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Obituary of Norma & John Petersen
Norma Petersen January 26, 1935 ~ November 1, 2016 Resident of Scotts Valley She is survived by her husband of 62 years and a son, Daniel Petersen of Salinas and his family; a sister, Betty Stark of Oakdale, and a brother, Glen Lambert of Fort Myers, Florida. A son, John Philip Petersen, preceded her in death. Norma Petersen was born in Modesto on January 26, 1935, the younger daughter of the late Cecil and Olga Lambert. She grew up at the family ranch on Ladd Road, where she lived until her marriage to her childhood sweetheart, John Petersen. Mrs. Petersen attended Modesto schools and was a graduate of San Francisco State University. Following graduate studies in Art and Interior Design, she taught crafts and antique restoration in the Bay area, and later owned a business in Aptos, where the family resided for many years. Norma Petersen was a person of many artistic gifts among them the creation of wearable art, for which she won numerous awards. She enjoyed creative endeavors of all kinds, in particular those activities involving her two granddaughters, Ilsa and Emma Petersen. She was the much-appreciated partner of her husband, supporting his work as an academic administrator. In accordance with Norma’s wishes, there will be no formal funeral service. John Petersen January 21, 1931 ~ December 5, 2020 Former Cabrillo College president John Petersen Dies at 89 John C. Petersen, former Executive Director of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, died in Salinas on December 5, 2020. John Petersen was Executive Director Emeritus of the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges; responsible for evaluation and accreditation of two-year public and private institutions in California, Hawaii, and U.S. related institutions in the Pacific islands. Prior to WASC he served as president of two California Community Colleges, Skyline College at San Bruno (1972 to 1977), and Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County. (1972 to 1985). Numerous leadership activities included the presidency of three statewide associations, his membership in accrediting bodies included the Western Association, the Northwest Association, and the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation. He also served on a number of boards, including the Academic Advisory Board and Board of Visitors for the Defense Language Institute of Monterey. John Petersen joined Cabrillo College as a biology instructor in 1962. In 1977, he was appointed the second chief executive, serving Cabrillo College following founding president Robert Swenson. He leaves a son Daniel and his family of Salinas. Born at Modesto in 1931 to a family of recent immigrants from Denmark, he attended schools at Ceres, and graduated from Modesto Junior College and the University of California at Berkeley. The PhD at Berkeley followed a Masters Degree from the University of New Mexico. John Petersen had a lifelong commitment to the education and advancement of people. “A high school teacher assigned me to read Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle” he commented, “and I never got over the messages about good people suffering through hard times.” John was married in 1954 to Norma Lambert, who died in November 2016. Theirs was a lifetime of mutual love and support. In accordance with the family’s wishes, there will be no formal funeral service.
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