Kathy Jo Peterson, “Jo”
January 15, 1954 – August 30, 2018
Age 64. Kathy Jo Peterson fought her entire life to make the world a better place. She was a mother, a grandmother, a teacher, a social worker, an activist, an organizer, a sister, a daughter and a friend. She touched the lives of so many through teaching: teaching children, teaching criminal justice, teaching social work, and by teaching people to empower themselves and to change the world. Whether her fight was local or national, she always championed peace and dignity. You may not have always agreed with her, but you certainly knew that she cared about what she fought for. The way that her actions were guided by an unflagging moral compass was infectious, and she was beloved by people from all walks of life. Her laugh and love still rings in the ears and hearts of everyone who was lucky enough to encounter her during her brief time on earth. Kathy Jo Peterson fought her entire life to make the world a better place, and she succeeded.
She graduated from Oakland-Craig Senior High in 1972 and obtained her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Social Work, both from the University of Nebraska Omaha. In the year 2000, Kathy Jo received the Gandhi Award from The Grace Abbott School of Social Work, an award meant to honor individuals and organizations that exemplify Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence, selfless service, and social action. Throughout the years she was the Youth Services Director at Region 6 Behavioral Health, Grant Writer and Project Coordinator for Nebraskans for Peace, as well as a Crisis Counselor at The Boys Town National Hotline. Her greatest passion was teaching. She was a respected and loved professor throughout Nebraska. Some of the schools she taught at were the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Metropolitan Community College, Creighton University, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Boys Town, and her beloved Dana College.
Preceded in death by father, Durwood “Kent” Bunderson. Survived by children: Josh B. Peterson, Francis R. Rhoe, Zachary J. Peterson, and Katlin J. Adams; mother, E. Ramona Hamann; stepfather, Deryl F. Hamann; stepmother, Myra Bunderson; sister, J. Lee Bunderson; brother, W. Eric Bunderson; granddaughter, Lux R. Thompson-Rhoe; and countless others who called her mom, daughter, sister, aunt, mentor, teacher, and friend.
The family will receive friends on Friday, September 7th from 5pm to 8pm at Augustana Lutheran Church, 3647 Lafayette Ave., 68131. SERVICES: Saturday, September 8th at 9:30am at Augustana Lutheran Church. Internment, Evergreen Memorial Park. Please send any donations to Nebraska Appleseed, 941 O St., Ste 920, Lincoln, NE 68506.