John Russell Petersen, 90, of Albert Lea passed away on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN surrounded by his family.
John was born on November 22, 1930 in Albert Lea, the son of Jens M. and Jacobina (Nielsen) Petersen. John was raised and spent most of his life in Albert Lea. John was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. John served our country in both the United States Air Force and the United States Army, retiring after 20 years at the rank of Capt. in the U.S. Air Force.
John also worked as a steam engineer at Interstate Power Company for 13 years, and as a custodian at the Albert Lea Post Office for 8 years. John worked as a Staff Sergeant at the Albert Lea Armory before retiring.
John met the love of his life, Mary Ann Campbell while stationed at Bunker Hill Air Force Base in Kokomo, Indiana. They were united in marriage in 1964 and later returned to live in Albert Lea.
John was a life-long member of Trinity Lutheran Church, the Danish Brotherhood, the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion and the Moose Lodge.
John is remembered fondly by many for his infectious smile and the way he enjoyed visiting with people. John enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, flower gardening, working in puzzle books, and watching for deer at the Myre-Big Island State Park. John and Mary Ann made frequent trips to Branson, Missouri, where they formed many close friendships with performers in the Branson area.
John will be greatly missed by his loving family; wife Mary Ann of Albert Lea; children: From his first marriage, a son Michael (Shaunna) Baker of Brodhead, KY, From his union with Mary Ann, children: Patricia (Kevin) Peek of Albert Lea, Randall (Lynn) Petersen of Mason City, IA, grandchildren: Trisha (Christopher) Ellis of Avon, IN, and Ryan Baker of Westfield, IN, Taylor (Dillon Stane) Peek of Harlan, IA, Natalie Peek of Albert Lea, Ethan Peek of Anchorage, AK, Eric (Amy) Richey of Gretna, NE, Adam (Jessica) Richey of Kensett, IA, Ashlyn Petersen of Mason City, IA, and Brandon (Kaytlyn Smith) Petersen of Carpenter, IA, many great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Marcia Petersen, and many nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his parents; sister Dennise Nielsen; brothers Axel, Harry (Pat), and Robert Petersen; and son James Baker.
Visitation for John will be on Thursday, Nov. 11 from 4-6 pm at Bonnerup Funeral Service, Albert Lea. The funeral service will be held Friday, November 12 at 10:00 am at Trinity Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, with visitation 1 hour prior to the service. The Reverend Eileen Woyen will officiate. Internment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery in Albert Lea. Military honors will be accorded by Albert Lea’s veteran’s organizations.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Trinity Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, MN and the Alzheimer’s Association.