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Nellie Lonzo Peterson

Nellie May Lonzo Peterson

Sunday, March 25th, 1923 - Wednesday, February 24th, 2021
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Obituary

Celebrating the Life
of
Mother Nellie May Lonzo-Peterson
“Grandma Pooh”


Mother Nellie May Lonzo-Peterson was born March 25, 1923, in Chicago, IL, the only child to William Lonzo and Marie Jones Lonzo. Nellie’s Mom, Marie Jones Lonzo, went to be with the Lord on March 2, 1941, when Nellie was only 17years old. Her Mom’s oldest sister, Mrs. Nellie Harper, whom Nellie was named after, then raised her. The family memories and stories of Aunt Nellie was, she had long beautiful white hair.

Nellie attended Warren Elementary School and was an excellent student according to her 1936 report card. She attended DuSable High School in Chicago IL and graduated in 1941. During her time in school, she was voted “Most Active” and “Class Treasurer” for the Girls Athletic Association (GAA). She later matriculated to Loyola University and then to Chicago College of Laboratory Technique, where she later was employed as a Laboratory Technician. Nellie Lonzo married Frank R. Peterson at Poro, College in Illinois where her Aunt Mrs. Nellie Harper, escorted her on behalf of the Lonzo family.

In 1958, Nellie began a career at Western Electric Hawthorne Plant in Chicago, IL. where she manufactured telephones. Her children remember the joy of going with her to the Company's family day for tours, ice cream and each received a small princess telephone keychain. Nellie proudly served for 22 years and retired in 1980. Nellie was a true go-getter, in 1991 she began employment life again at her beloved Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) as a “First Responder Receptionist” assisting people with the first steps of sobriety or continued sobriety.

She worked at the downtown Chicago Alcoholic Anonymous office as the receptionist for 28 years. She was often the first person someone would talk to when they reached out for help. She was an angel doing God's work through the AA office, sometimes being the angelic voice shining a light of hope into the darkness of alcoholism, while other times conveying the stern words necessary to cut through excuses. Always with the intent to help offer a way out. Due to illness, her last day of work was August 2018 and her official retirement was March 2019. Nellie really thought she would bounce back from her fall and return to the work she loved; helping people; “Alcoholic Anonymous, Nellie speaking, how may I help you?” was her greeting.
In Nellie’s early years, she affiliated with the Catholic Church; on February 7, 1957, she was admitted into membership of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, Knights of Peter Claver. In 1961, she began affiliation and membership with Christ Unity Temple, which later changed their name to Christ Universal Temple (CUT). She was a faithful member for over 60years. She was involved in several ministries and at one time cooked for the founding female Pastor, often referred to as the “First Lady of New Thought”, the late Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon.

Nellie’s ministry of passion and conviction was her March Birth Month Group, where she served as Co-Captain for over 25 years. Every March, she sent every member a birthday card with a monetary gift, paid for cakes for birthday month meetings and always paid the down payment to reserve space for an outside event; Nellie always paid first. Currently showcased in the hallway of CUT by the Book Store are all of the awards for all of the Birth Months; this was Nellie’s idea. “Nellie Peterson is and will always be the “Co-Captain Emeritus” of the CUT March Birth Month Group.” The March Birth Month Group states, “Nellie Peterson is the meaning of LOVE”.

Every Sunday after church for over 15 years, special friends went to brunch and shared many laughs and good times. Prior to Nellie’s illness, she attended CUT regularly. And, before service started, she enjoyed walking around the ENTIRE church, stopping at every row and greeting each person with “Good Morning Family” because that’s who they were. It was also known that Nellie would close all CUT Business Meetings with, “This is Nellie L. Peterson and I second the motion”.

After retirement, Nellie was an avid traveler. Her journeys took her to Korea, cruises to the Bahamas’, many trips to Florida, to see her dear friend Dr. Joyce Clark, three trips to Hawaii, and every year she went to “Unity School Retreat” in Lee, Summit, Mo. One never knew when Nellie would call, to tell her children, “I’m off to……. call you when I get back.”

Through Nellie’s almost 98 years here on earth, her named evolved from Nellie L. to Mother Nellie Peterson, by her beloved church family. In 1968, Nellie took her baby daughter to Walt Disney World and on the last day, bought her the Winne the Pooh stuff bear. Since then she was known as Pooh. However, in 1973 when her first grand baby was born she was “Grandma Pooh”. And she has been Grandma Pooh to EVERBODY ever since!

Nellie May Lonzo Peterson was blessed with three beautiful and amazing daughters. Marquita Andrea, met the Lord on February 19, 1958; Nellie is survived by Maria Diaz Jenkins (Ronald Morgan) her beloved and dedicated daughter of Sauk Village, Il, .who cared for her diligently during her later years and, baby daughter Carola Angelique Gaines and beloved son-in-law Clyde Gaines, of Madison, WI.; six incredible grandchildren, Tanika Antoinette (Derrick) Greene, Atlanta, GA., Latasha Shaunte, (Joseph Bailey II.)Raleigh, NC., Clifton LeReece (Delisa) Gaines, San Antonio, TX., Cachell Courtney Gaines, Richmond, TX., Shenea Nicole Jenkins, Clarkesville, TN., Corvonn Julian Hezekiah Gaines, Madison, WI.; and ten phenomenal great grandchildren; Jordan Renee, Tiffany Michelle, Jadon Alexander, Joseph III, Cruz Reece, Alessandra Caelle, Chancelor Aaron, Maria Elise, Carlo Cristiano, Lyric Lizeth; special daughters Victoria Morgan Thomas, Sandra Morgan Hardy, church daughters, Beverly Christmon, Judy Mims, Judy Beverly, Yolanda Barnes and special friends, Priscilla and Les Archer. She also leaves to cherish her memory, her beloved church family Christ Universal Temple, and her March Birth Month group, residents of where she lived for over 30 years, her Alcoholic Anonymous family, Mercy Hospital staff, Home Caregivers, VITAS Hospice, and a host of endearing friends.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, June 12th, 2021 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm
    When
    Saturday, June 12th, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm
    Location
    Meyer's Castle
    Address
    1370 Joliet St
    Dyer, Indiana 46411
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, June 12th, 2021 | 1:00pm
    When
    Saturday, June 12th, 2021 1:00pm
    Location
    Meyer's Castle
    Address
    1370 Joliet Street
    Dyer, Indiana 46411
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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PC

Peter Campbell

Posted at 01:15pm
I know Nellie from her years at CASO, and I was someone who experienced the stern direction from her as well as the gentle. Either way I always received her love. You will be missed. My heart goes out to all of Nellie's family and friends.
RH

Rita Henderson

Posted at 08:56am
I have fond memories & loved seeing Grandma Pooh whenever she would visit her daughter Carola & family here in Madison. She was always so sweet, warm, joyful, made me laugh & always full of love! It is obvious where my sissy Carola got her huge heart from! My deepest condolences & prayers to Maria, Carola & Clyde & all the family & friends who loved her so much. Rest in Heaven Grandma Pooh
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