Keith Petersen

Keith L Petersen

Sunday, February 7th, 1932 - Sunday, April 12th, 2020
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Keith Loel Petersen, age 88, of South Milwaukee, WI passed away on April 12, 2020 while receiving hospice care for congestive heart failure. Keith was born on February 7, 1932 in Ludington, MI, the son of Johannes (Ed) and Leona (Hill) Petersen. The family later moved to Flint, MI where Keith grew up with his older brother Noel and younger sister Diane. Shortly after graduating from Flint Technical High School, Keith was drafted into the U.S. Army just as the Korean War was beginning, but ultimately was stationed at a base in Chateauroux, France, rising to the rank of Corporal, serving as the official camp photographer. Following military duty, he obtained an Associate Degree of Business at Flint Junior College, and later went to work for Western Electric in Detroit. He married Mary Joanne Veenhuis on June 27, 1959 in Flint. Soon afterward, the couple moved to the Milwaukee area, where Keith had taken a job with AC Sparkplug. They settled in South Milwaukee, where they raised their five children: Peter, Carolyn, James, Elizabeth, and Jenny. Keith worked for AC/Delco/Delphi for over 35 years in various locations throughout the Milwaukee area. Keith was a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, now the Community of Christ, where he served as a priest for several years. More recently, he was involved with the Restoration Group of the RLDS Church. Keith pursued a lifelong fascination with electronics, frequently buying and restoring old radios. He was a Ham Radio operator for many years, known through call sign WA9YWK. He participated in various amateur radio clubs over the years, most recently as a member of the Miller Valley Amateur Radio Club. In addition to electronics, he enjoyed studying celestial navigation. Surviving are his son Peter Gerrit of Brookline, MA; daughters Carolyn (William) Freel of Cascade, WI, Elizabeth of South Milwaukee, WI, and Jenny (Joseph) Bunton of Madison, WI; and seven grandchildren: Isaac, Jeremiah, Joy, and Josiah Freel and Gwendolyn, Jack, and Norah Bunton. He was preceded in death by his son James, parents, wife Mary Jo, and his two siblings. A private burial will be held at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee, where Keith will be laid to rest beside his wife Mary Jo. A memorial service will be planned for later this year. The MolthenBell & Son Funeral Home in South Milwaukee, WI, is assisting the family with arrangements.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Forest Home Cemetery
    2405 W Forest Home Ave
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Forest Home Cemetery
    Address Not Available


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Steve Stephen Schreiter

Posted at 09:09am
Keith was a fellow South Milwaukeean, fellow amateur radio operator and friend. His red Saturn SUV with the 40 meter whip antenna was always recognizable traveling the city streets or parked at one of his favorite restaurants, George Webb’s (now South Milwaukee Café)

A trip to his garage was always exciting, it contained many electronic goodies, but I could never persuade him to sell or trade to me his Clemens signal generator. Keith was a member of the Miller Valley Amateur Radio Club and the South Milwaukee Amateur Radio Club. He frequently helped out at the South Milwaukee Club’s July Swapfests at the Legion Park in Oak Creek and was often present at our Christmas dinners and monthly meetings.

He and I would sometimes meet at Webb’s or Lloyds Lunch (he knew some of the waitresses!) and the conversation often turned to his early work as a seaman on Lake Michigan boats. Or on navigation, sighting the stars or his personal sextant. We even spent an afternoon at Grant Park in South Milwaukee looking for a geodetic marker identifying the highest point on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

Two other members of both clubs, Robert WB9TIK and Len, K9LJ also wanted to say goodbye, Keith, and wished you good DX.

Steve, N9BVN

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Posted at 06:31pm
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