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DOUGLAS W. PETERSEN


1948 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
DOUGLAS W. PETERSEN Obituary
PETERSEN, Douglas W. Of Marblehead, Massachusetts, passed away on July 1st, 2014. The former Democratric State Representative from Marblehead/Swampscott/Lynn and Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Commissioner was born in Rockville Centre, New York on March 7th, 1948. He held a BA from Wagner College, an MSW from Simmons College, and an MPA from Harvard University. Petersen began a career in social work and administration as a therapist and clinical director for the North Essex Health Resource Center. Actively involved in advocating and advancing public policy for the National Association of Social Workers, he entered politics in 1990 when he ran and won election to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in a district that encompassed Marblehead, Swampscott, and a portion of Lynn, realizing a long held aspiration. Over the course of his career, Petersen sponsored and co-sponsored over 250 bills. In the forefront of environmental issues, he was also a proponent of campaign finance reform, and an advocate for women's rights and marriage equality. He served as House Chairman of the Joint Committee of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. He was re-elected to seven more terms in the State Legislature before being appointed Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, a position he held from 2007-2009. Petersen was an avid skier, golfer, gardener, and artist. Married to Nancy Ryan Petersen, M.D. for 28 years, Petersen is survived by son Ryan Petersen and fianc? Jody Roberts of Philadelphia, PA; a daughter, Katrin Petersen of Los Angeles, CA; a brother, Roger Petersen and sister-in-law Peggy Petersen of New York; and, nieces and nephews Jamie Loggia, Renee Schardt, and Erik Petersen. Private services were held over Independence Day weekend. Memorial donations may be made to the Boys & Girls Club of Lynn, 25 North Common Street, Lynn, MA 01902.
Published in The Boston Globe on July 6, 2014
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