Cover photo for Isabelle "Bea" Petersen's Obituary
Isabelle "Bea" Petersen Profile Photo

Isabelle "Bea" Petersen

April 18, 1939 — January 8, 2024

Isabelle "Bea" Petersen

Isabelle “Bea” Petersen, 84, of Exira, went to her Heavenly home, Monday, January 8, 2024, at Heritage House in Atlantic.

She was born April 18, 1939, in Dryden, Ontario, Canada to Alvic and Isabelle (Regnier) Maltais.  She was the ninth of eleven children and was known as Bub to her family and friends.  Bea told the story of traveling across Canada on a train to Vancouver, BC when she was about four years old.  As the trip was long and she was bored, she started singing “Show Me the Way to Go Home”. The delighted passengers gave her nickels and dimes to keep on singing.  She worked at the drugstore after graduating from high school in Dryden and moved to Omaha, Nebraska in 1960 where she worked at the Omaha National Bank.

She met a handsome farmer named Ronald Petersen on a blind date in 1962.  They quickly fell in love and were married on December 15, 1962, in Exira, Iowa.  Bea left the city life and became a partner with Ron on the Petersen family farm west of Exira. She worked by Ron’s side and learned how to drive a tractor and move livestock.  Bea was a homemaker and stayed home to raise five children.  She learned how to render lard, make Rullepølse, and butcher chickens.  She always had a huge vegetable garden and she canned hundreds of quarts every year for her big family.  She was a wonderful cook and always tried to broaden the cuisine options around the Petersen family dinner table, even though her husband was not as adventurous.  Bea loved to tend her flower beds and teach her grandchildren about the flowers and plants she cared for.  She became a United States citizen in 1980.

As her children grew, she started working outside the home.  She worked at the Cass County Hospital, the Exira Care Center and was a home health worker.  Bea was also the Exira Congregate Meals coordinator.  Bea had an entrepreneurial spirit and would talk Ron into being her “assistant.”  They started a small furniture refinishing business and were known for their quality craftsmanship. Bea might be best known for her baking business.  Cinnamon rolls were her specialty and she made them for people far and wide. Her kids got giant pans of cinnamon rolls for Christmas each year until she moved to assisted living in Atlantic.

Bea was a creative person.  She took the “Are You an Artist” test shortly after getting married to Ron and passed with flying colors. She sewed many outfits for her children and grandchildren through the years and knitted slippers and mittens.  She loved having her grandchildren stay overnight at the farm where she made them her famous Mickey Mouse pancakes with chocolate chips.

Bea lived out her final years at the Heritage House in Atlantic where she was well loved by those who cared for her there.

Bea’s most beautiful quality was her love for Jesus.  She spent many hours reading her Bible, teaching Bible studies and praying for her family and friends.  She sang in the choir at the Exira Lutheran Church.  Her deepest desire was that her family would know the saving grace of Jesus Christ so she would one day see them all in Heaven.  She will be there to greet them all one day.

Preceding her on the journey Home were her husband, Ron; parents; in-laws, Andrew and Florence Petersen; siblings, Danny Maltais, Stella Maltais Godmaire, Marie Maltais McGowan, Betsy Maltais McIntyre, Roland Maltais, Louis Maltais, Rene Maltais, Yvonne Maltais Gillette and Sheila Maltais McDaniel; brother-in-law, Richard Petersen; and son-in-law, Mitch Trewet.

Left to cherish her memory are her children: Tami Trewet-Sloop (Kurt) of Atlantic, Teresa Christensen (Tom) of Audubon, Mark Petersen (Amy) of Libby, Montana, Pat (Mary) Petersen of Exira, Jennifer Rettele (LD) of Omaha;  grandchildren, Chance Trewet (Bre Wright) of Kansas City, Kansas, Caroline Trewet of Brooklyn, New York, Abby Landon (Gabe Grier) of Audubon, Spencer Landon (Mila) of Northglenn, Colorado, Riley Christensen of Waverly, Iowa, Maddie Christensen of Exira, Andrew Petersen (Liz) of Covington, Washington, Zander Petersen (Mimi White) of Portland, Oregon, Derick Petersen (Bea) of Indianapolis, Indiana, Kady Petersen and Zane Petersen, both of Exira; her granddog, Douglas and her grandcat, Pete, both of Omaha; great-grandchildren, Ziza and Zuko, Isabelle Grace Landon, Willow, Rex and Rocky Petersen, brother, Roger Maltais; sister-in-law, Janis Petersen of Des Moines; many nieces and nephews; and more friends than she knew.

Visitation with family present will be held on Thursday, January 11, 2024, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Roland Funeral Service in Atlantic.  A private family burial will be held at St. John's Cemetery, west of Exira.  Celebration of Life Memorial services will also be announced at a later date.

Memorials may be made to the family for later designation to St. John’s Cemetery west of Exira.

Roland Funeral Service is caring for Bea’s family and her arrangements.  Condolences may be left at

***If you wish to send flowers please be in touch with Bea's granddaughter, Kady at Exira Flower Supply, 712-268-7000.***

To order memorial trees in memory of Isabelle "Bea" Petersen, please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Visitation with Family Present

Thursday, January 11, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm

Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

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Private Family Burial

A private family burial will be held at the St. John's Cemetery, west of Exira.

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