Raymond Henry Petersen passed to Heaven at the age of 80 on Saturday, January 04, 2014 at Heritage Estates in Gering.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at Gering Memorial Chapel with Pastor Ed Hunzeker officiating. Military honors will be provided by the Nebraska Army National Guard. Burial will be held at a later date in Rushville, NE. Memorials may be given to the family. Tributes of sympathy may be left at www.geringchapel.com.
Raymond resided in a country home just outside of Scottsbluff. Raymond was very humorous, honest, hardworking, caring and willing to help anyone at any time. He was loved and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Raymond was born February 16, 1933 on his grandparent’s farm southeast of Hay Springs, to Alice and Phillip Henry Petersen. He had a very hard working ethic that started at the age of seven when he ran the stacker team six days of week for his family in the hayfield. His brother Dennis was born thirteen years after Raymond. At the age of nineteen Raymond was drafted in the Army and was deployed directly to the Korean War front where he was in the motor pool as a vehicle and track mechanic. He also built roads going to new base camps. He operated dozers to carve out the hills and used a pull type blade to level roads. He returned home to the family ranch from Korea in 1955. While attending a local dance, he met Bette Fankhauser and they were soon married on May 20, 1956. Together they had a daughter, Wendy, and three sons, Michael David and Clint. Raymond considered his family his greatest accomplishment and was the biggest highlight of his life.
Throughout the rest of his life he was a hard worker, planting trees for the Soil Conservation Service and running heavy equipment, worked for Platte Valley Construction building roads, one from the edge of Hay Springs to Chadron. Raymond managed the Rushville airport, then moved his family 36 miles south of Valentine to work on a ranch. When the Bureau of Reclamation was hiring people to work for the Irrigation District in Ainsworth, NE he was hired as the mechanic to take care of the equipment. Reading in Ainsworth for nine years, Raymond enjoyed his work and the many friends he made at the Irrigation District. In 1973, Raymond took a job at the Western Nebraska Community College northwest of Sidney as a heavy equipment teacher, of which he had a lot of experience. He really enjoyed his teaching position and liked working with the students. In 1994, he retired from the teaching profession, with the college naming him “Professor Emeritus.” He and his wife Bette then retired to Gering, NE. After Bette’s passing, Raymond moved to a country home east of Scottsbluff. He enjoyed hunting, especially his annual deer hunting trip with his son Clint, fishing, camping in the mountains and tinkering in his shop. If it could be fixed he could fix it. He was well known for his delicious carrot cake that could not be duplicated and gooey cinnamon rolls that he would bake for family and friends.
Raymond is survived by his children Wendy and Delbert Smith of Ainsworth, NE, Michael and Kelly Petersen of Meadville, NE, David and Teri Petersen of Sidney, NE and Clint and Judy Petersen of Sidney, NE; brother Dennis and Ginger Petersen of Rushville, NE; grandchildren include Amanda and Luke Ganser of Ainsworth, Erin and Jake Johnson of Rose, NE, Brandon and Angie Petersen of North Platte, NE and Brenda and Shane Hamilton of Sparks, NE; step grandchildren include Joe and Kyle Doyle and Brooke Lechman; great grandchildren include Josie and Gus Ganser, Jade and Buck Johnson, Madalyn Petersen and Mason Hamilton, and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his wife Bette Fankhauser Petersen and his parents.