Catherine "Taffy" Peters of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, died in the early morning hours on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
A native of Redfield, S.D., Taffy and her husband, the late KJ Peters, brought their family to Detroit Lakes in 1966 and made their home together on East Shore Drive until KJ's death in 1995.
Taffy remained in the family home and continued teaching private voice lessons there at "Peters' House of Music." Taffy continued to teach voice lessons for students and for the children of her former students until she moved into an assisted living facility.
Taffy served as the choir master and music director at St. Luke's Episcopal Church for 40 years. She was commissioned as a part of the Total Ministry Team and served as a minister of liturgy and pastoral care at St. Luke's in Detroit Lakes. Taffy also led services for residents at the assisted-living and nursing home where she lived until illness prevented her doing so.
As a third-generation licensed funeral director in Redfield, Taffy observed grief and tragedy as well as faith and love. Music bonded her family together, both in business - singing for funerals - and in family. As Taffy said, "My sister and I carried the soprano line, Gram was our alto, Grandpa sang tenor and, of course, Daddy sang bass!"
Music was always a central focus in Taffy's life. She studied music at the University of South Dakota but opted for marriage rather than a career in opera when KJ entered her life. Taffy was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority at USD.
After raising her family, Taffy returned to college at Moorhead State and completed her bachelor's degree in 1972, the same year her oldest child graduated from college. She then began her career as a private voice teacher.
One of the great joys of her life was to take her students to the Twin Cities for the annual MMTA music contest, where they consistently scored at the top of the field. Taffy and KJ loved to travel, and Taffy kept scrapbooks as reminders of their many adventures. KJ was a World War II veteran called back to duty at the outset of the Korean War.
Their daughter Dottie was born when they were stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia. They lived in Germany and traveled throughout Europe when KJ was stationed there in the early 1950's, and their daughter Joanie was born in Wiesbaden, Germany.
They then returned to South Dakota and worked in the family funeral and furniture businesses. Both of their sons, John and Jim, were born in Redfield.
The family lived in Coon Rapids, Minn., for four years before finally settling in Detroit Lakes. Taffy was a member of PEO, and her affiliation with that sisterhood was very important to her.
Taffy was passionate about her family, passionate about her music, and passionate about her Christian faith. For the last several months, Taffy resided in Ecumen--Emmanuel Nursing Home, where she greatly appreciated and benefited from the loving care and attention she received from the staff. She overcame a number of medical crises in recent years and fought through the challenges of diabetes and kidney failure.
In consultation with her doctors, family, and friends, Taffy decided at the end to forego further dialysis treatments and received comfort care. Taffy was visited by many family and friends in her last days. Like her life, her room was filled with music.
Taffy was not a shy person. She lived her life to the fullest, and sang her praises to the Lord. She has now gone to rejoin KJ and resume one of the great love affairs of the 20th century. She will be missed by many.
Services to celebrate the life of this remarkable woman are being held at 2 p.m. Monday, July 29 in St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Detroit Lakes.
Visitation is from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 28 at the David-Donehower Funeral Home, 609 Hwy 10 E, Detroit Lakes, and one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.
The David-Donehower Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online tributes can be shared at www.daviddonehower.com.