Richard R. Petersen

Richard R. Petersen
1931 —2019
Richard R. Petersen, 87, of Sioux City, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at a local nursing home.  A funeral service will be held Friday, April 12 at 10:30 A.M. at Redeemer Lutheran Church.  Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Visitation will be Thursday, April 11 from 5-8 with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M. at Meyer Brothers Morningside Chapel.  Online condolences may be made to
Richard was born on December 18, 1931 in Elgin, Nebraska to Walter and Edna (Koinzan) Petersen.  He grew up in Elgin, was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Elgin and attended Elgin Public Schools, graduating in 1950.
After teaching a rural school at Elgin for one year, he attended Wayne State College in Nebraska, where he played football and basketball.  He was married to Lageane Schellpeper on March 3, 1956, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Norfolk, NE.  They celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary in 2019.
After serving in the U.S. Army, he was employed for the next 40 years in the field of education.  He received his M.A. from the University of Iowa, and his Ph.D. from Iowa State University with additional graduate work at the University of South Dakota.  He taught at all levels and had served as a teacher, coach, and administrator.  He served as teacher, coach and principal at Wheeler County High in Nebraska.
After receiving his M.A. he taught mathematics and physics at LeMars Community High School and at Westmar College in LeMars, IA.  During these summers he did research in solid state physics at the Atomic Energy Commission Laboratory in Ames, IA.  After receiving his Ph.D. in Educational Research at I.S.U. (graduating with Phi Beta Kappa honors), he served on their faculty for one year before returning to Westmar College where he was Associate Professor in Education and, later, the Chair of the Education Department.
In 1975, he accepted the position of Assistant Superintendent at LeMars Community High School where he served in that capacity until 1980 when he joined the Area Education Agency as the Educational Services Division Director, while in that position, he also served as State Chairman of the Iowa Computer Consortium and State Chairman of the Iowa Educational Services Directors.  He remained in that position until he retired in 1996.  He was also a member of Sertoma.  He enjoyed a number of hobbies including reading, traveling, coin collecting, computers, and woodworking.  He was active in scouting, was an Eagle Scout and served as Wayne State Campus School Scoutmaster while he was a student at Wayne State College.  He served two years of active duty in the army and six years in active reserve.
Home and family were important to him and he especially enjoyed the music and sports activities in which his children and grandchildren participated.  After both he and his wife retired in 1996, they enjoyed traveling together, often with family and friends, going to all 50 states and other countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia.  He was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sioux City where he served as congregational president, elder, trustee, and also the circuit forum lay representative for many years.
Those left to honor his memory include his loving wife Lageane, of Sioux City; sons:  Mark (Alice) Petersen of Hubbard, NE and Dr. Roger (Daniela) Petersen of Cambridge, MA; three granddaughters: Kelsey Petersen of Lincoln, NE. McKenzie (Andrew) Kelly of Sioux City, and Megan Petersen of Sioux Falls; brother, Dale Petersen of Austin, TX; sister, Marlene (Allen) Welding of Sioux City; sister-in-law, LaVonne Schellpeper of Stanton, NE; as well as a number of nieces, nephews and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law, Joyce Petersen; and brother-in-law, Dale Schellpeper.