Originally Published: January 21, 2015 6 a.m.
Donald Eugene Petersen, 87, went to be with the Lord and was reunited with his loving wife, Lorraine Petersen, on the morning of Jan. 16, 2015.
Don was born May 26, 1927, to Edna (Larson) and Louis Petersen in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was their second child and grew up on a farm where he learned the value of hard work, responsibility, dedication, and the love of animals. He graduated from Columbus Junction High School in May of 1945 and then joined the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged 11 months later. He worked many different jobs and then attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he played football and graduated in 1951 with an education degree. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked for the U.S. Postal Service for three and a half years while obtaining his master's degree in education from Arizona State University in 1955, and soon after he accepted a position to teach boys physical education at Prescott Junior High School, where he also coached track and field, football and basketball throughout his career. While at Prescott Junior High School, he met the girls' physical education teacher, Lorraine Ware, the love of his life, and they were married June 30, 1957.
Don was a devoted member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church and had served on the church council. He had a very strong faith in God and the way he lived his life reflected that faith. He was also a charter member of the JCs. Other than his family, his passion in life was teaching, coaching, participating in sports, gardening and his love for animals. He had a true gift for telling stories and an amazing memory of past students he coached, remembering statistics and specific details of ball games, and he would just light up when talking about his teaching and coaching career and the success of his former students. He truly cared about each and every individual he taught and coached, and was honored to be a small part of their life.
He is survived by his three cherished daughters, Linda Theriault (Ray), Teri Petersen and Leslie Boone (Scott). He has four loving grandchildren, Kylene O'Connor (Marquette Price), Aaron Boone, and twins Hallie Theriault and Melina Theriault. He is also survived by his sister Phyllis Carey of Princeton, Kansas, and his brother Louis Petersen of Memphis, Missouri. His brother, Alvin Petersen, preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 231 W. Smoke Tree Lane, Prescott, Arizona. A light lunch will follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Don's name to the Good Samaritan Marley House, 1065 Ruth St., Prescott, AZ 86301; First Evangelical Lutheran Church; or Prescott Mile High Middle School athletics.
Don was a very special husband, dad, grandpa, brother, uncle, teacher, coach and friend. He will be greatly missed.
Information provided by survivors.