Marva Lou Peterson

With a song still in her heart, Marva Lou Peterson passed away peacefully April 28, 2022 at Trinity Center at Luther Park in Des Moines, IA. 

Marva was welcomed to the world on April 14, 1936, in Martha, OK, by her parents, James and Eva Mae Doughty, and her sister Eva LaDoris.  She lost her father early and was raised mostly within her tightknit family with her mother and sister. They moved to Houston, TX where Marva attended Milby High School. 

Soon after, Marva met an airman named Francis (Pete) Peterson on a blind date. They fell in love and that led to their wedding on September 15, 1956 in Houston, a marriage that would last over 62 years until Pete’s passing in 2019. 

Their life’s path took Pete and Marva to Georgia, Maine, Iowa, Texas, and Wisconsin, before settling on an acreage in rural Parkersburg, IA where they lived a long while and raised their four boys. 

Marva had many hobbies, especially working on genealogy with her sister. She was an artist, gifted with paint and also ceramics, a craft which she taught for some years. She enjoyed raising her boys and attending their school activities and sporting events. For a number of years, she was a Cub Scout den mother. She loved her extended family, embracing her daughters-in-law as her own and extending that love to her grandchildren. Marva cherished her pets – she had a soft heart for animals and spoiled many dogs and cats. She loved to play games and was competitive as well as amazingly lucky. Marva had a sweet tooth, and would happily skip seconds if she knew there was pecan pie or tiramisu for dessert. She always loved music of all kinds, and her happy singing persisted even after she no longer could remember any of the words. 

Marva is survived by her sister LaDoris (Vernon) Weber of Pearland, TX, her sons, Jim of Shawnee, KS, Scott (Susan) of Rogers, MN, David (Patty) of Avondale, PA, and Kerry (Jennifer) of Des Moines, and her grandchildren, Alex (Lauren), Zachary, Kaycee, Caitlin, and Augie.

She was preceded in death by her father, James Doughty, her mother, Eva Mae, and her husband, Francis. 

The family will be holding a celebration of life later in the summer. Her ashes will be interred at Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery in Van Meter, IA. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her name to the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund at

Condolences may be expressed at



The Grundy Register

601 G. Avenue - P.O. Box 245
Grundy Center, IA 50638
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