Willa Joan Peterson

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May 31, 2019 – July 3, 2019

Willa Joan Peterson, one-monthold daughter of Paul and Mika (Tibbs) Peterson of Dupree passed away Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at the IHS Hospital in Eagle Butte.

Funeral services for Willa were held Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at the United Methodist Church in Faith. Burial was at the Dupree Cemetery in Dupree.

Willa Joan’s story began on May 31, 2019. She almost didn’t wait for the doctor to show up and had her nurses running. She announced her arrival and quickly snuggled into her mother’s arms. Her proud father stood by waiting to rock her and give her loving words.

Willa spent 13 days in the newborn intensive care unit charming her nurses and anyone else that came to see her. Her dad took great pride in being able to coax her to eat her whole bottle as they worked to get her home. Her mom made sure she was fashionably dressed and had plenty to eat. Together they comforted her during lab draws and fatigue from therapies, and held her close, keeping her warm.

Willa spent 21 days at home in Dupree and at the ranch at Faith. Her brother Calder reminded others she was “mine,” loved to rock with her, help his mom feed her and tickle her feet. Riley watched over her fiercely, loved feeding her and held her whenever he could. Dawson loved visiting with her and couldn’t wait to teach her to shake hands. Parker was her quiet protector and held her gently, savoring his moments with her.

Willa looked around wide-eyed, taking everything in. The little Warrior Princess was born with difficulties that could not be seen. Her tiny heart was not strong enough to keep her alive though her family prayed with all their hearts and souls.

Willa took her last breath in her mother’s arms on July 3, 2019. God led her gently away with her parents by her side.

Lucky for having her in their lives are her parents, Paul and Mika; brothers Parker, Dawson, Riley and Calder; grandparents Kathy and Harvey McPherson, Mike Tibbs, and Joey and Gary Peterson; great-aunt Jeri Lemke; and other family members including Jami and Jim Sheridan and Dalton, Shari and Katie Rose, Shawn Tibbs and Steph Kuemper and Jordyn and Cayle, Matt and Lynn Peterson and Anna, Aubrey and Claire, Neilie and Doug Goodwin, Kevin and Marca Tibbs Will, Brian and Jody McPherson and Bradyn and Molly, Brad McPherson and Brady and Breckin, and many other aunts, uncles, cousins and honorary family.

She was met in heaven by her brother Mason and other family members who had gone before her but never had a chance to meet her.

Memorials will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Dakota, Wonderfully Made Baskets, and Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network.

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