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Mary Peters

Mary Ailine Peters, 53, of Bluffton, passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 17, 2009, at Tri-County Hospital in Wadena.

She was born July 27, 1955, in Perham, to Kenneth and Eva Ailine (Hepokoski) Niemela. She grew up on the Hepokoski farm south of New York Mills until she was in the third grade and her family moved into town. When she was in fifth grade, the Niemela Family moved to Gully, Minn., for two years before returning to New York Mills. She graduated from the New York Mills High School with the class of 1973 and attended college in Crookston. On June 15, 1974, she married James John Peters at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Bluffton. She and Jim resided in New York Mills where she was employed at the Elders' Home, Mills Locker Plant and Modern Assemblies. In 1998, they made their home on the Peters family farm in Bluffton Township. She was recently employed with Homecrest and Timber Roots in Wadena. She enjoyed playing softball, bowling, throwing horseshoes, deer hunting, and going to auction and rummage sales.

Funeral Mass was held Saturday, Feb. 21, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Bluffton with the Rev. Donald Wagner officiating. The pallbearers were Gary Peters, Randy Koste, Rick Dykhoff, Kenny Niemela, Shane Niemela and Ethan Niemela. Internment will be at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Cemetery, Bluffton. Arrangements are with the Karvonen & Son Funeral Home of New York Mills. Condolences may be sent online at

Survivors include her husband of 34 years, James Peters of Bluffton; son, Brent Peters of Bluffton; four brothers, Michael (Brenda) Niemela of New York Mills, Matthew (Marla) Niemela of New York Mills, Jon (Bernice) Niemela of Henning, and Luke (Laura) Niemela of Cambridge; two stepbrothers, Ira (Kelly) Pokrzywinski of Moorhead and Jay Pokrzywinski of Williston, N.D.; many other relatives; and a host of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Bobbi Jo; and brother, Mark Niemela.