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Melinda Griffin Peterson

February 6, 1945 ~ January 8, 2024 (age 78) 78 Years Old

Melinda Peterson Obituary

Melinda Griffin Peterson passed away peacefully on January 8th at Atrium Health-Cleveland in Shelby.  She was Born on February 6, 1945, to the late J.W. and Marjorie Padgett Griffin and was a native of Rutherford County.

After she graduated from East Rutherford High School in 1963, she furthered her education at the Atlanta School of Fashion, studying merchandising before returning to her roots in Forest City to contribute to the family business, Griffin Enterprises. However, her true calling was in education. She began her long career with the Rutherford County School system as a teacher's assistant, dedicating 30 years to nurturing young minds in kindergarten and first grade. She spent most of her career at Harris Elementary. At Harris, Melinda was not just a dedicated staff member but also a wonderful friend to her colleagues. Her infectious smile and warm heart turned professional relationships into lifelong friendships, creating an atmosphere where colleagues felt more like family.  Even after retirement, she continued influencing lives as a substitute teacher for another ten years at Harris Elementary. 

Melinda was active in the Forest City community. Her love for her hometown was evident in her commitment to serving others, especially having a heart for underserved children. She was active in the Forest City Seniors group, Rutherford County Senior Citizens Center, and Florence Baptist Church.  She loved spending time with all her friends and will be remembered for always having red or pink lipstick on and her nails perfectly manicured.

She leaves behind a legacy of love and loyalty. She is predeceased by her husband, Walter Peterson.  She leaves behind her son, Randy Peterson, his wife, Wendy, and her grandsons, Griffin Randolph and Colton Holmes, her life's rays of sunshine.  She also leaves behind her brothers Jim Griffin (Diane) with nephews Jay, Jon Knox, and Jordan; Mark Griffin (Gwen) with nephew Brant (Kasey); and Gary Griffin (Janie) with nephews Garrett and Wesley. She also dearly loved her many cousins in the Padgett and Griffin families.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be made to Out of Ashes at 250 Old Ross Road, Forest City, North Carolina 28043, or Florence Baptist Church, 201 South Broadway Street, Forest City, North Carolina 28043 in honor of her lifelong commitment to service and faith.

A service to celebrate her life will be held at One o’clock on Friday, January 12, 2024, in The Padgett and King Chapel with the Reverend Daniel Selman officiating.  The family will receive friends following the service at the mortuary.  Interment will be private at the Cool Springs Cemetery where she will be laid to rest beside her husband.

The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory in in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at 

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

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Celebration of Life
January 12, 2024

1:00 PM
Padgett & King Mortuary
227 East Main Street
Forest City, NC 28043


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