In Loving Memory of John Petersen: 1942-2022


John Calvin Petersen, 80, passed away July 25, 2022, at Providence Centralia Hospital. He was born June 19, 1942, to Arnold Petersen and Viola June Dent. John grew up with five siblings, Marilyn, Garth, Kathleen, Diane and Kaye. He attended Westminster High School and Orange Coast College in California.

On May 7, 1976, he married Joyce Elaine Petersen in Centralia, Washington. Between the two, they had six children, Robert, Kim, Aaron, Rhonda, Randy and Calvin.

John worked for the Pacific Power & Light (steam plant). He was a member of IBEW and was the labor steward for many years. John was CPR certified while he was employed at Pacific Power & Light. 

After retiring, he worked for other subcontractors to help with outages in Estacada, Oregon; Boardman, Oregon; and Longview Fiber. In his younger years, John enjoyed working a second job at Wisner’s Gun Shop.

John loved spending time with his family more than anything. He loved hunting, camping, anything outdoors, family barbecues, working on his classic cars and casino trips. He shared his extensive knowledge and special skills with his loved ones. John also enjoyed playing billiards and belonged to several leagues throughout the years. He served in the U.S. Army for two years during Vietnam. One of his greatest achievements was showing his family and friends what unconditional love truly was, without asking for anything in return. His love for his family will always be remembered and cherished.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold Petersen and June Baker; brother, Garth Petersen, sisters, Kathleen Petersen and Marilyn Brendel; his wife’s parents, Bud and Georgia Butterfield; brother-in-law, Melvin Butterfield; sister-in-law, Lissa Butterfield;granddaughter, Angel; and grandson, Jason Petersen.

Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Joyce Petersen, who he spent most of his time with; six children, Rob (Leesha) Smith, Kim (Mike) Gunnell, Aaron Petersen, Rhonda Smith, Randy (Amy) Smith and Calvin (Jennifer) Petersen; 18 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren, that he was blessed to be an important part of numerous their everyday lives; sisters, Diane (Dennis Vasquez) Winters and Kaye (Sal) Aguilar; brothers-in-law, Bruce Butterfield and Larry (Dorothy) Butterfield; and many family and friends, including nieces, nephews and cousins.

We would like to thank the Centralia Providence staff and the EMT’s, who were on duty during our painful process the day our dad passed on. They showed great kindness and compassion to our family. We would also like to thank our friends, family and businesses for their kind words and gestures during the heartbreaking loss of our dad. He truly was one of a kind and made friends wherever he went. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

John was an exceptional example of what a great man was: great work ethic, honest, dependable, caring, loyal, an avid outdoorsman and a wonderful father, husband and friend to all who knew him. His unconditional love will shine on all of us and get us through this difficult time. 

A celebration of life potluck will be held Aug.14, 2022, from noon to 5 p.m. at Fort Borst Park. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Sticklin Funeral Chapel.