Carolyn Elaine Hardin Peterka was born June 5, 1953, to George Hardin and Clara Hardin Reutter. She died Saturday, December 10, 2016, at the age of 63 after an enduring battle with cancer and the rare brain disease Moya Moya.
Ms. Peterka is survived by her two daughters: Jennifer (Mark) Archibald and Jody (Joe) Stillwagoner; five grandchildren: Sheridan Gerdes, Graeson Stillwagoner, Kendra Stillwagoner, Mekenna Stillwagoner, and Weslyn Stillwagoner; her mother Clara Hardin-Reutter, and siblings Kathy (Rick) Seifert and Jerry (Bea Lou) Hardin. She was preceded in death by her father George Hardin.
Carolyn was always a very creative person who loved crafting and gardening, and she was an immaculate seamstress. She loved to sing and dance, travel, spend time in the Black Hills and antiquing. She studied Automation Machine training in Kansas City in 1971 and later went on to study at the College of Financial Planning in Denver. In 1973, she married Don Peterka. Together, they farmed and ranched in Nebraska where they started their family. Carolyn moved to Rapid City in 1981, where she worked her way up the ladder in the financial industry becoming the office manager at Merrill Lynch and a Third Party Administrator at Ketel Thorstenson.
In the last years of her life, not even cancer could slow her down. She always found a way to be productive or to travel. She was fiercely independent with much determination and tenacity. Her illness didn’t cause her to lose faith in God, instead it only strengthened her faith through what could only be called fierce grace, inspiring many. She was baptized and confirmed at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Gordon, Neb., where she grew up on her family farm. She found strength in the love of her friends and family and in her faith in God. Her family, especially her sister, has remained by her side through it all.
Services were held Monday, December 19 at 11 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Rapid City, with burial following on Tuesday, December 20 at 1 p.m. in Gordon, Neb.
Behrens-Wilson Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements and condolences may be conveyed to the family through their website.