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Visitation With The Family

Hawarden United Methodist Church
Sunday January 23rd, 2022
3:00pm - 5:00pm

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Prayer Service

Hawarden United Methodist Church
Sunday January 23rd, 2022

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Celebration of Life

Hawarden United Methodist Church
Monday January 24th, 2022

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Arlys L. Peters

December 15, 1926 – January 8, 2022
A kind and giving person with an unconditional love of family, Arlys (Luhrs) Peters, 95, passed into the hands of her savior while holding the hand of her daughter, Jolee, on January 8, 2022 at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Arlys was born at the stroke of midnight on December 15, 1926 on the family farm near Primghar, Iowa. She was the oldest child of Alice (Klink) and William A. Luhrs and sister to brothers, Bill and Jim Luhrs.
The family resided on farms near Primghar, Sanborn, and Gaza, Iowa during her childhood where she attended rural schools through the eighth grade. During those years, she developed a life-long passion for learning, spending many enjoyable hours exploring nature, reading books, and writing letters to family members and friends.
Tragically, her mother passed away when Arlys was fifteen years old, leaving her to help manage the family household and care for her younger brothers. Four years later, her father married Nellie Riedeman who would become her beloved step-mother. The union of William and Nellie gave Arlys a step-sister, Bernita.
Arlys graduated from Primghar High School in 1945. Following her dream of becoming a teacher, she received a two-year teaching certificate from Iowa State Teachers College in 1947 and later a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of South Dakota in 1972. During her career as an educator, she taught first grade in Akron and Westfield, Iowa; opened the first pre-school in Hawarden and later joined the West Sioux school system, first teaching remedial reading and later first grade. Arlys’ teaching career spanned 27 years. When she began her teaching career, she told her parents she loved teaching so much she would do it for free if she didn’t need to pay her bills. After her retirement from teaching, she often heard from former students who shared how she had positively impacted their lives.
While teaching in Akron, Arlys had a chance meeting with Harvey Peters, a handsome local man who had recently returned to his hometown after serving with the US Army in Europe during World War II. A relationship quickly developed and they decided to marry. Because her superintendent discouraged the employment of married female teachers, they secretly eloped to Windom, Minnesota where they were married. Harvey was her life-long friend and loving partner for fifty-five years until he passed in October 2003.
Arlys dearly loved the Hawarden community. She taught Sunday School for over 20 years, was an active member of the United Methodist Church Women’s Society, the Hawarden Historical Society, the American Legion and Hawarden Hospital Auxiliaries, and the Planning and Zoning Board. She also volunteered with the Hawarden Thrift Shop.
Because of health issues, Arlys moved to Sioux Falls in May 2015 to live with her daughter, Jolee. There she continued her love of reading, especially murder mysteries, doing crossword puzzles and sending countless cards and letters to those she loved. She recently celebrated her 95th birthday and was overwhelmed to receive 115 cards from family, friends and former students.
Arlys will always be remembered and loved for the fun she brought to life whether playing ball with or giving ‘underdogs’ to her students on the playground at recess or fulfilling a bucket list wish to go on a hot air balloon ride over the Hawarden area at age 87. Coincidentally, the hot air balloon pilot was one of her former first graders.
Survivors include daughter, Jolee Thurn (special friend, David Anderson); grandchildren, Jeff Thurn (Paige); Jennifer Winn (Aaron Fuentes) Tony Winn; Ryan, Chris, Justin (Sally) and Jaime McHaffie; 14 great grandchildren, one great-great grandson, sister-in-law, Pat Luhrs and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death were her parents, her stepmother, beloved husband, Harvey, daughters, Jeri (Wally) Winn and Rhonda (Elwood) McHaffie and infant son, David; her brothers, Bill (Carolee) Luhrs and Jim Luhrs, and step-sister, Bernita (Norbert) Baumgart.
Persons wishing to make a memorial gift are requested to send donations to the West Sioux Education Foundation or the Hawarden United Methodist Church. Condolences may be sent to www.porterfuneralhomes.com. The service will be livestreamed on her obituary page.
It was Arlys’ wish to be cremated and inurned at Riverside Cemetery in Akron, Iowa next to her husband and son David. Visitation with family present will be from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday, January 23, 2022 with a time of brief sharing and prayer service at 4:30 pm. A Celebration Of Life service will be at 11:00 am on Monday, January 24, 2022. Due to COVID, the luncheon is now cancelled. Both visitation and celebration service will be at the Hawarden United Methodist Church. Private inurnment services will follow. With consideration for the most vulnerable, masks are respectfully encouraged to be worn during services.

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I'm so sorry to hear the passing of Arlys Peters. She was a very special lady. My family and I knew her when my dad, Rev. Paul Hansen, served at Hawarden. My sympathy & love goes out to her family.

Carol Hansen Feb 2 2022 4:22 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Arlys Peters

Abby and charlee denning Jan 23 2022 3:38 PM

We sure do miss our weekly letters from Arlys. They were such a gift to read to Pat every week and they sparkled shine great conversations as she walked down memory lane. Arlys was our family angel!

Brad and Aimee Luhrs Jan 22 2022 9:21 AM

Arlys was my first grade teacher in 1951. She was such a sweet person, and I have so many good memories from that time. Later on I enjoyed talking to her when she and Harvey visited Immanuel Lutheran. You were fortunate to have her for a mother and grandmother. And I was lucky to have her as a teacher.

Marcene Heeren Jan 19 2022 10:18 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Arlys Peters

Shirley Beerman Jan 15 2022 3:03 PM

How I loved Miss Luhrs my first grade teacher in Akron in 1948-49. I remember her sitting on the grass with some of us at recess singing Cruising Down the River. She was so kind and had a wonderful smile.

Carol Brown Jan 15 2022 8:28 AM

How I loved my first grade teacher! It was the school year 1948-49 when I was in her class. I well remember her sitting on the grass with some of us at recess singing "Cruising Down the River". I was fortunate to see her a few times in more modern times, and she always looked the same, she had a beautiful smile. I'm glad she lived a long life.
Carol Brown

Carol Brown Jan 15 2022 8:24 AM

Oh how I will miss her letters. I was honored to be one of her friends. I treasured our conversations and know God welcomed a lovely lady home, She was an angel here on Earth.

Mary Hulleman Jan 14 2022 6:26 PM

Years and years ago the Peters Family would hold reunions in the Hawarden Park. This is where I met Arlys, Harvey and family from Ill. WE had no other communication, but I always remember her smile and quiet ways. My condolences to all her family. May God comfort you with his grace and may your memories keep her with you always.

Alice Wiegers Lee Jan 13 2022 9:54 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Arlys Peters

Anne Gambaiana Jennings Jan 13 2022 2:23 PM

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