Duann Petersen, 90 years old, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
Duann was born in Stoughton, WI to Harry and Mildred (Nalan) Doolittle on April 18, 1932. They lived in Jefferson, along with her older brother Richard (Dick), until she was 8 years old when they moved to the Neenah / Menasha area. Duann graduated from Menasha High School in 1950 and knowing she wanted to be a nurse, went to Columbia Nursing School in Milwaukee, graduating as an RN in 1953. After graduating, Duann began her nursing career in Madison, WI at the Quisling Clinic. She loved all aspects of nursing and worked a variety of specialties throughout her career, including emergency room, charge nurse, inpatient and clinical nurse. She finished her career with the American Red Cross, retiring in 1998. Medicine became a chosen path for many in our family as we have 6 nurses, 2 doctors, 2 medical business professionals and 1 pharmacy technician.
While living in Madison, she met and married Jack Werner on June 25, 1955. Jack passed away on their 2nd wedding anniversary, leaving behind his wife Duann, 15-month-old Debra and 7-week-old Lisa. With loving support from friends, neighbors and family, the three of them carried on.
Duann met Carl Petersen, who was stationed on temporary duty at Truax Air Field, on a Monday and after a 5-day courtship, they married on Saturday, September 5, 1959. They had a happy and loving marriage for 63 years. They were blessed with two additional children, Sandra and Gary. Their life in the Air Force took them all over the world, to bases in Michigan, New Jersey, France, England, Texas, and multiple temporary duty posts all over the country. After Carl retired from military service in 1969, their final move was to Cambridge, WI, living in their house for 53 years. In Cambridge, Duann resumed her nursing career at the Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital and the American Red Cross. Duann and Carl also owned and operated Petersen Jewelry & TV until selling the business.
Duann loved cooking, sewing and reading. Her specialty was definitely soup, any kind of soup, which she loved to share with everyone because she made such large batches. Duann and Carl had a large garden for many years and froze the bounty, enjoying their produce year-round. Their beloved rhubarb and raspberry patches made delicious jams, rhubarb crisp and stew, and will be missed. Her favorite recipes are too long to list but will be treasured by her family for many years to come. As a stay-at-home mom, she sewed many of her children’s outfits and continued to sew for her grandchildren. One of our family’s favorite memories is of each Christmas when she would make pajamas for all of the granddaughters. Later she began sewing beautiful quilts, quillows, wall hangings and flannel baby blankets, many of which were given as gifts for birthdays, graduations, weddings and births. Duann’s king-size quilt, that she hand quilted, was one of her prized possessions. Duann was an avid reader, reading multiple books a week. She was a strong supporter of the Cambridge Library and a past member of the Library board.
Duann was an amazing role model, as a wife, mother, grandmother (Gma) and great-grandmother (GG). Visiting Mom & Dad’s, Gma & Gpa’s, GG & Big Papa’s house is a treasured memory for our family. Duann was our rock, the amazing foundation on which we built our tight-knit family. We will carry her love and memories forward and will cherish the celebration of her 90th birthday party just 3 weeks ago. Duann’s legacy of love will live forever in her family’s hearts and all that knew her. She may be gone but certainly will not be forgotten.
Duann is survived by her children Debbie (Zoran) Maric, Lisa Farrell, Sandra (Dan) Riege and Gary (Debbie) Petersen. Her 12 loving grandchildren, Meagan (David) Nan, Milica (Rueben) Nair, Monica (James) Cucunato, Travis (Stacey) Dodge, Jenny (Rich) van Doorn, Jessica (Luke) Bulman, Michael Riege, Allison (Kevin) Fry, Josh Petersen, Janessa (Tanner) Rego, Jake Petersen and Jada Petersen. Duann leaves behind 14 great-grandchildren, Wesley & Evelyn Nan, Leela Nair, RJ, Greyson & Jocelyn van Doorn, Tucker & Anna Bulman, Kalli, Abbi & Kenzi Fry, Brayden Petersen, Jayla & Kaylee Rego. She was preceded in death by her husband Carl on June 6, 2022, brother Richard, son-in-law Pat Farrell, great-grandson Ethan Bulman, and her precious dog Millie B.
Special thank you to Agrace Hospice and our caregivers for helping us keep Mom at home. We couldn’t have done it without help from Melissa, Halee, Katelynn, Susan and the many other amazing caregivers that supported us through this transition. We will be eternally grateful for their love, guidance and support.
Donations may be made in Duann’s name to the Cambridge Library or Agrace Hospice.
Visitation will be on Saturday, August 6th at Nitardy Funeral Home in Cambridge, from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM. A celebration of life service will be at 4:30 PM. You may attend the celebration of life virtually at https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/362298684.
Online condolences can be made at www.nitardyfuneralhome.com
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