Obituary of Maria Kuafogo Peters
Maria Kuafogo Peters, 85, passed away peacefully on December 20th, 2023 at the Northern Lights Regional Hospital surrounded by her loving family.
Maria was born on September 17th, 1938 in Lau, Feavai in the district of Itutiu on the beautiful island of Rotuma. She is predeceased by her father- Versoni Luciano, her mother- Seforsa Amoe, her brother- Eliesa Luciano and her sisters- Mary Atu and Virginia Nansen.
Maria is survived by her husband of 58 years, Terani Peters and their 8 children: Vince (Luz), Michelle (Paul), Ernie (Carmen), Naome (Brian), Rudolph (Ivona), Elazar, Philip (Claudette) and Seforsa (Ryan). Her 13 grandchildren: Brandon (Emma), Chalsey (Eric), Melanie (Mike), Melissa, Tyra, Robert, Terani O, Emilia, Terani P, Visinia O, Benjamin, Mara’ana and Leila. Her 2 great grandchildren: Visinia S and Kailani. Maria is also survived by her brother Enasio Atu (Maria) of Melbourne, Australia as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
At a young age Maria moved from Rotuma to Vatukoula where she grew up. Maria was independent, determined and fearless. In her youth she would be left in charge when the nuns left the classroom and was not scared to report bad behaviour, even if it resulted in a fist fight. As a young woman Maria became a teacher’s aide in the Vatukoula Convent school and Ms. Atu was well known in the village for being strict with her students.
In her early 20’s Maria enjoyed dancing, sports, spending time with friends and thoughts of becoming a nun. It wasn’t until meeting Terani Peters that her path changed. Although the two had known each other since grade school, Terani had always known that she was special. After a short, supervised courtship he asked Maria to be his wife. The two were married at the age of 26 and welcomed their first two children in Vatukoula. They then moved to Suva where their family grew by four additional children.
At the age of 39, a 7-month pregnant Maria moved with their 6 children and her mother to Canada to meet Terani, who had gone ahead months earlier. The original destination was Pine Point, NWT but they never got there. The couple settled on a small town in Northern Alberta called Fort McMurray after they stopped to visit Terani’s brother Rocky. It was in Fort McMurray where they continued to expand their family with two additional children. Maria played volleyball, loved to watch wrestling and basketball but most importantly, spending time with her family. When she wasn’t playing Bingo, Maria was an active volunteer in the South Seas Islanders Association and took care of the St. Paul’s Church garden for many years.
Raising their family in the cold north definitely had its challenges but they proved to be more than up to the task. She continued to raise their family with a firm hand, strong ties to their Rotuman culture and a deep spiritual faith. Maria’s faith remained strong until her passing. Her spiritual beliefs and family values will live on through all the countless lives that she had touched.
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