Diane Jean Freier Petersen, 63, died Tuesday, March 12, of complications from a perforated bowel. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held Monday, March 18, at 11 a.m., at Holland & Bonine Funeral Chapel with a fellowship luncheon following the service at the Eagles Club.
Diane was born Sept. 30, 1949, to Emil and Catherine (Beesley) Freier in Billings, Mont. Diane and her siblings had somewhat of a nomadic childhood as they lived in various cities in Montana and Wyoming while their parents pursued better economic opportunities to support their large family.
Diane graduated from Havre High School in 1967. In 1973, Diane made the decision to join the U.S. Army. Diane always said she knew there was a God because she passed boot camp. The army stationed Diane in Germany where she met the love of her life, Larry Petersen.
Diane and Larry married on May 9, 1975, and this union was blessed with three children, Rhonda Lynn in 1975, Robert Larry in 1977 and Christina "Tina" Louise in 1978. Diane spent the first 15 years of her marriage as an Army wife as she and her family lived wherever the Army sent them, including Fort Lee, Va., Milwaukee, Wis., and Fort Lewis, Wash. Twice when Diane's husband, Larry, was sent overseas, first to Korea and then later to Holland, Diane lived in Havre where she had to be both mother and father to her young children. While living in Havre, Diane used her GI benefits to attend Northern Montana College.
When Larry retired after 20 years in the Army in 1990, the family moved to Havre permanently and Diane resided there until her death. Diane and Larry later separated but never divorced.
Diane enjoyed spending time with her family and in her later years loved visiting her grandchildren. Diane was the primary babysitter for her first grandchild, Jessica, and lived in Billings for a time so she could be closer to her granddaughter. Diane loved sending her five grandchildren cards for every holiday and her grandchildren looked forward to receiving them.
Diane enjoyed collecting owls and her family regularly gifted her with new owls to add to her collection. Diane also enjoyed listening to music and acquired an extensive CD collection. Her favorite group was the country music legends, Alabama. In her later years, health problems limited her mobility but Diane still liked to go to the local casinos with her daughter, Rhonda. Despite her health problems, Diane still kept her sense of humor and remained a loving mother to her three children and a devoted grandmother to her five grandchildren.
Diane was preceded in death by her parents, Emil and Catherine Freier, as well as four brothers, Donald, David, Emil Jr. and James, and an infant sister, Myrna.
Diane is survived by her husband, Larry, her three children, Rhonda of Havre, Robert (Becca) of Billings, and Tina (Wes Otto) of Havre, and her five grandchildren, Jessica Nivens and Zoey Otto of Havre and Bennett, Amelia and Jonah Petersen of Billings. Diane is also survived by four brothers, including Mike Freier of Havre and Clayton Freier of Miles City, and three sisters, including Mary Turner and Connie Chapman of Havre. Diane is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Diane's life journey ended where it began in Billings, Montana. Her family grieves her loss but takes great comfort in knowing that she is no longer in pain. Memorials can be given to a charity of one's choice.