I received a phone call on the morning of Saturday February 16th that my father had passed away.
Below is the obituary that my sister and I wrote in his memory. Thanks to all the family and friends that attended his funeral!
Jack Alan Peterson, 78, passed away Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Anita’s Gardens in Plymouth, Wisconsin following a brief illness.
He leaves his sister Geilda (Jill) Peterson; his children Daniel Peterson (Natalie Ashburn), Amy Peterson (Brad Dunnum) Zachariah Peterson and Benjamin Peterson; and grandchildren Michaela (Cody) Wilson, Emily Peterson, Lukas Peterson, Ethan Dunnum, Noah Peterson, Zoe Dunnum, Lincoln Peterson; and many good friends and colleagues.
Born in Des Moines Iowa on June 2, 1940, Jack was the son of Melvin Peterson and Edna Lillian (Wright) Patrick. After high school, he served in the Navy as a submarine sonar technician. He later attended Iowa State and then transferred to Drake University where he met Julie Ann Cox. Jack and Julie were married in 1962 and raised two children, Dan and Amy.
Jack worked for several years with John Deere and Massey Ferguson in Des Moines, IA as a purchasing agent and later became a real estate agent at Richard’s Realty in Ankeny, IA. It was as an active member at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church that he acknowledged his calling to become a Lutheran minister. He often shared the story of arriving at this decision as a result of secretly preaching to the livestock at his in-laws’ farm near Ames, IA. Apparently, the pigs in particular were good listeners during the sessions he later referred to as “Preaching to the Pigs”. He spent the next years between 1975 and 1979 in pursuit of a Master of Divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA. During this time, his summers off were spent painting and roofing houses to subsidize his expenses and help support his family. He even managed to survive a 25-foot head first fall from a roof onto cement, fracturing his skull. As a result he was encouraged by his family to maybe stick with ministry as the “safer” profession. Jack then hung up his roofing hammer for good. After obtaining his degree and being ordained in 1979 he served as a Lutheran minister in several parishes for over 25 years including Ossian and Stavanger Lutheran in Ossian, IA. It was while serving this community that he met Mary Ann Tangen, who he would marry in 1987 and with whom he would raise two sons, Zachariah and Benjamin. Other parishes he later served were Shepherd of the Valley in Council Bluffs IA, Redeemer Lutheran Church and Estherville Lutheran Church in Estherville IA, and Nazareth Lutheran Church in Armstrong IA.
Jack was passionate about many things. He obtained an amateur radio license at a very young age becoming known from then onward by his “ham” radio call sign, KØAMB. This lifelong interest led to one of his first purchases upon moving to Anita’s Gardens being a new radio. Additionally, throughout his life, Jack tried his hand at beekeeping, photography, stamp collecting and tinkering on old computers and cars. Also, he had an enviable collection of electrical power strips, you know, just in case. His driveway, much to the delight of neighbors, was often filled with multiple jalopies, only a very few of which could actually run. Some of these favorite yard “decorations” included multiple Volkswagen Beetles, MGBs, an MG Midget, a Hudson Hornet, and a Fiat Spider. Also, he owned two Ford T-bucket hot rods in which he often offered to drive fearful guests around town.
Jack’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the people at Anita’s Gardens in Plymouth, WI for their loving care of Jack in his later life. In addition the family wishes to express their gratitude to Ballhorn Chapels in Sheboygan, WI for their assistance during a difficult time.
Jack’s life will be celebrated at a memorial service held at Stavanger Lutheran Church on 115th Street in Ossian, IA at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 23. Pastor Dave Lenth will officiate. Coffee will be served immediately following. Memorial donations may be made in Jack’s name to Lutheran World Relief by sending a donation form to Lutheran World Relief PO Box 17061 Baltimore, MD 21297-1061 or by calling 1 (800) 597-5972, or through their website at https://lwr.org/ways-to-give.