BIG SKY — Loyce B. Peterson, 65, of Big Sky, passed away unexpectedly on April 15, 2021, at her home.
She was born on Dec. 25, 1955, in Billings, to James and Barbara Battin. She is loved and survived by her best friend and devoted husband, Craig Peterson; sister Patricia (Tom Pfeiffer) Battin; brother James (Mary) Battin Jr.; daughter Hannah (Jason) Decker; son Roy (Brooke) Peterson; and three precious grandsons, Wells Peterson, Crew Peterson and Ellis Decker.
Loyce spent her childhood moving between Billings and Virginia with her sister, brother and parents following her father’s career as a lawyer, congressman and federal judge. As a family, they enjoyed socializing with local friends and neighbors. While living in Virginia, she met Sarah Feuerstein, becoming girl scouts together and lifelong friends. Loyce spent her summers in Montana enjoying the company of her cousins Charlyn, Bobbie and John Lacklen.
She graduated from Billings West High School in 1974. That fall, she moved to Bozeman to attend college. While there, she met her future husband Craig Peterson at a Halloween party. They enjoyed attending concerts, theatrical productions and exploring the beautiful Montana outdoors together. Their outdoor adventures took them to local ski areas, Bridger Bowl and the newly developed Big Sky Resort, which began their lifelong love of skiing. They also enjoyed hiking, camping and backpacking through the Montana mountains. Loyce graduated with a degree in social work from Montana State University.
Loyce and Craig were married on Sept. 8, 1979, and began their lives together in Billings. They celebrated 41 wonderful years together. Craig and Loyce welcomed two children into the world, Hannah and Roy. Loyce stayed home with her daughter for two years before beginning her career in Social Work. She began working at Deaconess Billings Clinic as a social worker and became passionate about the treatment of the elderly. Three and a half years later, her son was born. She continued her career in social work, and was employed by the Visiting Nurse Service prior to starting her own home care business, Wild Rose Care Management. The last several years of her career were spent working for Billings Clinic, where she was able to continue advocating for elderly people. She also cultivated many friendships with her coworkers and was well respected.
After retiring, Loyce and Craig begin spending more time in Big Sky and eventually relocated there. Becoming part of the local community was important to Loyce, and she began building relationships with neighbors and others on the slopes. Loyce and Craig spent time at local concerts, events, and volunteered as Mountain Hosts at Big Sky Resort. This combined her love of skiing with her desire to contribute to the community. Attending live sporting events was also something she enjoyed. Loyce was fond of traveling, including taking cruises and looked forward to future adventures.
Some of her children’s fondest memories include summers spent rafting, canoeing, camping, hiking, climbing boulders and exploring ghost towns across Montana. The family was also active in the winter, skiing every weekend. Loyce loved spending time with her family and believed in teaching strong values and building character in her children. The most wonderful mother to her two children, Hannah and Roy, and proud grandmother to her precious grandsons, Wells, Crew and Ellis. She was dedicated to raising them to be hardworking, thoughtful problem solvers who built a strong relationship with God. She was the example of integrity, thoughtfully guiding all those she loved to do the right thing.
Our hearts are broken, though we take refuge in knowing that she is at peace in Heaven.
She was cremated, as was her wish. Services are to be held at First Presbyterian Church, Billings on Friday, April 23, at 2 p.m.
Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be made to Big Sky Senior Services, 935 Lake Elmo Drive, Suite: B, Billings, MT 59105; or a charity of your choice.