SHERLEE KAPLAN PETERSON
Sherlee Kaplan Peterson, 89, died peacefully on Nov. 19, 2020, following a long illness. She was born on Aug. 21, 1931, to Ernest and Leona Netolicky Kaplan north of Ely, Iowa. She attended Shueyville High School, where she particularly enjoyed playing basketball. She married Cliff Peterson on Jan. 19, 1949, and they moved to rural Mount Vernon to farm and start their family.
Survivors include five children, Shelley Dies of Fort Thomas, Ky., Mary Berry of Madison, Wis., Scott (Susan Alexander) of Mount Vernon, Victoria Ahrensdorf of Florence, Mass., Payson (Ann) of Avondale, Colo.; eight grandchildren, Alexa Dies, Hannah Holena, Karolina Donlin, Betsy Berry, Evan Peterson, Tobyn Peterson, Eli Ahrensdorf and Grace Ahrensdorf; nine great-grandchildren; and her sister, Fern Fackler (Warren) of Cedar Rapids.
She was predeceased by her husband, Cliff; and a son, Danny.
Sherlee’s door was always open, and the dinners and celebrations were lively and full of laughter. She always could make room for one more at the dining room table, and at least one relative was known to take catnaps under that table so she wouldn’t “miss anything.” Sherlee loved entertaining and cooking and was generous in sharing her opinions about what was being prepared and how it could be improved. She also frequently shared her analyses of politics, the Royal Family, Svik rules, weddings, bingo games, and the general management of residential facilities. Her home in Mount Vernon was crowded with friends, relatives, strangers she had adopted, and folks of all kinds who just needed help. Some would come for a night, and stay for months. Sherlee’s home was busy, noisy, occasionally chaotic and always warm and welcoming.
She loved her adopted hometown of Mount Vernon and treasured her many friendships here. She was active in her church, First Presbyterian of Mount Vernon, and was a member of many clubs and organizations, including Friendship Club, 4-H, antique and collectors clubs, and more than one bridge club. She was proud of her Czech heritage and active in the Czech community in Cedar Rapids. She was especially interested in cultural exchange programs and helped with the selection of local high school students to spend summers in Czechoslovakia. She hosted a number of international students, and her children still consider the exchange students that stayed with them as family.
Memorials may be directed to the First Presbyterian Church in Mount Vernon, the Mount Vernon Fire Department or the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, in care of Scott Peterson, 319 Third St. SE, Mount Vernon, IA 52314.
The family is planning for a Celebration of Life and a private burial at a later date.
Thanks to many for your warm support of us during this time.