Patricia Montoya Peterson


(April 20, 2003)

Patricia Montoya Peterson, 51, died at her home in Irvine, Calif., on April 20. She had been in a coma following a severe head injury after a fall at Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, Calif.

She was born Oct. 4, 1951 in Powell, the daughter of Emiliano and Celza (Sally) Montoya. She attended Powell schools and Northwest College. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology from the University of California at Riverside in 1978 and performed field work from 1979 through 1981 in Sri Lanka.

At the time of her death, she was working on her master's degree in archaeology. She was employed by the Chambers Group as senior archaeologist and laboratory director.

Patricia married Joe Singer in Powell in 1971. They later divorced and in July 1985 she married Mark Peterson of Irvine, Calif.

In December 2002, she was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. She was responding very well to chemotherapy at the time of her death.

Patricia will be remembered as a gifted archaeologist with great strengths and many talents. She was loved dearly by her family, archaeologist comrades and friends throughout California and Asia. She was a member of the Powell VFW Auxiliary.

She is survived by her husband Mark Peterson of Irvine, Calif.; mother Sally Montoya of Powell; sister Susan Cowles (Henry) of Ontario, Calif.; brother Michael Montoya (Sarah) of Bent, N.M.; uncles Manuel Olveda (Enriqueta), Dale Montoya (Delores), Albert Montoya (Ramona), all of Powell; Duff Olveda (Mary) of Marrero, Louisiana; Fermin Olveda (Linda) of Texas; Great Aunt Concha Guardado of Santa Ana, Calif.; favorite Aunt Eve Lee (Walt) of Santa Monica, Calif.; and many cousins, nephews and nieces.

She was preceded in death by her father and maternal and paternal grandparents.

A family remembrance gathering was held April 27 in Irvine. A memorial service is planned for May 17 at Pacific View Memorial Park Chapel in Corona Del Mar, Calif.

Cremation has taken place.

A scholarship fund is being set up in her name by the Society of California Archaeologists and University of California Regency Office. For more information about the fund call 754-4277, 1-949-933-8014 or 1-949-651-6051.