Jean Ruth Petersen Walter

Honored by:Donald H. Walter
Brick location:E:28  map

Jean Ruth Petersen was born to Arnold and Helen Petersen of Durant, Iowa in 1928. She first demonstrated her commitment to education by attending the Iowa State Teachers College (UNI) to obtain a teaching certificate following World War II. This training was first put to work in a one room country school teaching the farm children of Inland township in Cedar county, Iowa. Here she met Donald Dean Walter whom she soon married and together began farming and raising a family of four children less than a mile from the old country school. Even the harsh and demanding life of a dairy and pig farmer's wife and mother couldn't extinguish her desire to receive further education and share it with others.

While continuing to provide for her family's needs Jean commuted thousands of miles to attend Muscatine Community College and the University of Iowa where she was awarded academic recognition by the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society upon receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree. Jean continued her education at the U. of I. which culminated In a Masters of Arts degree in Library Science. (By this time her children were convinced that her obsession with higher education was merely a ploy to avoid milking the cows.) This training was put to service for over 2 years at the Bennett Community School where hundreds of students benefited from her tireless dedication as the school librarian.

 Of the many values Jean instilled in her children perhaps the most important were determination independence commitment to education and devotion to family. Jean shattered the mold of the traditional farmer's wife of the 1960's with un- conventional thinking proud determination and uncommon ablilty. In so doing she truly became a heroine to her family and community.

Dr. Donald H. (Chip) Walter Son and Admirer

May 30, 1997