Patricia Petersen (September 17, 2014)

11419 Photo rectangleApril 23, 1923 ~ September 17, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014
3:00-8:00 PM
Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home
Harlan, IA
The family will be present to greet friends from 5:00-7:00 PM at the Funeral Home.
A Wake Service will be held at 7:00 PM at the Funeral Home.

Monday, September 22, 2014
11:00 AM
St. Michael’s Catholic Church
Harlan, IA
Burial will be in the Graceland Cemetery, Avoca, IA

2 Daughters – Mary Armour of Ormond Beach, FL
Elizabeth (Dennis) Johnson of Marshalltown, IA
3 Grandchildren – David (Kristine) Johnson of Sausalito, CA
Kate Johnson of Seattle, WA
Michael Armour of Ormond Beach, FL
1 Special Niece – Donna Nelson of Omaha, NE
1 Special Nephew – Marlin (Margaret) Petersen of Kirkman, IA
Other Relatives & Friends

Patricia Petersen was born to Edward and Edna Letner Gibbons on April 23, 1923, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was baptized in St. Robert’s Church in Milwaukee. Following her father’s death in 1923, the family moved to her mother’s hometown of Avoca, Iowa.

Pat graduated from Avoca High School in 1940 and from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, in 1945. She married Robert Callahan on September 15, 1945, at St. Mary’s Church in Phoenix, Arizona. Pat and Bob taught in Arizona, and then the family moved to Avoca, Iowa. Pat taught in Carson and Avoca, and in 1963 the family moved to Harlan where Pat taught English for 24 years. Pat and Bob had two daughters, Mary Armour and Elizabeth (Dennis) Johnson. Bob died in 1976, and Pat married Russell W. Petersen on July 28, 1978, at St. Michael’s Church in Harlan.

Following their retirement, Russ and Pat traveled extensively in the United States and Canada. They made four trips to Europe and spent a month touring China.

Pat was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Harlan. She was a charter member of the Beta Iota Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, and NEA Lifetime member. She served on the Library board, on the auxiliary board of Elm Crest Retirement Community, and the Myrtue Hospital auxiliary board. She was a long time volunteer of the Lifeline Program, Myrtue Hospital, and Elm Crest. Pat’s favorite pastimes were reading, playing bridge, traveling, volunteer work and enjoying her grandchildren. She also had a great sense of humor.

Patricia Petersen died on Wednesday, September 17, 2014, at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa, at the age of 91 years, 4 months, and 25 days.

Pat was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Robert Callahan; her second husband, Russell Wilbur Petersen, on February 14, 2004; one brother, Robert Gibbons; and two sisters, Evelyn Winter and June Campbell. She is survived by two daughters, Mary Armour of Ormond Beach, Florida, and Elizabeth (Dennis) Johnson of Marshalltown, Iowa; three grandchildren, David (Kristine) Johnson of Sausalito, California, Kate Johnson of Seattle, Washington, and Michael Armour of Ormond Beach, Florida; one special niece, Donna Nelson of Omaha, Nebraska; one special nephew, Marlin (Margaret) Petersen of Kirkman, Iowa; and other relatives and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, September 22, 2014, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Harlan, Iowa, with Father John Frost celebrating. John Rosman served as the musician. Casket bearers were Lud Buman, Ross Nelson, David Johnson, Kate Johnson, Steve Obrecht, and Russ Detjens. Burial was in the Graceland Cemetery, Avoca, Iowa. Memorials may be made to Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at

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4 Responses to Patricia Petersen (September 17, 2014)

  1. James Brooks says:

    So sorry to hear about the passing of Patricia Petersen or as I fondly remember her as Mrs. Callahan. I was fortunate to have both Mrs. Callahan and her husband Bob as teachers during my junior high school days. They were both wonderful teachers and truly cared about the students that they were educating. God Bless,
    James Brooks
    Class of 1979

  2. DONALD WRIGHT says:

    Sorry to hear of Pat’s passing. She was a great friend. I taught school with her and her first husband,Robert Callahan for many years here in Harlan at the old middle school when it was down by the post office.They were a wonderful couple, and I have many fond memories of them. I last saw Pat last year at her birthday open house at Elmcrest. She will be missed by many friends and family members God bless………..Don

  3. Kay Koos says:

    I have known Pat for many years. We taught together for many years and enjoy playing bridge. She was a wonderful friend and I will miss her. Cherish the memories
    for years to come.
    Keeping the family in my prayers during this difficult time. God Bless..

  4. Lillian Kinkennon says:

    I have not known Pat very well but have always enjoyed and admired her. May her memory be a blessing to the family and may the Lord comfort you as only He can.

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