DIANNA HILL PETERS
Dianna Lyn (Hill) Peters, age 67, died peacefully on Saturday morning, April 6, 2013, at the Ringgold County Hospital in Mount Ayr, Iowa.
Dianna was born in Muscatine, Iowa on September 1, 1945 to Merle and Anita (Bell) Hill. Growing up, she worked hard in her parents’ grocery store and was a great older sister to her brother, Arthur (Artie) and sister, Debbie. After graduating from Muscatine high school in 1963, she worked at Grain Processing/Kent Feeds in Muscatine as a lab technician with many of her life-long friends. It was here that she met a young veterinary student, John Peters.
John and Dianna were married August 27, 1967 in Muscatine, Iowa. Over the next few years they lived in Ames, Iowa, while John finished his veterinary degree, and then Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Madison, Wisconsin while John served in the Army. While in Madison, daughter Amy Ann was born in 1970. They moved to Mount Ayr in 1971 to open a veterinary practice with friend and classmate Dr. Max Mekus. Son, Richard John (R.J.) was born in Mount Ayr in 1973.
Dianna chose to be a stay-at-home mom which allowed her to attend nearly every school program, band concert, volleyball and football game, track meet and wrestling match’as well as to run forgotten uniforms, homework or lunch money to school. She was her children’s greatest fan and made sure they knew they could do anything they set their minds to.
She was very involved with John’s practice, often helping out at Mount Ayr Veterinary Clinic, making Calf Claim, and answering the phone at all hours of the night. John and Dianna also raised hogs in the 1980s and more than once found herself clipping her nails so she could pull baby pigs. She also helped raise numerous stray dogs, cats and squirrels as well as making some questionable animal purchases on her own such as the famous running ducks.
With the kids off to college, the pigs sold and the barns torn down, she found her calling as a Domestic Abuse Advocate. She worked hard to keep families safe and she was passionate about helping people turn their lives around. She also enjoyed spending time at auctions and had a great eye for a bargain and how to repurpose her finds into treasures. ‘Aunt Di,’ as she was known to her large and loving extended family in the community, could always be counted on to provide food and hugs’as well as advice and her special form of brutal honesty.
One of her greatest joys was her grandchildren. She made it a point to spend time with each of them and to let them know how special they were. Holidays at Grandma’s house were anticipated events as she always went overboard with food, gifts, decorations and, most of all, lots of love.
Health problems caused her to slow down a little in the last years, but she never lost her quick wit, ability to drive too fast or desire to help other people. Since John’s retirement, they became snow birds, visiting South Padre Island, Texas, each February. Dianna enjoyed sitting in the sun and spending time with friends’especially Tom and Jan Ford.
She is survived by her best friend and husband of 45 years, Dr. John Peters; daughter, Amy, of Dubuque, Iowa; son, Dr. R.J. and wife Jennifer, of Clarinda, Iowa; four grandchildren, Julia and Avery Wickham and Roger and Baker Peters; sister, Debbie Lane and husband Steve, of Muscatine, Iowa, and many adored nieces, nephews and their children.
Dianna was preceded in death by her parents, Merle and Anita Hill, and brother, Arthur Hill.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name may be given to local charities. Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.
Memorial services were held on Wednesday, April 10 at the United Methodist Church in Mount Ayr with Rev. Skip Rushing officiating.
Pallbearers were Bill Schaefer, Jason Lynch, Merle Walter, Jeff Sickels, Larry Hardy and John Ford.
Honorary pallbearers were Tom Ford, Lyle Hogue, Will Skinner, Jack Cook, Bob Haley and Mac Cross.
Burial was in the Benton Cemetery in Benton, Iowa.