Ellen Kelleher Peterson, volunteer

February 27, 2013

Ellen Kelleher Peterson, 72, who did volunteer work with organizations including Daffodils and Diamonds, a benefit program for cancer patients, died Feb. 13 at her home in Chevy Chase.

She had pneumonia, said her daughter, Molly Peterson.

Mrs. Peterson did volunteer work with the Christ Child Society of Washington, Project HOPE, the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health, the Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda and the White House correspondence office.

Ellen Kelleher was born in Worcester, Mass. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Emmanuel College in Boston in the early 1960s.

She taught elementary school in Massachusetts before settling in the Washington area in 1969. Her memberships included the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, where she played tennis.

Her marriage to Gordon Peterson, a longtime television news anchor, ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children, Molly Peterson of Chevy Chase and Bill Peterson of Silver Spring; three sisters, Polly K. Sturm of Chevy Chase, Ann K. Monahan of Nashua, N.H., and Elizabeth K. McCarthy of Brookline, Mass.; and four brothers, Thomas A. Kelleher of Jefferson, Mass., William D. Kelleher and John P. Kelleher, both of Worcester, and James C. Kelleher of Bethel, Conn.

— Emily Langer

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