Herbert D. “Pete” Petersen

Mar. 15, 1932 - Feb. 8, 2015

Pete was born in North Bend, Oregon and lived in Coastal Oregon until his family moved to Oakland, California. He joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 1949, the day after his 17th birthday. After he graduated from Oakland High School in 1950, he was called to active duty in August of the same year. In November of 1950, his company was involved in the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. A 17 day battle followed where the temperature plunged to as low as -35 F. During this period 30,000 United Nations troops (The Chosin Few) were encircled by 67,000 Chinese troops. Pete was wounded and was one of the 17 of his company of over 200 that returned home. After which he was awarded the Purple Heart and was discharged in 1952. Pete then went to work at Schwabacher-Frey in San Francisco where he met his future Wife, Ann (Azzopardi). After a short stint with the San Francisco Police Department he went to work at San Quentin State Prison. He then transferred to California Medical Facility in Vacaville, CA, where his first son (Gregory) was born. He then transferred to the California Correctional Center in Susanville, CA, where his second son (Christopher) was born and reached the rank of Lieutenant. In 1965, he became the Correctional Counselor at the then new Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City. He then returned to California as a Lieutenant at the Soledad State Prison in Salinas, CA. In 1971 he was offered a position as a Parole and Probation Officer by the late A.A. Bud Campos. He remained at Parole and Probation until his retirement in 1995. Pete also had his hands in several other endeavors; in 1973, he joined the Nevada Army National Guard, he attained the rank of Master Sergeant and was the Senior NCO in the 106th Public Affairs Detachment. During this period, he returned to Korea many times as well as annual training in Guam and Panama. One of his passions was photography. In the decade of the 70’s, Pete was the T-Car Speedway Motocross and Prison Hill Motocross photographer. In 1978, he and his wife entered into a partnership to purchase the Penguin Drive-In in Carson City, NV. They successfully operated this business until it closed in 1997. He will be remembered as an avid gun trader, a teller of many jokes and having a great sense of humor. He was predeceased by his parents Vivian (Eastland) and Arthur Petersen, and his sister Mary Anne Petersen. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ann. Sons Greg (Tina) and Chris (Cindy); grandchildren Eric, Josh, Danny, Skylar, Rory, Jeff, and Austin; and 4 great grandchildren. Pete was loved by many, we will all miss him, but we know he is in a much better place. At his request, no services are being held. FitzHenry’s is trusted with arrangements.


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