In Memory

David K. Petersen VIEW PROFILE

Apr 18, 1927 - Jul 30, 2016

David Petersen was born to Johannes and Ebba Petersen of Omaha, NE in 1927. By the time he was seven years old, Dave had made friends with many who would remain his friends for life. After his graduation from Benson High School in Omaha, Dave served in the Navy at Great Lakes Naval Station, then attended college at Iowa State, Idaho, and Nebraska. He also did coursework and research at Brown University and UCLA.

Dave worked in education for his entire career, first as a math teacher at North High School in Omaha, and later as Superintendent of Mathematics for the Omaha Public Schools. In his early days of teaching, he met his future bride, JoAnn Pospichal.

They were married in July of 1955 and had three children – Joan, Janet and Jack. Dave was young at heart and enjoyed spending time with his children – and later, with their children. He was a positive, happy soul who made life fun for those around him. He and JoAnn enjoyed entertaining, including hosting three bridge clubs in their home for many years. But whether it be bridge, the Jumble or Sudoku, Dave was known for his fiercely competitive spirit.

Upon his retirement in 1989, Dave took up new hobbies with JoAnn, including painting and square dancing. Together, they attended sixteen elderhostels throughout the continental U.S. and traveled to Germany, Alaska and Hawaii. And they continued to socialize. In 2005, Dave and JoAnn celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Tubac, AZ, with 100 people they had come to know from their old neighborhoods, churches and work. They would celebrate ten more anniversaries before JoAnn's passing in 2015. Dave and JoAnn moved from Omaha to Green Valley, AZ in 1991, and later to Estes Park, CO. In all their hometowns they were active in the United Methodist Church. In 2014, they moved to Denver to be closer to family.

Dave is survived by many who celebrate his life – his children and their spouses: Joan and Fred Burtzos, Janet and Kevin Muhm, and Jack and Debbie Petersen (Rice); as well as six grandchildren: Alex, Ben, Jocelyn, Colin, Kailey and Grant; a great-grandson, Bradley; nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife JoAnn, his parents, Johannes and Ebba, and his brothers, Jack and Dan.

A memorial service is planned for April in Omaha. The family requests that contributions be made in David's name to the Amy Bennett Foundation, to honor the memory of his great niece and to help young people pursuing an arts education. Memorials may be sent to: The Amy Bennett Foundation, 39506 N. Daisy Mountain Drive, Anthem, AZ 85086. For more information, visit

Click here to see David K.'s last Profile entry.