Joni Peterson Shearer

Joni Peterson Shearer

Joni Peterson Shearer, 51, of Townsend, Mont. passed away Saturday, May 14, 2011 at St. Peter’s Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer. 

Joni was born in Richfield, Minn. to Willis and Elaine Swanson Peterson on June 27, 1959. She attended schools in Richfield, Minn. She was the Past Honored Queen of Minnesota Bethel #1, Jobs Daughters. She began her career as an entry level employee in 1978 when she joined the Colle & McVoy Advertising Agency in Minneapolis, and quickly gained the experience and skills to become an Account Coordinator.  She later accepted an offer to work for Ebert and Sebastian of Minneapolis, an advertising startup company, as their Production Manager.  This vivacious, city girl somehow landed a date at a Fort Snelling dance with a visiting bachelor rancher from Montana, Daniel Shearer. After a long distance romance, they married in 1993. She sportingly settled into a rural community lifestyle in Townsend, Mont. It didn’t take long for the century old local newspaper, the Townsend Star, to put her copious skills to work. The “Star” won many awards during her tenure, particularly for her advertising designs. She was later the manager for Broadwater Printing.

During her professional years in Townsend, Joni was balancing her work with a growing family. She had three children, Jordan, Samuel and Jenna during this period and gradually her commitment to her family overtook her commitment to her career. She became a 4-H mom, a soccer mom, a founding member of the Heritage Park Committee, a room mother and a substitute teacher.

Her many friends remember her sparkling smile and quick wit, as well as the ever present pot of coffee in the kitchen. Conversations were lively and treats were always a staple in the Shearer home. Joni’s friends valued her for her clarity of mind and generosity.

She is survived by her husband Daniel, her sons, Jordan and Samuel and her daughter, Jenna. She is also survived by her father, Willis “Bill” Peterson of Harris, Minn., brother Steve Peterson of Highland Ranch, Colo., and brother Michael (Stacy) Peterson of Mora, Minn., brother-in-law Larry Schlagel and beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother Elaine and her sister Lori Schlagel.

Rev. Laurie O’Shea will officiate at a memorial service at 2 p.m. on June 19, 2011 at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rush City, Minn. A time of visitation is planned for one hour prior to the memorial service.

After the memorial service, coffee and cake will be served in the church dining area, followed by the inurnment in the Oak Grove Cemetery at Harris, Minn. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family are preferred.

Funeral arrangements for Joni Peterson-Shearer have been entrusted to The Funeral & Cremation Service of Rush City – Olson Chapel.