Cleo M. Peterson passed away at the Ashley Manor in Jerome on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2011, at the age of 95.
Cleo was born and raised in Carey where he and his wife, Sibylle, raised a family of eight children. They later moved to Jerome, where Cleo started a lawn care service. He took great pride in his work, and at one time had 23 customers. Friends and neighbors were amazed that he was able to work so hard for a man his age. Later, when he had to give up driving because of his eyesight, friends observed him as he traveled on his scooter to Choate's for breakfast. His scooter also enabled him to complete many tasks around his yard.
Cleo's working career began at an early age when a farm accident seriously injured his father. Cleo was the oldest of 11 children and worked hard to help support his family. The hard work continued when he married and had eight children of his own. Cleo was able to pass his work ethic on to his sons who helped him in his hay hauling business.
Cleo worked for several ranchers in the Carey area. He also was a foreman on the state Highway Department in Jerome and foreman on the Carey Road and Bridge Department. He was an accomplished equipment operator and could do most any kind of roadwork.
In his later years, he had more time to enjoy his kids, grandkids and neighbors; it was a nice reprieve from his years of hard work. He loved little children, and he found pleasure in giving them a dollar or two. Cleo had a good sense of humor and enjoyed teasing.
Cleo and Sibylle loved music and were good dancers and passed this passion on to their children. Sibylle played the piano, and there was always some form of music in the house. Even in his last years, Cleo loved to sing and to listen to all the old songs. Staff who cared for him these past few months voiced a deep love and respect for this "spunky little man."
Cleo is survived by seven children: Buzz (Carol) of Fairfield; Judy (Larry Justesen) of Rawlins, Wyo.; Tom (Judy) of Gannett; Ron (Anita) of Twin Falls; Skip (Trudy) of Bellevue; Marty (Gail) of Shoshone; and Greg of Carey. Cleo's siblings include Renee Brown of Boise, Marge Mallory of Boise and Calvin (Audrey) Peterson of Jerome. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Cleo was preceded in death by his wife, Sibylle; daughter, Patricia Sparks; grandsons Rory Sparks and Tommy Peterson; parents, Mint and Hazel Peterson; and siblings Dorothy Whitby, Wayne, Alice Vitalie, Kenneth, Lee, Leo and Joanne.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Shoshone with burial to follow at the Carey Cemetery. Services will be under the direction of the Wood River Chapel. Friends and family are invited to leave condolences at www.woodriverchapel.com.