My heart is steadfast O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. Psalm 57:7 -8
Dorothy Marie Peters passed away in the early morning hours of June 9 at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg. She had a steadfast heart full of love for her family and her faith in them never wavered.
She is survived by her husband of 61 years Dr. Paul F. Peters, her children MaryLou Driedger (Dave), Kaaren Neufeld (Ken), Ken Peters (Harvey), Mark Peters (Kathy), her grandchildren Joel Driedger (Karen), Bryan Neufeld, Bucky Driedger (Alisa), Mark Neufeld (Samantha), Amanda Peters and Dylan Peters and her great-grandson Henri Driedger. Dorothy was predeceased by her parents Annie and Peter Schmidt, her parents-in-law Margaretha and Diedrich Peters, her brother and sister-in-law Earl and Lenora Schmidt and her sister Leila Wiens. She is survived by her sister Viola Schmidt, her brother-in-law Art Wiens, and her sisters-in-law, Margaret Peters (Dave), Helen Loeppky (Bernie), Mary Fransen (Herb), Louise Friesen and Nettie Peters as well as many nieces and nephews.
Dorothy was born in Drake Saskatchewan on July 11, 1925. Her family loved to sing and bought a piano when Dorothy was four years old. She began piano lessons when she was six and by the time she was thirteen was accompanying her parents when they sang duets in church. Dorothy worked on the family farm helping with the animals and stooking in the fields at harvest time. It was during her childhood in Drake that Dorothy formed a close friendship with Mildred Bartel (Schroeder), a friendship that remained important to her throughout her life.
She attended the Kansas School in Drake and graduated from high school at Rosthern Junior College. After four years of teaching in rural Saskatchewan schools, she went to Winnipeg to study at Canadian Mennonite Bible College, where she learned to play the violin, studied music theory and was part of a touring vocal group.
She met her husband Paul at college and they were married on May 31, 1952. While Paul completed medical school and his residency and worked at many different part-time jobs to support their family, Dorothy cared for her own children, as well as foster children and ran a boarding house for university students in their home.
Paul and Dorothy moved to Steinbach in 1961 and lived there for nearly 50 years. Paul built a thriving medical practice while Dorothy cared for their home and family, supporting her children in their many activities, taking them to spend summers at the family’s Moose Lake cottage and acting as the navigator on vacation trips.
Dorothy shared her musical gifts as an organist, choir accompanist, and pianist at Grace Mennonite Church, playing for worship services and countless weddings and funerals. She was a sought after accompanist for music festivals and volunteered as a choir accompanist at Woodlawn School. She was an active member of the Grace Church Women in Mission group, volunteered at the Mennonite Central Committee Thrift shop for many years and together with Paul provided ongoing support and care to refugee families they brought to Canada from Sierra Leone, Bosnia, and Cambodia. Paul and Dorothy traveled extensively and their time spent in destinations around the world often involved an aspect of service or study.
Dorothy was an affirming and loving mother, mother-in-law and grandmother, insistently positive and endlessly supportive. She had a sympathetic listening ear and the happiness of her family was always her main concern.
Six and half years ago Dorothy was diagnosed with kidney failure and repeatedly expressed her appreciation for her husband Paul, who provided her with expert and dedicated medical care and supported her through more than a thousand dialysis treatments.
In the last days of her life Dorothy tried to play the piano pieces she loved so much on a keyboard she envisioned on her hospital bedding. Despite her weakened state she continued to show an avid interest in her family’s activities and a sincere concern for their well- being. Dorothy leaves a lasting legacy of love, music, joy and family unity.
Funeral services for Dorothy Marie Peters were held at Grace Mennonite Church in Steinbach, Manitoba on Wednesday, June 12 at 2 pm. Interment took place that morning at a private service for the immediate family. Birchwood Funeral Chapel in Steinbach was in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mennonite Central Committee