Fund Created For Ursula Peterson Family
Published: December 23, 2010
ATLANTA—A fund has been established at Catholic Charities Atlanta for the grandchildren of archdiocesan staff member Ursula Peterson, who died on Dec. 11.
The three children, all under the age of 10, are being cared for by another grandmother following the deaths of their mother and grandmother.
Ms. Peterson and her daughter, Dominiqué Martin, were attacked and stabbed by an intruder at Ms. Peterson’s Clarkston home the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 27. Ms. Martin, the mother of the children, was killed. Ms. Peterson died after being hospitalized for two weeks in critical condition at Atlanta Medical Center.
Stephen Bailey, a neighbor, has been charged with murder in the case. He is incarcerated in the DeKalb County Jail.
Ursula Peterson worked as an accounts payable clerk in the archdiocesan Finance Department, a post that brought her into a lot of contact with other staff members.
Co-workers gathered for a Mass celebrated at the Catholic Center on Nov. 29 for the intentions of Ms. Peterson and her daughter, and another Mass in her memory celebrated Dec. 12. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory was the principal celebrant of both, which were attended by about 75 people and concelebrated by other priests who serve in archdiocesan posts.
She was full of life, said Brad Wilson, chief financial officer of the archdiocese, and noted for her passion for the New Orleans Saints and keeping people around her from losing their perspective on life’s priorities.
“Every accounting department needs at least one ‘Ursula’ to provide a bit of life to the group,” he said. “Whether shouting ‘Who Dat?’ when her beloved New Orleans Saints won on Sunday or showing off her daughter, Dominique, or any of her three grandchildren, Ursula kept it lively.”
“While she had more than her fair share of hardships in her life, she overcame them and always provided a smile,” he added. “I know that Ursula made me a better person. I will miss her.”
Harriett Simmons, her godmother, said, “She was so delightful.”
“She had a very infectious type of personality,” her godmother said. “She would meet someone. … That person would almost immediately become a friend to her in some way. … She drew people to her.”
Ms. Simmons met Ursula when she was 17 and came from her native Hartford, Conn., to attend Clark Atlanta University. A cousin introduced them and they became like one family, she said. Ursula lived with the Simmons family while attending college.
“She just fell in love with our family and has been a part of our family ever since,” Ms. Simmons said. “I’m her godmother, I’m her friend, I’m her confidant.”
“I have shared so many wonderful moments with her, so many special occasions with her,” she added. “Ursula I loved, and I love still, and I will always love.”
Born in Hartford, she was one of three girls adopted by the late Minnie and Leopold Anderson, Ms. Simmons said. She is survived by her two sisters, Theresa Hutchinson and Carol Anderson.
Her daughter Dominiqué, 24, was “a very beautiful young lady,” Ms. Simmons said.
Ursula “was a very loving and very wonderful mother. She loved Dominiqué and she loved her three grandbabies. She was the best.”
Ms. Martin’s children are 9, 7, and 9 months old.
Ms. Simmons expressed gratitude for the fund that has been established at Catholic Charities to assist the children and help grandmother Teresa Foster to care for them.
In addition, the archdiocese has provided baby items and children’s clothes and assistance in the travel expenses and funeral expenses faced by the family.
Funeral services were celebrated Dec. 7 for Dominiqué Martin and Dec. 20 for Ursula Peterson in Decatur.
Donations to assist the family can be made payable to Catholic Charities Atlanta. Please designate on the check that the donation is for the “Ursula Peterson Family Fund.” The mailing address is 680 West Peachtree St., NW, Atlanta, GA 30308.