A retired Air Force and Air Force Reserve C-130 pilot and J model simulator instructor, Robert Morgan Petersen, Lt. Colonel (retired), age 75 passed away on May 15, 2023 after a year long battle with cancer. He was joyously welcomed into this world on November 29, 1947 to Margarite Hughes and Berthold Herman Petersen in Chicago, Illinois and relocated to Meridian, MS where he spent many years under the loving guidance of Papa (Armus Morgan Beeman, his step-grandfather) where he developed his love for growing tomatoes and watching Saturday night boxing. This relationship was so profound that he chose to mimic the attributes of this kind, humble, and generous man. An avid animal lover, he is now reunited with his beloved pets, Angel, Princess, Orange, Bootsy, Zeke and Bigger. Determined to produce the best homegrown tomatoes, he was the brunt of many a joke as his family watched him order every conceivable contraption manufactured that promised a stellar crop. Despite years of missing the mark, his passion for ‘mater samiches never waned. With a lifelong love for the outdoors and hunting, he transitioned from coveting the biggest and best game to simply enjoying the camaraderie of gathering around the campfire. Highly knowledgeable about guns, knives and ammunition/reloading, Bob was a valued resource and consultant to friends and strangers alike. Always ready with a joke or two, he brought smiles and laughter to everyone he met. Anyone who knew him received an annual birthday greeting!! A pocketful of Werther’s candies provided a special thank you to those he encountered throughout his day, congruent with his desire to make each day a little bit sweeter. His grandsons, Henson and Leo Taylor, will fondly remember him for the consequence of naming the animal that is brown, grizzly and lives in the woods. Ironically, that was also the nickname given to him by his wife shortly after they met. We will miss you, Bear! All 5 of his grandchildren stop each time they hear an airplane and wave saying “Hi Geepa!” This gesture will now take on a very different meaning, but it will be a great moment of reflection for all.
Bob was preceded in death by his mother, Margarite Kendall; father, Berthold Herman Petersen, and grandparents, Armus Morgan and Gloria Beeman. He is survived by his wife of almost 47 years, Darlene Ann Petersen; children, Morgan Petersen Taylor (James) and Dacia Petersen; grandsons, Henson and Leo Taylor and Daniel and Joshua Petersen; granddaughter, Olivia Petersen; stepmother, Elizabeth Petersen and step-brother, Steven Petersen (Lupi).
A special thank you to the membership of First United Methodist Church, Gulfport, MS and for our friends for all the support provided during this past year’s journey and to all of those who called, texted and came to visit, demonstrating to him that his life mattered.
Services will be private at his request. In lieu of flowers, it was his wish that memorials be sent to Umbrella of Hope Animal Rescue, 4080 Railroad Avenue Suite C, Pittsburg, CA 94565 which was started and continues to be operated on a volunteer basis by his daughter, Dacia. Alternately, please honor him by making a donation to the charity of your choice or just remembering to always be kind.
Riemann Family Funeral Home, Biloxi, is serving the family. Memories may be shared and condolences left at www.riemannfamily.com