Norman Petersen

November 9, 2017

obit Norman-Petersen-1510054310July 20, 1930 – Nov. 1, 2017

Norman Alfred “Nummy” Petersen, age 87, died Nov. 1 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin due to complications of Par­kinson’s disease.
Norman was born July 20, 1930 in Askov, the second child of Harald A. and Agne­ta (Nielsen) Petersen. At the age of two, his family moved to Tyler, where his father was a beloved teacher, prin­cipal and Superintendent of Schools. He graduated from Tyler High School in 1948. He earned his Associate’s Degree at Grand View Col­lege in Des Moines, Iowa, followed by his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Minnesota, majoring in mathematics and commu­nity recreation. Norman proudly served his country in the U.S. Army, stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort McHenry, Maryland.
On March 7, 1953 he mar­ried Anna Marie Witzel at Luther Memorial Church in Des Moines, Iowa. Norman worked for Investors Diver­sified Services (IDS) for 14 years in St. James. In 1968 Norman and Anna Marie purchased St. James Print­ing and Office Supply, where he worked as proprietor and printer until Anna Ma­rie’s death on Feb. 12, 1980. Norman was hired in 1980 by the Experimental Air­craft Association (EAA) as an associate editor of Sport Aviation and Vintage maga­zines. He sold the printing business and relocated to Hales Corners, Wisconsin, and eventually Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
He married Loretta Ren­nick on Aug. 29, 1981 in St. James. She and her three children joined Nor­man in Hales Corners and Oshkosh. Norman retired from the EAA at age 70. Norman had a passion for for airplanes from the age of 12 after earning rides from a barnstormer at the Lincoln County Fair in Ty­ler. He earned his private pilot license June 19, 1956 and was proud to be an EAA homebuilder. He com­pleted his first single-seat EAA biplane in 1968 after 5½ years of building time, followed by a two-seater Starduster II biplane that required six years. He en­joyed doing aerobatics and treating friends and family to surprise loops and rolls. Later projects included a Piper J-3 Cub rebuild outfit­ted with skis and floats, and the start of an antique 1948 Danish KZ3 rebuild im­ported from Denmark. He was also a proud member of EAA Chapter 252 in Osh­kosh, the Midwest Antique Airplane Club, and the Quiet Birdmen. In St. James, Nor­man was an active member of First Lutheran Church, neighborhood bridge club, the Lions Club, founding member of the Fraternal Or­der of Eagles, St. James Fly­ing Club and EAA. He was proud to have attended 57 consecutive EAA fly-ins dat­ing back to the early years in Rockford, Illinois. His en­thusiasm and work helped to initiate the opening of a new airport in St. James.
He served as Watonwan County Police Commis­sioner and participated in many public services. In Os­hkosh, Norm was a member of Countryside Lutheran Church. He became spokes­man for the EAA Seaplane base and wrote numerous articles about float and ski-plane flying. Norman loved to travel to Denmark, where he was a member of the In­ternational KZ Klubben and attended a number of fly-ins at Stauning, Denmark.
Norman’s joys included his love for music, sing­ing bass in choir, playing his accordion and dancing. He called square dances through college, played accordion with the Polka Pilots in St. James, and par­ticipated in jam sessions at the Winneconne VFW. He loved his annual deer hunt­ing trips to Cloquet Valley State Forrest with his son Norman II and his annual fishing trips to Lake of the Woods in northern Min­nesota. He attended many flight breakfasts, taking his children one-at-a-time as his special guests. He cheered for the Minnesota Vikings even while living in Packer country. He was an outstanding speaker who always had a joke or a story to tell. He shared his hu­mor and optimism and was loved by all.
Norman is survived by and his memory will be cherished by his wife Lo­retta of Oshkosh, Wiscon­sin; his children—Teresa Pedersen of Kuwait, Nor­man (Joanna) Pedersen II of Mankato, Nancy Petersen of Woodbury, Janis Weikle of Hector, and Kari Jo (Dwight) Bullard of Oakdale. Step-children include Lisa (Dan) Morse of Whitehall, Michi­gan, Troy (Heidi) Toelle of Twin Lakes, Michigan and Wynette (Beau) Jero of Axtel, Texaas. Surviving siblings include, Julia (Jim) Steinmetz of Midland, Mich­igan, Paul (Marilyn) Peters­en of Minnetonka, and Niel (Marlys) Petersen of Min­netonka. Norman had 17 grandchildren, 5-plus great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives. The last 8½ years of Norman’s life were spent at Evergreen Retirement Community in Oshkosh.
A memorial service cel­ebrating his life will be held Monday, Nov. 13, 11 a.m. in the EAA Founders Wing, 3000 Poberezny Road in Os­hkosh, Wisconsin with the Rev. Ed Riddick officiating. A time of visitation will be held in the Founders Wing from 9 a.m. until the time of service. There will be a time of storytelling and a lunch following the service. Memorials may be made to Grand View College, EAA Young Eagles Program, and Danebod Lutheran Church in Tyler.