Rebecca Laurine Petefish died July 4, 2014, at Wellington Place in Decorah. Funeral services are at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 8, at Wellington Place in Decorah. Visitation is 9-10 a.m., with an Eastern Star service at 9:30 a.m. Burial is at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 9, at Hopeland Cemetery in Buda, Ill. Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home 404 North Elm Street in Cresco is in charge of arrangements.

Rebecca was born Sept. 7, 1919, in Buda, Ill. to Clarence Nienaber and Althea M. (Zink) Bolton. She attended schools in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa, graduating from Estherville High School in 1937. In 1939 she received a lifetime teaching certificate from Cedar Falls Teachers College, Cedar Falls, (now Northern Iowa University). Her first job was in Elkhart, where she met George Winslow Petefish. They were married June 7, 1942, at her grandmother Zink’s home in Buda, Ill. They lived in Elkhart and Peoria, Ill. before settling in Buda in 1946. Rebecca was active in the Eastern Star and Rebekah Lodge, holding many local, district and state offices. She and George were well-known for the annual 4th of July fireworks displays they created and shot off for many years.  In 1956 Rebecca returned to teaching and taught until 1978 in the Mineral, Ill. and Annanwan, Ill. schools. Rebecca continued her education during the summers, eventually receiving her BS and MS in elementary education from Bemidji State College. The many years of camping in the summer led to great plans for their retirement; but George’s health prevented extensive travel. They retired to the Bemidji, Minn. and Brownsville, Texas areas, where Becky was active in the Northern Artists and Winter Residents organizations. George died in 1993. Rebecca met Stephan Freeman of Bemidji, Minn. with whom she enjoyed almost 10 years. They traveled the United States including Hawaii, Europe and Iceland. After Stephan’s death she moved to Cresco, to live with her daughter. In 2004 she moved into assisted living in Decorah. In Decorah she was an associate member of the Eastern Star, attended the Methodist church, continued to paint and enjoyed watching her great grandchildren grow up. 

Rebecca is survived by her daughter- and son-in-law, Becky Lynne and Greg McCabe of Cresco; her grandchildren Theresa  (John) Woollard and Jonathan (Sonia) McCabe; and great-grandchildren Aidan and Althea Woollard and Quinlan McCabe; four nieces, two nephews and several cousins. 

She is preceded by her parents; husband, George Petefish; brother- and sister-in-law, Burton and Anna Mae Bolton; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Robert and Ladine Petefish.