George Burton Peterson, 76, of Glenwood, died Nov. 18, 2013, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. Funeral services were Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, at Peterson Mortuary in Glenwood. Rev. Dean McPherson officiated. Tributes were given by Rev. Darrell Hopp and Michael Schmidt. Burial was in the Glenwood Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Grace United Methodist Church or Glenwood Fire and Rescue.
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George, son of Harold William and Louella Burton Peterson, was born March 28, 1937, in Nebraska City, Neb. He attended elementary and high school in Nebraska City, graduating in 1956. George attended Abilene Christian College in Abilene, Texas, graduating in 1961 with a bachelor of science degree. Following his graduation from the San Francisco School of Mortuary Science, he returned to Nebraska City to join his father and brother in the family business, Peterson Mortuary. In 1962, father Harold, brother John and George founded Peterson Mortuary in Glenwood. George has since served as a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the states of Nebraska and Iowa for more than 50 years.
On June 30, 1963, George married Sandra Kay Roenfeldt in Glenwood. George and Sandra were blessed with three children: Georganne, Jonathan Burton and Jonelle Kay. George's greatest love was his family, especially his grandchildren who were so important to him.
George had many interests including fishing, golfing, music and sports. George was an outstanding athlete, gaining recognition as the 1955 Nebraska High School Boys 220-yard State Track Champion, 1956 Nebraska High School Boys 220-yard and 100-yard State Track Champion (9.4 seconds). This double achievement made him the first high school boy to medal in two track events. George was also part of the Glenwood High School Hall of Fame. While in college, on May 31, 1958, George was part of the 880-yard Relay World Record team that stood for more than nine years with a time of 1:22.6.
Involved in many organizations throughout his life, George was an active member of the community. He was a 50-plus year member of the Grace United Methodist Church, 50-plus year member of Glenwood Lion's Club, 50-plus year member Glenwood Masonic Lodge A.F. & A.M., Iowa Funeral Directors Association, Southwest Iowa Sportsman Club, former member and board member of the Glenwood Golf Course, former member of the Glenwood JayCee Club, Eastern Star, Shriners, founded the annual George Peterson Outstanding Female Track Award and founded the annual Harold W. Peterson Outstanding Male Track Award.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Sandra Kay Peterson of Glenwood; children: Georganne Williams and husband Roger of Glenwood; Jonathan Burton Peterson of Merriam, Kan.; Jonelle Walter of Glenwood; five grandchildren: Taylor Williams, Aidan Peterson, Ronan Peterson, Blaine Walter and Blaire Walter; sister-in-law Betty Peterson of Nebraska City; one nephew and three nieces, other relatives and many friends.
The family of George Burton Peterson would like to sincerely thank everyone for their kindness and thoughtful expressions of love and comfort at a time when it is so needed and appreciated.
Published in The Opinion-Tribune on Nov. 27, 2013