Jean Peterson

Jean Peterson (nee Rydzik), 48, of Waubeka, passed away Monday, June 1, 2009, at her home.

Jean was born in Milwaukee to James J. and Audrey E. (nee Ryan) Rydzik on Aug. 27, 1960. She grew up in Milwaukee and Muskego. Jean came from a large family and married into another large family, and in both of these families, she was the glue that kept everyone together. This large and unruly group will always hold her in their hearts as the soft-hearted caregiver of the family who made life and the madness of family gatherings so much easier.

To live life simply and enjoy the presence of family and friends is practically a luxury that most cannot afford, but Jean Peterson was rich in this life. Jean’s strength lay in her values - she was an unselfish person who displayed optimism and kindness in all she did. She rarely knew how to say the word no, and those around her benefitted just by being in her company. She kept a positive outlook on life through the end and saw her mortality as something to celebrate, even recently remarking, "Why do people fill hospital rooms and get excited when a baby is born, but when someone is ready to gain eternal life, they’re sad?" Always thinking of others, though, she remarked, "Cry. Go ahead, you big babies!" This was Jean: Someone whose faith was lasting and meant to be a life lesson for all of us.

Lovingly survived by her soul mate and husband, William "Bill"; her children Curt (Amanda) Rydzik, Jessica (Mike) Carlin, Megan and Christopher Peterson; her grandchildren, Jackson, Logan and Baby Rydzik, Brianna, Nicklaus and McKenna Carlin; and her mother-in-law, Norma Peterson. The Rydzik family includes Jim (Pat), Patty (Mike) Lomis, Joe (Diane), Tom, Dave (Cindy), Kathy, Steve (Carol) and Bethy (Rob) Biskobing. The Peterson family includes Frank (Louise), Dale (Sally), Jim (Geri), Gary (Sue), Rich (Rose), Elaine Skowron, Ed (Deb) and Mark (Harriet). Jean is also survived by many nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and nephews (including her favorite namesake pup, Hannah Jean), all who will miss their beloved Auntie Jean. She is also survived by many more relatives and friends, including dearest friend and "sister," Nancy Biskobing and her BEI family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, James J. and Audrey E. (nee Ryan) Rydzik, and her father-in-law, Harry H. Peterson.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, June 5, 2009, at 7 p.m. at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel of West Bend with the Rev. Dan Hinrichs officiating. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Friday June 5 from 4 p.m. until time of service. Memorials are appreciated.

Jean wanted to thank everyone who helped her through these past months, including the medical oncology staff led by Dr. Loprinzi at Mayo Clinic, her physician Dr. Konrad Krawczyk, her nurse Katie, the Rev. Dan Hinrichs, and the T-Baum Foundation for granting Jean a wish for her family. A special thank you goes to Uncle Bob Ryan and Peg for going out of their way to help in this time of need.

The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family. www.phillipfuneralhome.com.