68° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

Ludwig Austin Petersen

Published On: Jan 22 2013 08:18:23 AM CST

Ludwig "Pete" Austin Petersen, 93, passed away on Sunday, January 20, 2013 at his home, surrounded by those who loved him. Pete, a longtime resident of Dane County, will be remembered for his quick wit, sharp intellect, generous giving, charming personality and loving spirit.

Pete was born to Lawrence and Thela (Johns) Petersen on November 7, 1919, in Des Moines, IA. Upon graduation, he attended UW-Whitewater and earned a B.S. in Geography Education and a M.A. in Education Administration. He enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in August 1943 and served his country in both the Pacific and Atlantic Theaters during World War II. Upon his discharge from the service, he went on to have an exemplary career in Education. Pete was a teacher and principal for several years, and ultimately served as Superintendent of Schools for the Melrose, Portage and Fond du Lac school districts. During the final 15 years of his distinguished career, Pete worked for the Department of Public Instruction, first as an Administrator of the Cooperative Educational Services Agency (CESA) and, finally, as the Supervisor of CESA's. His impact on the state's educational system has been everlasting.

On February 17, 1972, Pete married his soul mate, Adele McConahey, who, like himself, was an accomplished musician. They met at a music store, where Adele was playing a song on a piano. With his classic charm, Pete sat down at another piano and joined in, starting a duet that would last more than 40 years. For more than four decades, they shared a life filled with love, laughter, music, golf, travel, card games and countless close friends.

Pete loved his family and friends, and was loved in return. While our world has lost a true friend and gentleman, we are better people for having had him in our lives. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten by all who had the privilege of knowing him. His spirit will live on through our shared stories, laughter and memories of a beautiful life richly and fully lived.

Pete was predeceased by parents; first wife, Kathryn; son, Rodney; and brother, John. He is survived by his wife Adele; sons, Donald of Milwaukee, and Brian (Linda) of Fond du Lac; daughters Kristen Seidner of Netanya, Israel, and Karla (Fran) Allas of Alta Loma, CA; sisters Mary (Robert) DeSalvo of Park Ridge, IL, and Palma (Robert) Carlaw of Bremerton, WA; dear friends Bernie and Jane Powers and family, and Bill and June Egstad and family; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Pete was deeply grateful for the dignified care he received from the staff at Oak Park Place, his home for the past several years.

A Celebration of Pete's Life will be held Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 4:00 pm at Cress Funeral Home, 1310 Emerald terrace, Sun Prairie with Rev. Dr. David Berggren officiating. A visitation will be held from 2:00 pm until time of service.

  • iOS 8

    From Apple

    Best new Apple iOS 8 features

    Apple's iOS 8 is here, and it's packed with slick new features. Take a look at some of the best changes to the latest version of the popular mobile operating system.

  • Testing for Ebola

    REUTERS/Misha Hussain

    Common myths about Ebola

    At least eight Ebola aid workers and journalists were reportedly murdered in a remote village in Guinea in a brutal example of growing distrust locals have of foreigners coming to help stem the mushrooming health crisis. Take a look at common myths about the deadly virus.

  • Police lights file 2

    Ridiculous 911 calls

    Have you ever considered calling 911 because of a massive spider in your house? How about because a McDonald's employee got your order wrong? Take a look at some of the strangest reasons people have recently called 911.


    Events calendar

    Looking for something to do? Visit Channel 3000's events section featuring dining, food, music and family-friendly events throughout Madison and the surrounding area.

  • Get your weather app and WISC-TV3 deliver local forecasts, live radar, school closings and alerts for Madison and South Central Wisconsin to iOS or Android devices.

  • Learn more about WISC-TV

    Meet the News 3 staff, learn about our newscasts, search our job postings and find out how to contact us.