Newspaper Publisher Eleanor Lawrence Peterson 1927 – 2021

Mokelumne Hill, CA…Eleanor Lawrence Peterson, August 6, 1927 – July 5, 2021. Eleanor Lawrence Peterson, loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed away at her longtime family home in Mokelumne Hill on July 5 at the age of 93.  In a recent column for the Stanford Magazine on the occasion of her 70th reunion, she had written that “it’s a great life, really.”

Eleanor was born in Los Angeles, CA on August 6, 1927 to Grove and Ruth (Follansbee) Lawrence.  She graduated from University High School and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Leland Stanford Junior University in 1948.  The following year, after earning her Master’s Degree in Political Science from Stanford, she married John Ravlin Peterson in Los Angeles, and by 1961, with their four young children in tow, moved to northern California, where she raised six children total while serving as Publisher of the Calaveras Prospect and Calaveras Californian newspapers until 1998. 

All six of her children graduated from both Mokelumne Hill Elementary School and Calaveras High Schools.  Upon retirement, she spent the majority of her time with family, frequenting Gilbert and Sullivan theatre productions, rooting on the Oakland Athletics, and making annual visits to Yosemite National Park and the Wawona Hotel.  In addition to owning and operating the oldest newspaper in the entire state of California for almost 40 years, she was employed in her early adulthood by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Redding Record-Searchlight newspaper.  Her favorite activities included attending her children’s interscholastic sports competitions, recitals, musical plays and high school marching band events.

Preceded in death by her husband John Ravlin Peterson (2008), Eleanor Peterson is survived by her six children:  son Eric Grove Peterson and wife Anita of Versailles, MO; daughter Lise Peterson and husband Donald of Aptos, CA; son Noel Lawrence Peterson and wife Kim of Tracy, CA; son John William Peterson and wife In Ja Halcomb of Pleasant Hill, CA; son David Forbes Peterson of Mokelumne Hill, and son Edward Follansbee Peterson and wife Jennifer of Las Vegas, NV.

She is also survived by grandchildren John William Trimingham Peattie (Emily Wood) of San Francisco, CA, and Anne Mackintosh Peattie (Ammon Torrence) of Berkeley, CA, as well as great-grandchildren Maeve and Josie Torrence of Berkeley, CA,, and Theo Peattie of San Francisco, CA.

The entire Peterson family wishes to thank Dr. Ryan Thompson of Murphys for his 30+ years of care for their mother, as well as Hospice of Amador & Calaveras for their support during her final days.
A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in San Andreas, CA on August 6.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Mokelumne Hill Fire Protection District, 8160 Church Street, Mokelumne Hill, CA, 95245.

Family contact: Lise Peterson (831) 334-0207