Jean Peterson

January 19, 1936 ~ September 23, 2018 (age 82)

For 82 years, Jean Ann Peterson (née Redington) woke up happy. Born on January 19th, 1936, and passing away on September 23, 2018, she devoted every day of her life to sharing her passion for music, art, and beauty with the people she loved. And no one’s love was bigger.   

Jean had an unparalleled fashion sense. When she was younger, she tore pages out of Vogue and fashioned clothes for herself and her children. Anyone who saw her home and garden knows that she had an unrivaled eye for color. Throughout her whole life, her home remained a place for experimentation and whimsy.

She will be most remembered for her love of music and her cultural enrichment of the Wyoming Valley. In 1991, Jean cut the ribbon on the F. L. Peterson Arts Center which housed The String Shop, a business she had begun in her own home, as well as the Suzuki School for Strings. There she fostered education and community for a generation of musicians while still teaching piano out of her home, which she continued to do through June of this year.

Jean was a hands-on presence for hundreds of young people who have gone on to careers from music to medicine. She believed music education - piano especially - was a practical life skill that challenged the mind and provided lifelong joy. Jean was a living example of that philosophy. She stayed in touch with so many of “her families” throughout the years and we are forever grateful for the extended family her students have become.

She is survived by her daughters Cheryl Pritchard and Lori Zullich (and husband Sergio Zullich); her daughter-in-law Elke Pritchard; her sister Patricia Miller; as well as her grandchildren Kait Kerrigan, Timothy Scott Pritchard, Daniel Pritchard, and Kiera Lantz; two great-granddaughters; many nieces and nephews; the vibrant community of pianists and music lovers she mentored; and, last but not least, her four-legged buddy Molly. She is predeceased by her brothers Robert and Raymond Redington, and her son John Pritchard.

A celebration of her life and work will be held in her memory for family, friends, and students. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. 

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