Animals Pets 11

Kathleen K. (Calkins) Peterson

May 11, 1939 ~ April 16, 2021 (age 81)


Kathleen Calkins Peterson, 81, passed away on Friday, April 16, 2021 at her home following an extended illness.  She was born to the late Earl and Mary Ann Heckemovich Calkins.  She was preceded in death by two siblings: Darlene Calkins and Darrell Calkins.

Kathy is survived by her husband, Joseph Peterson of Franklin, Massachusetts; one stepson, Karl Peterson of Franklin, Massachusetts; three sisters, Maureen A. Shaw of Maggie Valley, NC, Colleen “Coke” Lowery of Astoria, Oregon, and Shari Derrick of Asheville, N.C., and several other nieces and nephews.  A special nephew of note is Dr. Vance C. Shaw and his wife, Rene', of Watauga, TN in addition to a lifelong friend, Sandra Beloved of Spokane, WA whom she loved.

Kathy was born out west, remaining there until after completing high school, graduating from Central Valley High School in Spokane, Washington.  She moved to Colorado where she lived for many years of her life prior to moving to North Carolina over 20 years ago to be closer to relatives already living in the area.  Much of her adult years were spent as a real estate agent and during that time she was often spending her time with her husband designing and building homes which were one of a kind beautiful pieces of workmanship.  She enjoyed gardening, having tended various flowers, and enjoyed early morning hours where she observed the beauty of the Rocky Mountains as she sipped a cup of coffee while watching the hummingbirds, bluebirds, elk, moose and bear, all which were often seen from the high altitude where she lived.

Kathy was a kind person who gravitated quickly to helping find good homes for shelter dogs who had been given up by other adopted parents as she spent much of her life adopting many disabled and difficult dogs from various shelters, giving them loving homes that other dogs envied.  She created an atmosphere for her four-legged furry family which many were known to have secretly whispered that if reincarnation were possible then they would want to come back as one of Kathy’s dogs!

After moving to North Carolina, Kathy spent time learning her way around, finding the music of Haywood County to be something which she fondly enjoyed, especially Bluegrass where she would be found at festivals with friends tapping her foot.  At Christmas she was seen for many years as a volunteer for The Salvation Army where she proudly rang her handbell seeking for those who might pass by to throw in a dollar or two into the familiar red bucket.

Vance and Rene' Shaw would like to send a special appreciation to Four Seasons Hospice for providing outstanding services during Kathy’s final year.  In addition, she was accompanied by a live-in caregiver named Kulubo Wu, employed through Griswold Home Care, during the last 6 ½ months of her life and no words could possibly express the gratitude given for her devotion and love during her final days on this earth.

No services are planned.

The care of Mrs. Peterson has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes of Waynesville and an online memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at


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