Tina Petersen, 48, of Cove died Sept. 22 at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland of complications of autoimmune inner ear disease and diabetes. The family is holding a gathering of her friends and their companion animals at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Birnie Park in La Grande.
Tina was born March 7, 1959, in Park Rapids, Minn., to Jim and Carol Groth. Despite contracting Type 1 diabetes at age 2, she had a happy childhood in Walker, Minn., “up north” in lake country, and graduated from Walker High School in 1977.
She attended Iowa State University and St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, studying veterinary science and journalism. She also graduated with a teaching degree from Eastern Oregon University in 1997.
She married Jeff Petersen on Dec. 24, 1983, in Greybull, Wyo. The couple lived in and worked for newspapers in Wyoming, Idaho, South Dakota and Minnesota before settling in Amery, Wis. Tina worked nearby in Center City, Minn., for Hazelden Educational Materials as a copywriter.
In 1994, the couple moved to Oregon, where Tina worked for The Observer in La Grande. She enjoyed writing and won numerous awards as a reporter.
Tina enjoyed travel, having lived in Sweden for a stretch during high school and later working for a summer at Yellowstone National Park. She loved reading, horseback riding and listening to music, which was frustrating for her when she lost her hearing during the last months of her life. But she especially loved raising and training Belgian teurveran, Belgian sheepdogs and collie dogs, among other breeds, and often worked in animal rescue or in adopting dogs from the local animal shelter.
Tina served as president of the Blue Mountain Humane Association and as a leader of the Prancing Paws 4-H Dog Club for about 10 years.
Tina is survived by her husband, of Cove; her mother, of Walker; her grandmother, Ila Wells, of Mountain Iron, Minn.; her brother, Skip, of Walker; her sister, Dixie, of Forest Lake, Minn.; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, and many special nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father, Jim Groth, and her stepfather, Phillip Emery.
Memorial contributions may be made to help the family cover hospital bills, to the Blue Mountain Humane Association or to the American Diabetes Association. Contributions to the family can be left at The Observer office, 1406 Fifth St.
La Grande Observer – Obituaries For The Week Ending September 29, 2007 – Published: September 29, 2007