Don L. Petersen

Don L. Petersen 

Don L. Petersen

Feb. 28, 1936 – Sept. 27, 2019

Don Leroy Petersen was born to Ray M. and Phyllis M. (Kleinschrodt) Petersen on Feb. 28, 1936, in Friend and passed away Sept. 27, 2019, in York at the age of 83 years, 6 months, 27 days. He was the oldest of two children.

Don graduated from Exeter High School in 1953 and then attended Milford Trade School. He served in the U.S. Army, 3rd Armored Division, from 1955 to 1957, stationed in Germany as a medic, and enjoyed his travels while there.

Don was married to Jayne Erdkamp on Dec. 27, 1957, and to them four children were born, Danny, Kim, Jon and Tommy. The couple first lived on a farm north of Cordova for four years before moving to their longtime home west of Cordova. Don spent his life doing what he loved best, farming. He enjoyed deer hunting and always looked forward to opening day. He also loved attending church and Sunday School.

Family meant everything to Don and no matter how busy he was, he always took time to enjoy his children and grandchildren and was a wonderful, patient teacher to them. Don loved harvest season and still looked forward to operating the grain cart as well as helping with spring planting. He prided himself on his straight rows, even without GPS. Though he was retired, he jokingly made sure everyone knew he was still “The Boss.” 

As a boy, Don was active in Boy Scouts and spent two summers at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He loved to tell stories about his childhood. His favorite story was about the barnstormer who landed his plane in a nearby field and gave him a ride, at the age of 8, without his parents knowledge.

Don attended as many of his children’s and grandchildren’s school and sporting events as he could and he was proud of his seven great-grandchildren as well. 

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Phyllis Petersen; his sister, Donna Jasinski; and his parents-in-law, Leonard and Eleanor Erdkamp.

He is survived by his wife, Jayne; his children, Danny Petersen of rural Exeter, Kim (John) Krolikowski of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jon (Cynthia) Petersen of Robins, Iowa, and Tommy (Angela) Petersen of Cordova;  nine grandchildren, Molly Krolikowski, Preston (Michelle) Petersen, Samantha Krolikowski, Kellen (Nicole) Petersen, Whitney (Bryan) Bybee, Austin (Jamie) Petersen, Luke Petersen, Emily Petersen and Paige Petersen; seven great-grandchildren, Maddox, Zuri and Ella Petersen, Dominic Krolikowski, Everett and Emmett Bybee and Owen Petersen; brothers-in-law, Henry Jasinski, Lawrence (Sue) Erdkamp, John (Cheri) Erdkamp and James (Mary Beth) Erdkamp; sister-in-law, Mary Dinneen; many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

A funeral service for Don was held Oct. 3, 2019, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cordova, with the Rev. Brian Tuma officiating. Blake and Andrea Woodburn accompanied the congregation in the singing of “Beautiful Savior,” “Wonderful Merciful Savior” and “Blessed Assurance.” Pallbearers for the service included Preston Petersen, Kellen Petersen, Austin Petersen, Luke Petersen, Scott Jasinski, William Sladek, Bryan Bybee and Larry Erdkamp, Jr. Interment was in the Exeter Cemetery with a military flag presentation by Don’s brother-in-law, Larry Erdkamp. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Orphan Grain Train or the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Cordova. Condolences may be sent to the family at

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