MUSCATINE, Iowa - Evelyn M. Petersen, 87, of Muscatine, passed away on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at Lutheran Homes, where she had resided for nine years after having a stroke in 2008.
A Private family gathering will be held to celebrate her life in February in Chicago, Illinois. The Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Memorials may be made to Grace Lutheran Church Choir/Music Program or to the Museum of Danish America, PO Box 249, Elk Horn, Iowa 51531. Online condolences: www.wittichfuneralhome.com.
Evelyn was born on June 25, 1929, in Plentywood, Montana, the daughter of Arthur and Emma Jacobson Frost. She attended Grandview College, a Danish college in Des Moines, studying for a nursing degree. While attending Grandview College, she met a Danish exchange student, I. H. 'Pete' Petersen. Upon graduation, she went with Pete, to Copenhagen, Denmark, so that he could receive his immigration visa for a return to America. They were married on June 3, 1949, in Denmark.
When they returned from Denmark, they lived in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, and Charlotte, North Carolina, before moving to Muscatine in 1962 when Pete became the general manager at Batterson's Department Store where Evelyn worked beside him always. They also owned and operated Town and Country Fabric Shop for many years before retiring.
She has been a member of Grace Lutheran Church since 1962, and for decades served as the church organist. Her faith in her Lord carried her through these final years and she understood the message of the eternal trip she was about to go on. Her absolute passion and giftedness was music having both perfect pitch and the ability to play the piano and organ from the age of four.
Evelyn will be remembered by her family as a kind and happy person even in her failing health. Never wanting to be a bother to others and always appreciative of all those who cared for and about her. She had an inner toughness that no matter what the world might throw at her; she would get through it and be stronger because of it.
She has traveled across the Atlantic in excess of 22 times to visit family and friends in Denmark and will make one more trip across with her son's to be buried with her husband in Copenhagen.
Those left to honor her memory include two sons, Paul A. Petersen and wife, Jeannie, and David A. Petersen and wife, Diane, all living in the of Chicagoland area; three grandchildren, Steven, Deneé, and Drake; and three great-grandchildren, Ava, Ingrid, and Linnea.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Pete, on December 24, 2003.
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