preceded by; her parents William and Edyth Witney; husband, November 26, 2005; son-in-law Randy Smith on August 27, 2007; sister, Anne Shea; 2 brother-in-laws, Norman Shea and Robert Keehn;  cousin, Dorothy Schroeder; and 2 nephews, Jeff Keehn and Bryan Keehn.

Betty is survived by: children, Cheryl Garday and husband Fred of Nebraska City, NE; William (Bill) Peterson of Nebraska City, NE; Jonna Smith and special friend Ron Rader of Lincoln, NE; Alyssa Thiel and husband David of Collingswoods, NJ; 6 grandchildren: Nick and Trisha Garday, Benjamen and Megan Garday, Rachel and Ron Schalk. Jenna Leigh Peterson, Cassandra Thiel, and Daniel Thiel; 11 great grandchildren: Mya, Evan, 
Briley, Brennan, Brady, Kamden, Zoey, Emma, Max, Hayden & Jerzi; sister, Margaret Virginia (Ginnie) Keehn of Thorndale, PA; nieces; nephews; and many special friends; and other relatives

Greeting and visiting with the family will be held from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, on Friday, July 24, 2020, at the family home, 1116 Terrace Dr, Nebraska City, NE.

A Private Celebration of Life of Betty Jane Peterson will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, July 25, 2020, at The First Presbyterian Church in Nebraska City, NE. 

Graveside Service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 25, 2020, at Wyuka Cemetery, in Nebraska City, NE.

Memorials maybe given to the families choice.

Messages of condolences can be sent to The Peterson Family, 1116 terrace Dr, Nebraska City, NE 68410, or on our website - or emailed to

Local Services are entrusted to Peterson Mortuary of Glenwood, Iowa.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Betty Jane (Witney) Peterson, please visit our floral store.

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Gathering of Family and Friends
July 24, 2020

11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
1116 Terrace Drive
Nebraska City, NE 68410

Private Celebration of Life
July 25, 2020

10:00 AM
First Presbyterian Church
1005 1st Corso
Nebraska City, NE 68410

Graveside Service
July 25, 2020

11:00 AM
Wyuka Cemetery
South 19th Street
Nebraska City, NE 68410


Choice of the the family


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