Myong Cha “Betty” Peterson


Myong Cha “Betty” Peterson, 82, of Bemidji, MN died Monday, May 11, 2020 at her home surrounded by her family and loved ones.

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Interment will be at the Samhold Lutheran Cemetery in Gonvick, MN under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji.

Betty was born October 3, 1937 in Seoul, South Korea, the daughter of Choe Nam Sok and Kim Chung Yer. She was second oldest out of six children, but the most stoic and headstrong. A young G.I. courted her for two years and won the approval of Betty’s grandmother Kim Mun Yi. Duane Peterson and Betty were married on January 31, 1961 and first born Douglas arrived in March the following year in Seoul. Duane was called back to the States and for Betty, it was a strange new land and customs. She paved the tough road contending with her new mother-in-law. Being a strong woman, she became an ideal homemaker and cared for her beloved husband until his death in 2001.

While still enlisted in the military, they were stationed in various parts of the U.S. Second child Kimberly came while back in Bemidji. Assignment in New Mexico, White Sands AFB where Lester was born. Betty steadfastly acquired strong opinions and views never letting people know where her information came from but “a little birdy told me”.

She was a dedicated grandmother and so loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren and helped in their care to this day. In between family and friends, in 1972, she met Angie  (Wonok) Mrs. Bill Patnaude and became her Korean “sister” and best friend. They developed into a little Ya-Ya sisterhood of June Ysen, Kim Mistic, Miko Seitz, Minum Morris, Hwa Walberg, and Mitzi Raitz.

She was a very classy lady whose hair and makeup was always perfect before she left the house. She loved to cook traditional Korean food and garage saleing as a past time. Later in life, her adage “What the hell” became a common phrase around the family. She was known as Mama-san and Ya-Ya to many and people who loved her called her just “Grams”. She left a part of her heart in all she embraced and will be sadly missed.

She is survived by her children Doug (Sue), Kim (Bob), and Les, grandchildren Mikal (Kimber), Ashlee (Chris) Curb, Andrew (Bailey), Nicholas, and Hailee Peterson, great grandchildren, siblings, Myong Ok Choi of Houston, Texas, Young Su and Chung Cha Choe of Seoul, Korea.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her grandparents, her husband Duane, and a sister.

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