Rev. Jerome ‘Jerry’ S. Petersen, 77

The Rev. Jerome “Jerry” S. Petersen, 77, of West Bend, was called home to be with his Lord on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, from The Kathy Hospice in the town of Polk.

He was born on Feb. 2, 1936, in Hartland to Raymond and Myrtle (nee Ludwigsen) Petersen. Jerry graduated from Hartland High School in the class of 1953. He then attended college at Dana College in Blair, Neb., graduating in 1957. He went on to study at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa; served his year of internship at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Whittier, Calif.; and was ordained as a pastor on June 4, 1961, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Hartland. Jerry served as pastor of St. Paul Ev. Lutheran Church in Warren, Ill., for three years and then moved to Grafton to serve at Grace Lutheran Church for 35 years, retiring in 2000.

After retiring, Jerry and Joan moved to Cedar Community and became members of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Slinger. While retired, he spent time assisting at St. Luke Church in Slinger and Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Richfield.

While attending college in Blair, Jerry met the love of his life, Joan Miller. They were united in marriage on Nov. 12, 1955, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook, Maine, where Joan was raised.

Pastor Jerry was proud to serve as a member of two boards, the Division for Service and Mission in the ELCA, and Luther Manor in Wauwatosa. He enjoyed traveling to Maine, woodworking, biking, gardening, model trains, football and especially his family. His greatest passion was sharing the good news through preaching and teaching. For 15 years of his ministry, Jerry led cancer support groups which came full circle when he himself was stricken with cancer and entered a hospice. Jerry is survived by his wife, Joan; four sons, the Rev. Mark (Peggy) Petersen, Joel (Jody) Petersen, Paul (Carol) Petersen and Steve (Kristin) Petersen; 15 grandchildren, Jocelyn, Briana, Ashley, Nathan, Eric, Andrew, Connor, Alayna, Luke, Levi, Matthew, John, Jim, Noah and Ben; two great-grandchildren, Avery and Carson; and other relatives and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Myrtle Petersen; along with his aunt and Godmother, Pearl Ludwigsen.

We celebrated Jerry’s life because he is risen with a funeral service on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Grafton, 716 6th Ave. The Rev. Matthew Short of St. Luke Lutheran Church officiated. Visitation was at Grace Church on Sunday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on Monday from 5 p.m. until the time of the service. Cremation will follow at Myrhum – Patten Funeral & Cremation Service, West Bend, and Inurnment will be in Cedar Community Memorial Garden.

Memorials to the St. Luke Building Fund, Brick by Brick for Tanzania or Cedar Community are appreciated by the family.

Special thank you to the staff of The Kathy Hospice for Jerry’s special care, and Cedar Community for the years of friendship and caring.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Myrhum – Patten Funeral & Cremation Service has assisted the family.