Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0631
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Full Text of HR0631  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of Thelma
4Yolonde Byassee Peterson, who passed away on December 28,
52021; and
6    WHEREAS, Yolonde Byassee Peterson was born to Sarah
7Elizabeth Vaughn Byassee and James Henry Byassee of Creal
8Spring on July 28, 1928; she attended school through 8th grade
9in Creal Springs before transferring to Marion Township High
10School, which offered a music curriculum; she married Guy H.
11"Pete" Peterson on August 8, 1951, and he preceded her in death
12in October 2021; she attended Southern Illinois University
13Carbondale, where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education
14in 1957 and her Master of Science in Education in June 1970;
16    WHEREAS, Yolonde Byassee Peterson began her career in
17education early in life, teaching piano lessons at age 12; she
18taught at Marion Community Unit School District 2 for nearly
1940 years; she produced classic Broadway musicals at Marion
20High School from 1964 until she retired in 1989; and
21    WHEREAS, Yolonde Byassee Peterson belonged to a number of
22civic groups and charitable causes; she was the musical



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1director of First United Methodist Church in Marion for over
250 years; she served as chair of the Marion Cultural and Civic
3Center Board for 48 years, shaping the cultural landscape of
4Marion and Southern Illinois; she was a longtime member of
5Marion First Baptist Church; and
6    WHEREAS, Yolonde Byassee Peterson received a number of
7accolades for her dedication to the community and the arts,
8including the Woman of Achievement Award in 1979, the Mayor's
9Service Award in 2002, and the Award of Excellence for Service
10to the Performing Arts in 2004 by the Greater Marion Area
11Chamber of Commerce; she was honored by the Marion Cultural
12and Civic Center Auditorium with the naming of The Yolonde B.
13Peterson Performance Hall in 2018; and
14    WHEREAS, Yolonde Byassee Peterson was a Southern Illinois
15cultural, musical, and artistic icon; she will be fondly
16remembered as Marion's "Matriarch of the Arts", whose
17unflappable presence in the community was a force that moved
18the arts forward; her legacy lives on through her many former
19students becoming music educators and performers around the
20globe; and
21    WHEREAS, Yolonde Byassee Peterson was preceded in death by
22her husband of 70 years, Guy H. "Pete" Peterson; her parents;
23her two siblings, Rosella Byassee (Taylor) and James Howard



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1Byassee; and her niece, Barbara Jane Taylor Cox; and
2    WHEREAS, Yolonde Byassee Peterson is survived by her
3nephews, James (Linda Pinson Byassee) Byassee and Don Byassee;
4her great-nieces and nephews, Elizabeth (Jeff) Byassee Shore,
5Amanda Yolonde (Ashley) Byassee Gott, Margaret (Shawn) Byassee
6Edmondson, Evan James (Amanda) Byassee, and Kevin (Mary) Cox;
7her nieces, Kara Cox Santi and Cammy (Mark) Cox Duggins; her
8great-great-nieces and nephews, Benjamin Shore, Victoria
9Shore, Jamie Gott, Alex Gott, Jeremy Gott, Henry Edmondson,
10Evangeline Edmondson, Rylee Byassee, Jason Ross, Max (Natacha)
11Duggins, Samuel Duggins, and Nico Santi; her great-great-great
12nephew, Silas Duggins; and her many friends; therefore, be it
15we mourn the passing of Thelma Yolonde Byassee Peterson and
16extend our sincere condolences to her family, friends, and all
17who knew and loved her; and be it further
18    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be
19presented to the family of Yolonde Byassee Peterson as an
20expression of our deepest sympathy.