Ellen J. “Joy” (Galbraith) Peterson

February 7th, 2015
Ellen J. “Joy” (Galbraith) Peterson, age 82, of Derry, NH, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, MA, died peacefully on February 6, 2015, after a lengthy illness.

Joy was born “Baby Girl Hutchings” on June 21, 1932 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania; she was the cherished daughter of the late Robert W. and Mary (Hutchings) Galbraith. Joy’s maternal grandparents, Thomas Hutchings, was a laborer from Wales and Mary (Hayes) Hutchings, was a housewife from Ireland. Joy was raised and educated in Lake Worth, Florida. She completed the eighth grade at Lake Worth High and can be seen in the Trade Winds yearbook with the Class of 1948.

Joy married her “sweetheart” Charlie Peterson on April 2, 1949 and the couple resided in Florida, Boston, Allston, and their family farm in Vermont before settling in Wilmington in 1961. Joy and Charlie shared more than 59 years together and had a great deal of fun before his passing in February of 2009.

Joy enjoyed her life immensely; she was a “Harley Davidson” girl, she had her own bike and she and her husband Charlie loved to ride all over the country together. Joy had a great laugh and loved a good party.

Joy was an avid and competitive bowler, she enjoyed spending time knitting, crocheting, and reading mystery novels. Joy spent countless hours reading her books into a tape recorder just so she could share the stories with those who were visually impaired. Joy particularly enjoyed rubbing elbows and taking pictures with the actors and actresses of the movie “Beetlejuice,” which was filmed in East Corinth, Vermont.

Joy loved to spend time watching her soaps or Fox News channel to keep up on current events or spend time on her computer catching up with family and friends on FaceBook or playing a good hand of spider solitaire.

Joy was known to have a deep passion for animals; she loved to play with the family cats and dogs or spend countless hours watching the birds at their feeders. Joy was a life time member of the Humane Society of the United States and firmly believed in fair treatment for animals.

After the passing of her beloved Charlie, Joy moved to Derry, NH to be closer to her family as her health declined. Joy will be fondly remembered as a very kind and caring woman who along with Charlie took the neighborhood children under their wing, helping them with homework and always having fun. Joy and Charlie will be greatly missed by all.

Joy was the beloved wife of the late Charles E. Peterson, dear sister-in-law of Phyllis and the late Bob “War Bucks” Peterson of Lynn, Carl “Cookie” Peterson of Hyde Park, and the late Frederick John Peterson, loving aunt of Phil & Lorraine Peterson of Derry, NH, Phil & Julie Peterson of North Reading, Carolyn Peterson of Lynn, David Michael Parks-Otting of Derry, NH, her “go-do-it guy”, the late Robert Eric Peterson, Bobby E. Peterson, Rachel Peterson-Timmons & Tony Timmons, Courtney Peterson, Jack & Claudia Peterson of Lynn, John & Kerri Peterson, Rene Peterson, Jamie Peterson, Elaine Peterson of Lynn, Freddie & Colleen McNulty-Peterson of Lynn, Carl Peterson of Hyde Park, Charlie Edmund & Carrie Peterson of East Corinth, Vermont, George & Joyce Murphy, Lauren Murphy Torrey, and Pam Murphy McGonagle all of MA, cousin of Shirley Stewart & her husband Bill, Patty & Jimmy Schubert and Brandon all of Turtle Creek, PA and Gladys Guy of Pittsburgh, PA. Joy is also survived by many nephews & nieces, great nephews & nieces, great-great nephews & nieces and her beloved cats, Mr. Daisy and Patches.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, February 12th for Visiting Hours from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. immediately followed by a Funeral Service at 6:00 p.m.

Memorial donations in Joy’s name may be made to the:

Salvation Army, National Headquarters
P. O. Box 269
Alexandria, VA 22314


Humane Society of the United States
2100 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20037


4 Entries in Guest Book for “Ellen J. “Joy” (Galbraith) Peterson”

  1. Phil Cuoco says:

    Joy, I have been thinking of all the years growing up next door to you and Charlie, How you kept an eye on us and how your door was always open. I remember walking back and forth to visit you and Charlie 5 or 6 times a day. You are with Charlie now, Godspeed and R.I.P.

  2. Betsy(Palmer)Feeley says:

    So many of my childhood memories are of growing up next door to both Joy and Charlie, and they are wonderful memories!! Joy taught me how to crochet when I was about 10 or 11 and to this day every time I pick up a crochet hook I recall her patience in teaching me. I was also fortunate to take countless trips to East Corinth and a few to Pennsylvania with Joy and Charlie. Joy and Charlie are now back together.

  3. Jackson Family says:

    Please accept our deepest sympathy. May all your good memories out weigh your sadness during this difficult time.
    Isaiah 25:8

  4. Diane Salera Clifton says:

    Sorry to hear of Joy’s passing.
    I have fond memories of Joy. Growing up I enjoyed listening to her stories and doing crafts with her.
    I remember her sitting on her porch, reading, and feeding the birds (and squirrels) from her window.
    Joy and Charlie were great neighbors and are missed. Rest in peace.

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