Robert W. Petersen, 77, of Le Mars, died unexpectedly Monday, Dec. 22, 2003, at Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.
Robert Wayne Petersen was born Dec. 7, 1926, at Merrill, the son of Albert Jens and Magdalena (Kammeier) Petersen. Robert was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church, rural Merrill. He attended country school near his home and later attended and graduated from Le Mars Central High School in 1944. After graduating from high school, Robert began farming in Washington Township. He served his country in the United States Army from 1946 to 1947.
Robert was united in marriage to Virginia Ann Sitzman on May 5, 1948, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Sioux City. Robert and Virginia farmed in Washington Township for over 40 years, retiring and moving to Le Mars in June of 2002. He was a rural mail carrier for many years, retiring in 1991.
Robert was a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church and had served several years on the church council. He was also a long time member of the Merrill Lions Club.
Robert's children are his greatest legacy. From humble beginnings, Robert and Virginia received great joy from watching their children become successful in their own lives while maintaining their tradition of strong family values.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Virginia of Le Mars; a daughter and son-in-law, Kathleen and Larry Prather of Phoenix, Ariz.; four sons and daughters-in-law, Kenneth and Susan Petersen of Ottawa, Kan., Kevin and Linda Petersen of Quartz Hill, Calif., Gary and Cheryl Petersen of Storm Lake, and Richard and Vikki Petersen of Campbell, Calif.; 12 grandchildren, Melissa, Justin, Emily, Eric, Brian, Matthew, Christopher, Megan, Jennifer, Sterling, Delancey, and Avalon; five great-grandchildren; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Larry and Luene Petersen of Merrill and Dick and Soonie Petersen of Colorado Springs, Colo.; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Donna and Paul Newendorp of Estes Park, Colo., and Susan and Gerald Klemme of Le Mars.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Magdalena Petersen, and a daughter, Peggy Petersen.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul Lutheran Church, rural Merrill, with the Rev. Dr. Klaus Raab and the Rev. Andrew Hoffmann officiating. Interment with military honors provided by the Olson-Halweg American Legion Post #125 of Merrill will be in Hillside Cemetery, Merrill. Visitations will be after 3 p.m. Friday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at the funeral home.