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Tessa Payton Emmalyn Peterson

Tessa Payton Emmalyn Peterson was born on November 2, 1995 in Bluffington, Indiana. At the age of 17, after spending most of her life in the foster care system, she spent the summer performing in a STARS production of “High School Musical” with the Peterson family. Tessa wanted to have a forever family and was adopted on December 19, 2013. Tessa passed away in Isabella, Missouri, on August 12, 2017, at the age of 21, due to severe complications of diabetes.

Tessa is survived by her parents, Matt and Rebecca Peterson of Cabool, Missouri; her siblings, Madison of Neuquen, Argentina, and Hannah, Kyleigh, Weston, Abigayle, and Elleigh Peterson of Cabool; her biological sister, Allie Anne Williams of Eunice, Missouri; her grandparents, Lynn and Van Peterson of Mesa, Arizona, and James and Pauline Wilber of Ava, Missouri; great-grandmother Cecile Boos of Ava, Missouri; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Tessa received her GED and began college at Ozark Technical Community College in hopes of receiving an opportunity to be a criminal investigator. She had many talents. She loved to dance, write poetry, study, read books, play volleyball, watch movies as a family, get her nails painted with her sisters, and listen to her sisters play music together.
Tessa loved being a big sister to her younger siblings and yet, at the same time, looked up to them and said she learned a lot from them. Tessa also had many influences in her life that she considered family. She was thoughtful about remembering their birthdays and keeping in touch with them throughout her life.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 8507 Highway E, in Houston, Missouri. Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until service time. Interment will be in Cabool Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.

Online condolences may be made at

All are welcome to attend the viewing, memorial service, and grave dedication. “We are grateful for all of the love, support, prayers, and thoughts given in behalf of our daughter’s passing.”

“God knew that it doesn’t matter how your children get to your family. It just matters that they get there.”

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