Neil John Petersen

October 7, 1940October 6, 2018

Neil John Petersen, age 77, passed away at his home on Saturday, October 6, 2018, surrounded by family.

He was born October 7, 1940, in Waukegan, Illinois, to John Harold and Marie Rose (Himmer) Petersen. He was a graduate of Waukegan High School in 1958. He graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Illinois Wesleyn University in 1962 where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He married Judith Ann Duncan in 1962 until her passing in 1990. He worked for Abbott Laboratories/Sorenson Research in Distribution and Materials Management for 25 years obtaining the level of Director. Neil reached his goal of Vice President when he joined Computerland in 1988. He retired after several years with Iron Mountain and Qwest.

Neil is survived by his wife Kathryn Geneve (Cornell); son John (Debe) Petersen; daughters Beth (Robert) Bingham and Ann (Peter) Furtado; stepsons Jeremiah (Meranda) Boone and Cornell Boone; stepdaughters Becky (Jason) Middlesworth and Genna (Trace) Thomsen; 13 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren.

Often referred to by his wife, Kathryn, as an “excellent man,” Neil had many talents and passions. He was an eloquent writer and lover of books, building an impressive library of his own. He enjoyed learning and continued to audit college courses even after retirement in his favorite subject of history. He was an avid collector of such things as stamps, books, coins, casino chips, beer cans, and matchbooks. He took architectural drawing in high school and was known for his unique talent for drawing and style of handwriting. He had a passion for travel and the great outdoors where he would spend time fishing and camping. He logged many miles on road trips, and his wanderlust led him to live in places such as Illinois, Maryland, Utah, California and Texas. He will be remembered most for his sense of humor and infectious laugh, his excitement for adventure and new experiences, and his love of family and friends.

Neil wished to be cremated and forego formal funeral services. His family will be honoring him at a family reunion next summer in Minnesota. The family suggests that memorials may be made to the COPD Foundation, the National Parks Foundation, or the Smithsonian Institution, as those were of importance to him.


Neil John Petersen

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Linda Stai

October 18, 2018

As Neil's younger cousin, I always looked up to him. His zest for life and sense of humor made him the life of the party at family gatherings. His hearty, deep laughter was contagious.
My favorite memories are when his family came to visit us, first at our farm, where he fished in the stream behind our house. Later, we had tons of fun water-skiing at our home on the lake.
When we visited him and his family in Chicago or Salt Lake City, he did all he could to make us feel special.
Family was always very important to Neil. I am fortunate to be part of the family of this wonderful, caring man.
I treasure the memories.

Amy Olbright

October 18, 2018

Mr. Petersen, I never had the opportunity to meet you in person, but your legacy lives on. I know you’re amazing because those two daughters of yours who live in Washington are a treasure in my life. An amazing man raised those amazing women. You will be missed dearly, but your impact in this world will continue forever.

Beth Bingham

October 18, 2018

Miss you, Dad. There was no one like you. Although your health didn't allow for it in recent years, I loved your sense of adventure. I like to think I inherited my wanderlust from you!! 😊 Your laugh will always echo in my mind. Wish I could hug you one more time. I will always love you. 💜

lynn overbay

October 13, 2018

Neil was a great friend with a wonderful family. I had the honor of working with Neil as well as the golf league , bowling league, pool league, and hanging out with him and his family from the early 80's. He was just a fun guy to be around.

Donna Glenn

October 13, 2018

Neil, working with you at Abbott was a pleasure and what a fun guy you were. Those after work gatherings we're good times too. I'll always remember your sense of humor. Rest in peace, you will be missed.