Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Suzanne Marie Peterson

Suzanne Marie Peterson, 86, of Sundance, Wyoming, passed away on Friday, November 3, 2023, at her ranch home south of Sundance.

Suzanne was born on August 2, 1937, in Flasher, North Dakota, to Liberatus and Eva (Schmidt) Gustin, and embarked on a remarkable journey that touched the lives of many. Born into a large and lively family as Hildegarde Marie Gustin, she quickly established herself as a spirited and adventurous child, often engaging in playful mischief with her closest brothers.

Her pursuit of education led her to Saint Lawrence School, where she completed her studies through the eighth grade. Suzanne's unwavering faith and calling to a life of devotion then led her to Bismarck, North Dakota, where she began her close relationship with God within the Benedictine Order.

Her journey continued at St. Mary's High School, where she dedicated herself to prayer and meditation. During her time in the convent, Suzanne discovered her passion for cooking and spent many days as a cook, selflessly preparing meals for her fellow sisters, nursing home residents, college students and school children.

In 1968, Suzanne felt a new calling in life and made the courageous decision to leave the convent, embarking on a new chapter of her journey. Her path eventually led her to Spearfish, South Dakota, where she was befriended by Joyce Sidel.

It was through this friendship that Suzanne crossed paths with Donald (Pete) Peterson at a lively fair dance. Their connection deepened over the course of ten months, and on June 6, 1970, they exchanged vows and began their life together. Suzanne and Pete welcomed two beautiful daughters into the world, Nancy Ann and Lynn Lee. 

Suzanne's culinary skills and her deep love for cooking continued to shine as she spent her days as a dedicated cook at the local hospital and later at the Sundance School, where she served for an impressive 24 years. Her talent and passion for baking, especially her homemade bread, became legendary in her community, and she delighted in sharing her creations with her neighbors and friends.

Suzanne was renowned not only for her exceptional baking but also for her unwavering faith and kindness, earning her a reputation as an outstanding Catholic woman and one of the kindest souls around. 

In 2004, Suzanne retired from her career in cooking to join Pete on their ranch, where she dedicated her time to supporting her family. She frequently expressed her deep love for her family, particularly her cherished grandchildren, who brought immeasurable joy to her life. 

Suzanne leaves behind a legacy of love, faith and kindness, survived by her dear family, including Theresa Bender, Florence Wingenbach, Liberatus Gustin, Nancy (Steve) King, Lynn Hanzlik, Nickolas Peterson, Chloe Hanzlik, Curtis Hanzlik, Reed King and Anna King. She was preceded in death by her parents, Liberatus and Eva Gustin; her husband, Donald "Pete" Peterson and her siblings: Peter, Paul, Robert, Catherine, Reta, Frances, Peter, Lawrence, Vincent, Helen, George and Leonard.

Suzanne's memory will forever warm the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing her, and her legacy of love and service will continue to inspire generations to come.

Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel in Sundance. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, November 10, 2023, at the Crook County Central Office Gymnasium in Sundance.  Rite of Committal will follow in the Green Mountain Cemetery south of Sundance. 

Arrangements are under the care of Fidler-Roberts & Isburg Funeral Chapel of Sundance. Online condolences may be written at