Brenda Peterson was born February 26, 1952 in Peoria, Illinois, the daughter of Eugene and Bonnie Whitmer Peterson. She was raised by her grandmother, Catherine Whitmer. She was educated in Kewanee schools and graduated from Kewanee High School in 1970. Brenda attended Western Illinois University in Macomb. Her marriage to Don Bates took place on April 18, 1971 in Galva. The couple moved to Cambridge in 1975. Brenda worked for eighteen years at the Cambridge Elementary School as a teacher’s aide in the Title One reading program. She was a member of the Cambridge United Methodist Church. She enjoyed reading and loved the beach, teaching kids, and her grandchildren.
Those surviving are her husband, Don, two daughters and sons-in-law, Angie and Howard W. Dennis, Elizabethton, TN, Caty and Matthew Fink, Emerald Isle, NC, one son, Brandon Bates, Silvis, two grandchildren, Lily Bates and Caleb Dennis, and one on the way. Other survivors include her father, Eugene Peterson, Alta, IL, mother, Bonnie Thompson, Sandwich, IL, one sister, Nancy Patterson, Orion, and one brother, Chuck Peterson, Kewanee. Her grandparents preceded her in death.