Cover photo for Loren Paul Petersen's Obituary
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1937 Loren 2022

Loren Paul Petersen

August 21, 1937 — May 22, 2022

Unfortunately there aren’t enough words in this world to describe how much Loren meant to us and to everyone around him. But the impact he had can be seen through the lives of those he touched and the impact it had on them. He gave so much to the world and to anyone who needed a helping hand without expecting anything in return.

Loren Petersen was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, and friend; he was a person you could count on for anything. He never wanted recognition or thanks for what he did, only to leave the world a better place than he found it and he accomplished just that. His kindness and love will be forever missed.

Loren Paul Petersen was born into this world on August 21, 1937. He was the youngest of six children born to Emil and Lorraine (Rapp) Petersen. He graduated from Luverne High School in 1955 and then joined the Navy where he served as a Marine corpsman until 1958. This only helped to spur his interest in medicine and helping people. From there on he continued to pursue his passion for medicine across multiple academic centers including (South Dakota State University; University of Minnesota, University of Oregon, University of Buffalo), ultimately achieving his first board certifications in OB/GYN and sub specializing in perinatal medicine. Truly though, he was a lifelong learner and teacher and never stopped pursuing knowledge or trying to help others. He ultimately transitioned to Psychiatry practicing in Norfolk, Nebraska and at Offutt Air Force Base because he knew he wanted to give back to those serving his country. In his spare time, he even took a sabbatical to write and publish a book, and worked for a year as a Robert Wood Johnson fellow and helped to develop and enact legislation requiring all States to improve infant mortality.

One of our favorite stories happened after he was in a plane crash in 1981. Years earlier he had worked to save a young woman's life on a reservation in South Dakota. She had been a high risk pregnancy and Loren had saved both her and her baby's life. As he was recovering from his accident, that same patient had hitchhiked 220 miles to check on him and make sure he was doing ok. After checking in, Loren tried to help her get a ride home but she said she was fine and just wanted to make sure HE was ok. She then proceeded to hitchhike all 220 miles back home. That was the kind of impact he had on others, he made a difference in their lives and they never forgot and wanted to be a part of his.

As he was growing up, Loren was forever grateful for the support and love his family gave him. He told story after story about his brothers and sisters and the impact they had in his life and the encouragement they gave him. As a parent, he loved his family dearly, and was the biggest cheerleader for his children and grandchildren. He believed in them, even when they didn’t quite believe in themselves and he loved them dearly. He imparted wisdom, and encouraged all of his family to have a love of life and an awe of all that surrounds us.

Life is sometimes like a book, so we thought we might end this with the last sentence he wrote in his book and maybe a good message for all of us.

“Have fun, enjoy, laugh, love, be, and love all life”

He was preceded in death by his parents Emil and Lorraine; brothers Herbert, Carl, Lee and Robert; sisters Bernice and Lois. Those left to cherish his memory and carry on his legacy include his wife Karen; children Holly, Carey (Linda) and Matt (Kim); grandchildren Sara, Christina, Kelly, Paul and Heidi.

Loren loved leaving a legacy and everywhere he moved he made a point of planting beautiful trees and was so proud of them. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider planting a tree or making a small donation to the arbor day foundation in his memory.

Link below if you would like.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Loren Paul Petersen, please visit our flower store.


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