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

Arnold Petersen

April 14, 1919 — August 22, 2017

Arnold Petersen

Obituary for Arnold K. Petersen

Arnold K. Petersen, 98, of Atlantic, and formerly of Elk Horn, passed away Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at Heritage House in Atlantic.

Arnold K. Petersen was born on April 14, 1919, at the home place in Sharon Township, Audubon County, Iowa, the son of Hans P. and Emma Katrina (Esbeck) Petersen. He attended rural school in Oakfield Township in Audubon County until his help was needed on the farm. In addition to helping at home he also worked as a farm hand for others in the area. In September of 1942, he enlisted in the United States Army, and in February of 1943, was deployed to North Africa to serve in the 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion. The 601st aided in the defeat of General Rommel. From there he was shipped to Sicily, to prepare for amphibious landings in Salerno and Anzio, Italy. Then he continued on to Southern France and northward to the Battle of the Bulge. After that, he commanded his tank into Germany and the Bavarian Alps, where Hitler’s hideout was in Berchtesgaden. During his time acting in the capacity of Tank Commander he met Audie Murphy and developed great respect for him, and Murphy became his hero. Arnold was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in October of 1945, after receiving several medals. Following his discharge, he returned to help operate the family farm which led to his purchasing of the farm from his parents.

While in the WWII Arnold prayed that he would survive the war, return home, and marry the love of his life. On February 6, 1946, all of his prayers were answered and Arnold was united in marriage to Eleanor Annabel Andersen at the Danish Lutheran Church in Elk Horn, Iowa. Three children were born to this union Allan, Curtis and Deloris. The couple continued in the family tradition of farming, growing row crops and raising cattle, hogs and chickens. In 1989, they moved to Elk Horn. Annabel passed away on February 23, 1994.

On April 11, 1998, he was united in marriage to Loretta J. (Abel) Doonan at the Harlan United Methodist Church in Harlan. They enjoyed their home in Elk Horn, until moving to the Heritage House in April of 2013.

Arnold was a lifelong member of the Elk Horn Lutheran Church; being baptized on June 8, 1919, and confirmed on March 25, 1934. He was also a member of the Audubon County Farm Bureau, Elk Horn American Legion, and the Marne Elk Horn Telephone Company Board.

He enjoyed a good game of dominos, and looked forward to getting together with friends in the neighborhood card club. Arnold loved to travel, and had visited many places throughout the world. He was grateful to be able to join other veterans in 2014, on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Arnold’s commitment to his battalion was always priority as he rarely missed annual reunions of the 601st Tank and Destroyer Division all over the United States.

Arnold is survived by his wife, Loretta Doonan Petersen of Atlantic; children, Allan (Carol) Petersen of Elk Horn and Deloris (Rendell “Butch”) Nelsen of Ankeny; Michelle Petersen, wife of the late Curtis Petersen of Audubon; eight grandchildren, Jennifer (Loren) Christensen of Elk Horn, Anthony (Deborah) Petersen of Pewaukee, WI, Angela (Jeremy) James of Red Oak, Michael Petersen of Ankeny, Matthew (Marisa) Petersen of Ankeny, Megan (Michael) Disori of Glastonbury, CT, Emily (Charles) Huston of Ankeny, and Andrea (Jeff) Wignall of Ankeny; twelve great-grandchildren, Amanda, Ashlyn, Anna, Josh, Karenna, Brendan, Kiersten, Harper, Chloe, Chase, Eleanor, and Isabelle; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He is also survived by his step-daughter, Denise (Dennis) Juhl of Colorado Springs, CO, Jane (Dean) Fabian of Elk Horn, and Ann (Chuck) Wolken of Harlan; step-daughter-in-law, Shelly Doonan of Dallas Center; 15 step-grandchildren; several step-great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Carol Anderson of California, Bertha Purdum of Lenox, and Mary Bryant of Lenox; and brother-in-law, Chester Abel of Creston.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Hans and Emma Petersen; wife, Annabel; son, Curtis Petersen; sisters, Viola Schwartz and Erva Jackson; step-daughter, Linda Arnholtz; and step-son, Jamie Doonan.

Open visitation will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, Friday, August 25, 2017, at Roland Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 26, 2017, at the Elk Horn Lutheran Church, with Reverend Keith Menter officiating. Visitation with the family will be held prior to the service, starting at 10:00 a.m., at the church. Burial, with military honors by the Elk Horn American Legion Post #322, will be held in the Elk Horn Lutheran Cemetery.

Arnold’s family wishes to express their gratitude for all acts of kindness shown to him in their time of sorrow and invites you to share in a catered lunch served in the fellowship hall at the Elk Horn Lutheran Church following services at the cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the family for later designation to the Elk Horn Lutheran Church and to Disabled American Veterans.

Roland Funeral Service is caring for Arnold’s family and his arrangements. Condolences may be left at www.rolandfuneralservice.com.

IN REMEMBRANCE
Arnold K. Petersen
BORN - April 14, 1919, Sharon Township, Audubon County, Iowa

DIED - August 22, 2017, Atlantic, Iowa
At the age of 98 Years, 4 Months & 8 Days

FUNERAL SERVICE
11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 26, 2017
Elk Horn Lutheran Church - Elk Horn, Iowa

OFFICIANT
Reverend Keith Menter

PIANIST
Linda Weaver

ORDER OF SERVICE
Processional Hymn - “Abide with Me” #272 by the Congregation
Greeting, Prayer and Obituary
“So, God Made A Farmer” - recorded by Paul Harvey
Words of Remembrance
Scriptures - Ecclesiastes 3:1-6, Psalm 23 and John 14: 1-6
Sermon and Prayers
“The Lord’s Prayer” - Reverend Keith Menter
Commendation and Benediction
Recessional - “Amazing Grace” #448 by the Congregation

CASKET BEARERS
Andy Petersen
Josh Petersen
Michael Petersen
Matthew Petersen
Charles Huston
Jeff Wignall

HONORARY CASKET BEARERS
Lyle Andersen
Ivan Andersen
Tim Fredericksen
Darrell Frederiksen
Roger Petersen
Gene Schwartz
Gerald Schwartz
Paul Schwartz

INTERMENT
Elk Horn Lutheran Cemetery - Elk Horn, Iowa

MILITARY HONORS
Elk Horn American Legion #322

Memorials may be made to the Elk Horn Lutheran Church
or the Disabled American Veterans.

Arnold’s family wishes to express their gratitude for all acts of kindness
shown to him in their time of sorrow and invites you to share in a catered
lunch served in the fellowship hall following services at the cemetery.











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Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

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Service Information

Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Interment Location

Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

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Reception Information

Roland Funeral Service

204 E 5th St, Atlantic, IA 50022

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