Dr. Kay Holm Petersen, age 89, passed away Tuesday, September 17, 2013.
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Kay (Kaj) Petersen was the third child born to John and Dagney Petersen on 9-5-1924 in Skelber, Denmark. Kay was extremely proud of his Danish heritage. The family moved to Rawlins, Wyoming, when he was seven years old.
In 1943, Kay graduated from high school. He served as senior class President and lettered in three sports. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy serving in the Pacific Theater during W.W. II as a Gunners Mate protecting Liberty Ships. While serving in 1944, he married his high school sweetheart, Martha Lynch. He was honorably discharged in 1945. In 1951, their only child Bruce was born.
After the war, Kay used the G.I. bill to obtain his B.S. degree in Physical Education from the University of Wyoming. His teaching and coaching career included basketball and track at the high school level. Kay went on to obtain a Masters and a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
Kay's academic career at the University level included:
-The University of Texas in Austin (1958 - 1964) as an Associate Professor in Physical Education.
-University of Texas at El Paso (1964 -1967) as a Full Professor and Chairman of the Physical Education Department.
-University of Wisconsin in Madison (1967 - 1987) Head of the Undergraduate Program and Chairman of the Department of Physical Education, retiring from the University after 20 years.
Kay served as a mentor to many of his colleagues and students.
Upon Kay's retirement, he and Martha moved to Colorado Springs in 1988 to be near relatives. They looked forward to extensive world travels, unfortunately, Martha's premature death in 1991, altered the plans.
He was an active member of First Lutheran Church and Gleneagle Sertoma Club, serving as President. Kay actively supported the club's mission of assisting the hearing impaired.
In 1992, he married Phyllis Wood Siegenthaler. Kay and Phyllis enjoyed twenty years of marriage. They shared their faith in God and mutual love of outdoor recreational activities. They skied, hiked, golfed and traveled. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.
He is survived by his wife Phyllis Petersen, son Bruce (Barbara) Petersen, two granddaughters Dr. Mackenzie (Steve) Kuhl , Allison (Tom) McCarty and three great-grandchildren Benjamin, Sydney and Maxwell, brother, Henry (Karen) Petersen, a special nephew, Dick (Margaret) Karstoft and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by Martha Petersen, sisters, Eda Karstoft and Elsie Townsend.
Memorial Services will be held at the First Lutheran Church, 1515 N. Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Wednesday, September 25, 2013, 10:30 A.M.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions in Kay H. Petersen's name to: Memorial Fund of First Lutheran Church, 1515 N. Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80907.
Published in The Gazette on Sept. 24, 2013