John “Jay” Howard Petersen, 83, passed away at Specialty Hospital in Rochelle Park, NJ on November 30,2020 after complications from heart surgery.
Born on January 1, 1937, Jay was the third son of the late Carl and Eugenia Petersen.
His childhood consisted of a dual life as a city/country boy, going from Forest Hills, NY to Bearsville NY.
He attended the One Room School House in Bearsville, NY and then finished high school in Forest Hills, NY where he played Coronet in the Jr High Orchestra.
Joining the Navy at the young age of 17, Jay enjoyed retelling many stories of his 3 years in service which included crossing the Panama Canal. He left with an Honorable discharge as a Korean War Veteran. His service was cut short due to his father’s medical condition that caused him to come home to be near the family.
On 10/12/1958, he married Donna Rae Riseley a native of Woodstock NY and enjoyed 51 years of marriage with her until her death on 11/2/2009.
Jay was a Service technician for the Sears Roebuck Company for 38 years, along with owning his own business called Jay Refrigeration.
He was well known for his excellent knowledge of air conditioning and refrigeration and often prevented many happy customers from losing the contents of their freezers and refrigerators.
Jay was best known for his sense of humor, storytelling, and the ability to fix just about anything.
His granddaughter Tana gave him the name “Poppy Fix-it” because of this.
Some of his favorite pastimes included riding his motorcycle and Vespa Scooter, plowing and repairing his road with his big Ford tractor, tinkering in the garage and as an active member of the American Legion Post 1026 and part of the Color Guard. Jay spent the last eight years on travel adventures with Christine that included Sedona, AZ, Greece, France, Puerto Rico, and Scandinavia.
He is survived by his daughters Anthea Joy, Robin, granddaughter Tana, great grandchildren Scarlett, Sienna and Grayson and his beloved partner Christine Angiel.
A private ceremony will be held at the Artists cemetery in Woodstock NY at an undetermined date, along with a Celebration of Life when it is safe to do so.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The American Legion Post 1026 and the Woodstock Rescue Squad.
You may share a special memory or condolence with the family on Jay’s Tribute Wall at Gormleyfuneralhome.com.
Funeral arrangements under the direction of the E B Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main Street Phoenicia.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John H Petersen, please visit our floral store.