ELKHART, IN — Robert A. “Bob” Petersen, 96 of Elkhart died peacefully on May 21, 2023. He has longed to rejoin his beloved wife, Rosemary, since her passing in 2014. This is a time to celebrate his going home.
Bob was born on April 15, 1927 in Clinton, Iowa, the only child of Alfred H. Petersen and Josephine (Quinn) Petersen.
He was a graduate of St. Mary’s High School, Clinton, Iowa in 1945. Near the end of World War II on March 28, 1945, at age 17, Bob enlisted in the U. S. Navy and was on active duty until August 23, 1946 and in the Inactive Navel Reserve until August 23, 1951.
In 1950 he earned a bachelor degree in accounting from the Walton College of Commerce in Chicago, IL. Bob relocated to Elkhart, IN to work for D. E. Pedigo and Co., CPA’s. This company was later acquired by McGladrey & Pullen, CPA’s. In 1953 he was employed by Elkhart Products Corporation (EPC) as the Corporate Controller and was the President there when he retired in 1987.
On October 14, 1950 he was united in marriage to Rosemary V. Ryan at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Clinton, Iowa. The ceremony was performed by her brother, Father John V. Ryan. She died on May 19, 2014 after 63 years of marriage.
He is survived by three sons, Michael and his wife Margaret, David and Steven, all of Elkhart. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Lisa R. Mueller and her husband John of Westfield, IN, Laura R. Serge and her husband Frank of Riverside, IL, Matthew W. Petersen and his wife Veronica of Indianapolis, IN, Ryan Q. Petersen of Fishers, IN and Katherine L. Gilbert and her husband Brett of Chicago, IL and nine great-grandchildren, Jenna Rose, Zachary and Joseph Mueller, Jackson and Lia Serge, Luke and Kensley Petersen, Sage Gilbert and Emily Harvey.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents and two children, his oldest son, Douglas A. Petersen in 1999 and his only daughter, Mary Ann Petersen in 2007.
Bob was an active member of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church where he had served on the finance committee, the school board, and the Holy Name Society. He also worked with the Sunday school and Boy Scout programs. He was a member of the Elkhart Rotary Club and was a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. Bob also was a member of the Horseradish Club and is a Life member of the Elkhart Elks Lodge #425, the Elkhart Knights of Columbus #1043 and the American Legion Post #190, Clinton, IA. He was a former member of the Elkhart Chamber of Commerce, Elkhart Advisory Board of Ivy Tech, the Junto Club of Elkhart, Elcona Country Club, National Association of Accountants, Elkhart Moose Lodge #599, The Forty Club and the Presidents Association of the American Management Association.
Bob’s family will receive friends on Friday, June 9, 2023 from 10 A.M. until the 11 A.M. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. At the conclusion of the mass, military honors will be rendered by the U.S. Navy Funeral Honor Guard and (EVHG) Elkhart Veteran’s Honor Guard at the church. Internment next to his parents and wife Rosemary will be at the Petersen Family Plot in St. Irenaeus Cemetery in Clinton, IA at a later date.
Friends and family are invited to a luncheon celebrating Bob’s life at Da Vinci’s Ristorante, 2720 Cassopolis St. immediately following the Mass.
If so desired, preferred memorial are to St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 1405 North Main Street, Elkhart, IN 46514 or the Elkhart County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 2932, Elkhart, IN 46515. Billings Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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