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Afton Winona Reber

03/27/1928 - 12/10/2021
Service Date: 12/20/2021
Service Time: 10:30 AM
Service Location: The City of Mesa Cemetery - 1212 North Center Street, Mesa, Arizona 85201
Visitation Date: 12/19/2021
Visitation Time: 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Visitation Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel - 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, Arizona 85201
Interment: The City of Mesa Cemetery

Live Stream Link To View Service: https://youtu.be/2IcgbZJ_LYc

Afton Winona Peterson Reber 93, passed into the tender arms of her Heavenly Father on Friday, December 10, 2021. Winona had been living at the home of her devoted son, Douglas Reber for the past two years. Prior to her passing, she had been surrounded by her children, extended family, and dear friends.

Winona was born in Mesa, AZ on March 27, 1928, the only daughter of Howard Clarence Peterson and Afton Ida Clark Peterson. Her father was Mesa’s first chief of police before his untimely death from pneumonia when Winona was three years old. Her mother was a master educator and teller of stories in the Mesa schools for more than 40 years, and Winona inherited many of her mother’s amazing talents. In 1946, Winona graduated from Mesa High School, where she excelled in both academics and extracurricular activities. She was Mesa High’s first female student body president, a member of the National Honor Society, an officer in Girls League, and in addition to other activities, she lettered in volleyball and softball. After high school graduation, Winona attended Arizona State College (NAU) for one year, then ASU for a year before marrying the love of her life, Leo Melvin Reber. The couple went to live in Gilbert, and together they lovingly adopted three daughters and one son. Then in 1960, Winona conceived and gave birth to their youngest daughter. Winona and Leo loved all of their progeny beyond measure. After the children started to elementary school, Winona went back to the university and completed her teaching certificate. She went on to teach third and fourth grades at Gilbert Elementary until she retired. In her teaching career, she received a number awards for her math instruction and her amazing productions of plays about Arizona history starring her elementary students.

Winona was a devoted, life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints. She served in many auxiliary positions in Gilbert Ward and Mesa South Stake, including Relief Society President, ward and stake Young Women’s President, and numerous other positions of service. One of her favorite callings was that of producer for the Church traveling “Road Shows” for which she garnered much recognition. Winona also loved the work she did in the Mesa LDS Temple where she and Leo had been married.

Winona was preceded in death by her eternal companion, Leo; her parents; her brothers: Howard Dean (Bonnie), Marion George (Bonnie), Charles Reed (Melba), and Glenn Clark (Marlene, surviving), and many adored aunts and uncles. Winona is survived by her five children: Janet Reber Gist (Richard), Douglas Reber, Barbara Reber Mortensen, Sandra Reber Hausladen (James), and Linda Reber Neff Dixon. She leaves behind 15 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren as well as many devoted nieces and nephews and her dear friends.

A viewing will be held Sunday, December 19 from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at Bunker Funeral Home, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, AZ 85201. A family graveside service will he held on Monday, December 20 at 10:30 A.M. in the Mesa Cemetery, 1212 N. Center St., Mesa, AZ 85201.

Strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols at both services is requested. The graveside service will be broadcast, and a link will be available through Bunker Funeral Home. Go to www.bunkerfuneral.com for directions to the link. The family wishes to thank Hospice of the Valley for their loving care of mother during her final illness.

We love and miss you, Mom.

Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.


  • I have such fond memories of my dear aunt. I dearly loved her and Uncle Leo. She will be missed.
    Sending love and prayers for your family.

  • I only remember meeting Nonie a couple of times at Peterson family gatherings. But I know how much she was loved and cherished, from hearing about her from her nieces, as well as the dedication and devotion of Doug to her during her final years. I know that she is with the love of her life, as well as her family that have gone ahead. I trust that the Lord will give comfort and joyous loving memories to her children who will will her dearly. Fondly- Debbie

  • Aunt Winona, I hope you and my mother are not talking about Doug and I up in Heaven.
    Thank YOU, you were always kind to me when I was over at your house. I remember many Reber family gatherings there, we had great times!! It will be a great reunion again one day.
    My condolences to Janet, Doug, Sandra, and Linda, to their families also.
    Love always~~~ Norris

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