Cover photo for Patricia Petersen's Obituary
Patricia Petersen Profile Photo

Patricia Petersen

d. September 17, 2014

April 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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