DOB 11/28/21 DOD 4/9/12
John A. Petersen was born in Scribner, Nebraska on November 28, 1921. He died on April 9, 2012 in Watsonville, California. John graduated from the Creighton University School of Pharmacy in 1943. Immediately after, he joined the Navy and graduated from the Officer Candidate School at Columbia University in New York. He then attended Anti-Submarine Warfare School and served as a First Lieutenant in the Atlantic and South Atlantic during World War II. He later graduated from the Navyís Deep Sea Diving Program. John was a multi-sport athlete and coached an American Legion baseball team to the Nebraska State Finals. He played basketball at Creighton and was glad to watch his alma mater participate in the NCAA Tournament this year.
Returning from military service, John entered the pharmacy business with a pharmacy school colleague before joining his father in a pharmacy partnership in Scribner. In 1950, he married Dorothy Belle Bixby in Washington, D.C. In 1957, John joined the sales division of Eli Lilly and Co. and moved to Salinas, California. He and Dorothy moved their young family to Santa Cruz in 1961. He retired in 1979 to raise llamas and horses outside of La Selva beach. John and Dorothy were married nearly fifty-three years when Dorothy died in 2003. John is survived by his children and their spouses: Jay Petersen (Darlene), Judy Epstein (Victor), and Jan Peterson (Terry). He also has several grandsons: Jacob Retzer, Troy Peterson, Travis Peterson, Chris Neall, and Paul Neall. John also had a special friendship and respect over many years for Angelica Guzman, her husband and children.
An accomplished horseman, John worked as a cowboy through college, and rode until he was eighty-five. John was always active in the non-profit community. He was a board member of Santa Cruz County Young Life and founding member of the Ano Nuevo Horse Patrol created to help protect the elephant seal rookery at Ano Nuevo Island. He also served on the founding board of Pajaro Valley Shelter Services in Watsonville. A devout Episcopalian, John remained a faithful and active member of his parish community until his death. A funeral is set for Thursday April 12th, 1:00 PM, at All Saints Episcopal Church, 437 Rogers St. in Watsonville. Arrangements under the direction of Mehlís Colonial Chapel.For the complete article see the 04-12-2012 issue.
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