Gaylord A. Petersen

Gaylord A. Petersen

Jan. 19, 1925 – Sept. 11, 2020

Gaylord Allen Petersen was born one mile west and one mile south of Cordova on Jan. 19, 1925, to Jens and Emily (Jensen) Petersen, the oldest of two children, and passed away on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, at the Tabatha Care Center in Crete at the age of 95. 

When he was six weeks old, they moved to a farm northeast of Friend where they lived until 1930. At that time, Jens and Emily bought a 160-acre farm one mile east of Cordova and moved to that place. While they lived in Friend, Gaylord (4 years old) enjoyed watching the neighboring children who walked past their place on their way home from school. He attended Cordova Consolidated School District and later Country School District 67, east of Cordova. Gaylord later became a 1942 graduate of Cordova High School. He traveled to Alliance and worked at an airbase being built there and stayed with his aunt and uncle. His job involved keeping track of the gravel and cement cars at which time were being unloaded. That fall, he came back home to help pick corn and worked for Finke and Noler trucking hauling grain, coal and cattle to Omaha. Gaylord came back to farm and on May 29, 1949, he was united in marriage to Donna Marie Thompsen and together were blessed with two children, Darel and Diane. Together, they lived and farmed east of Cordova where Gaylord was a loving husband and father and grandfather. He raised livestock for many years and was one of the first to drill an irrigation well on one of his farms in Saline County. In his retirement, Gaylord was always tinkering on something, especially making toys, trains and airplanes, using material such as scrap metal and wood. Gaylord enjoyed playing cards, drinking coffee with his friends and spending time with his family. He was a member of the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cordova, served on the church board, was President of the Exeter Feeders & Breeders, sat on the Cordova Village Board, was a long-time volunteer with the fire department and in his earlier years, served on the Cordova Coop elevator board.  

Survivors include his wife, Donna, of Crete; son and daughter-in-law, Darel and Linda Petersen, Cordova; daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Roger Wolfe, York; five grandchildren and spouses, Laura and Dr. Daniel Hershberger, Bellevue, Jonathan and Allison Petersen, Cordova, Erin and Jeremy Tyler, Ft Collins, Colorado, Jeremiah Wolfe, Stromsburg, David and Heather Wolfe, Casper, Wyoming; 10 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Carla Moore, Friend; nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.  

Gaylord was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Jane Due; brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, James Moore, Don and JoAnn Weber.

A private family funeral was Sept. 15 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Cordova, Burial will be at Zastrow Cemetery at a later date. Memorial contributions are suggested to the church. Condolences may be left for the family at

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.