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Glenn C. Petersen

Petersen, Glenn C. Age 85, passed to eternal life on Thursday, March 7, 2013, after a long illness. Survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Dorothy (nee Scherer); a daughter, Vicki L. Taylor, D.O.; and sons Larry, MBA (Janet), Rick, D.O. and J.D. (Marsha); six grandchildren Lynn Taylor, Jessica (Eric) Ryles, Julie (Huy Tran) Petersen, Leslie (Phan Phan) Petersen, Christopher and Lisa Petersen; and one great-granddaughter Rebecca Ryles. He was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Florence Petersen. While attending Longfellow Jr. High School in Wauwatosa, he had a Milwaukee Journal paper route and set up pins at the Wauwatosa Arcade. He was a mechanical drafting major at Boy's Technical High School in Milwaukee where he was on the student council for two years and lettered on their swimming team, 1944-45; enlisted in the U.S. Navy, 1945-46, and ended as a Storekeeper 3rd Class; worked summers at Allis Chalmers as a draftsman; and met Dorothy at UW Extension in Milwaukee in 1947 where he was in the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. His mother heard of the Bahá'í Faith, and he, his parents, and Dorothy studied and became Bahá'ís in Wauwatosa in January of 1949. He spent 2 years in mechanical engineering at UW-Madison before switching to the School of Economics, and graduated with a double major in economics and mathematics. He was the chairman of the UW Bahá'í Club, 1949-50. Later he received a MBA from Northern Indiana University. He was active in the Bascom Hill Society and the UW Badger Club. Mr. Petersen worked for 15 years in investment banking with the last 8 years at Seligmann & Co. as vice-president and security analyst. During this time he made his Bahá'í pilgrimage to Israel in 1972. He purchased a Midas Muffler shop in Racine, and later 2 in Milwaukee, and then co-founded Car-X Service Systems, switching his shops into Car-X. When it was sold to Tenneco in 1985, he was Chairman of the Board, and also had 12 shops in the Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee area. He attributed his success to his incorporation of the Bahá'í teachings of profit sharing and minority employment opportunities in his business. Mr. Petersen was elected to the first consolidated School Board of the City of Greenfield; a former member of Wauwatosa Kiwanis Club and Milwaukee Jaycees (and on their bowling team for many years). Past member of Merrill Hills Country Club; Milwaukee Yacht Club; North Shore Country Club; Naples, FL Country Club; Naples Sailing and Yacht Club; Riverwood Country Club of Port Charlotte, FL; and the Wisconsin Club. He was a 32nd Degree Mason. He loved boating and sailing, and he and his good friend, Joseph Deverse, professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, boated from Naples, FL through the Tom Bigby and Mississippi River all the way to the Milwaukee Yacht Club. In summers, he and his family sailed 3 of the Great Lakes, and he raced a C-scow. He and Dorothy loved traveling and were members of the Century Club: a club where you have to have traveled to 100 different countries or places acknowledged by the Club. They traveled the North West Passage and were to Antarctica twice. He was also a breeder of miniature poodles. Three of his dogs were champions. He served on the Board of Directors of Brick Yard State Bank in Skokie, IL; was associated for 15 years as Trustee of the Des Moines University School of Medicine where he also served as treasurer and chairman of the finance committee, received an honorary doctor's degree, and was later designated as Trustee Emeritus; and served for 6 years on the Milwaukee School of Engineering's Board of Regents while Dr. Robert Spitzer was president. He was Director Emeritus of the Fox River State Bank of Burlington, WI. Not enjoying retirement after the sale of the Car-X muffler shops, he started Fastrack Oil Change centers which ended with 11 shops. Mr. Petersen always showed a desire to help others whether it was his employees who wanted to advance their education; or in setting up scholarships at MSOE, UW-Madison and Stevens Point, and the Des Moines University School of Medicine only for American Indians or other minorities. He always felt that America stole the country from the Indians and that scholarships were a way to try to make things more equal. Bahá'í burial has already taken place. A Memorial Gathering will be held at the Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 13, at 4PM until time of Memorial Service at 4:30PM. In lieu of flowers, one may make a donation to St. Jude's Shriner's Hospital in Memphis, TN; or University of Wisconsin Foundation in Madison, WI; or Des Moines University in Des Moines, IA.
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Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Mar. 10, 2013
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