Beloved historian, pastor, and educator Ed Petersen, his life
and honors, a memorial tribute from those whose lives he touched.

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Ed Petersen, Cottonwood Historian
from the ashes, we rise

Are you running with me, Jesus?

Historian Petersen dies

divine love creates anew
Edward Petersen


Petersen's faith inspired many among us --

-a tribute-


Rev. Michael F. Kiernan

Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish
Anderson, California

Record Searchlight August 14, 1998

Today we mark the anniversary of the departure from this life of a great servant of the Lord, Edward Petersen. Just recently I had the opportunity to listen to the tapes of the memorial service for Ed and to visit with his dear wife, Nadiene. I was away last year when Ed passed away and was so sorry that I missed the services for this great man of faith, compassion, and gentleness.

I feel it appropriate now to remember with gratitude his contribution to us all. It is so important to have people of faith and generosity who can inspire and guide us. Ed Petersen was one such person, as he gave us example, encouragement and wisdom in service to God and others. I greatly enjoyed his practical dependence on the Lord, who was with him all the time , even through the very last moments.

Ed played such a great role in the community in so many different ways. He was an inspiration and blessing to me in my own attempts at ministry. I would marvel at how he could always be positive, open, faithful, and accepting of people. He was always saying "Yes" to God and leading us by gentle example to love and serve God and others.

Now he is in heaven where he will enjoy the presence of the God he loved so much and served so faithfully. May we all be united with him again when our time comes and experience again his love and goodness.

Some Ecumenical Encouragement for all of us

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Biographical Sketch

Ed Petersen

North State Educator and Pastor

By Jim Schultz

August 16, 1997
Page A-1, etc

Ed Petersen, "the Billy Graham of Northern California," left his mark on Shasta County through his sermons, writings and public service.

COTTONWOOD -- Ed Petersen, who died [Aug 14, 1997] touched the hearts and lives of countless Shasta County residents.

Whether it was through his historical or religious writings, his work on various school boards, or through his work for the Lord, Petersen earned the respect, admiration and love of many.

"Ed was the epitome of a Christian," Lynn Peebles, an elder at the Anderson -Cottonwood Neighborhood Church, said Friday. "He touched more people's lives in Shasta county than most. He was truly concerned about the welfare of people and their needs."

"We know him as the Billy Graham of Northern California,"said Linda Rogers, a church facilitator. "He presented the Gospel to whomever he met."

Brought as an infant by his parents, Petersen was a Shasta County resident for 63 years.

Petersen was a founding elder and the pastor at the 500-member church, officiating hundreds of funerals and caring for people in their time of need.

He had also been a Shasta College trustee for the past three years.

Petersen served for 20 years as a member of the Cottonwood Elementary School District Board of Trustees and served for eight years as a member of the Anderson Union High School Board of Trustees.

Born May 28, 1932, in Berkeley, Petersen and his family moved to Shasta County when he was only 2 years old and his parents, William and Hannah , owned and operated the Cottonwood Feed Store.

A 1950 graduate Anderson High School, Petersen was a member of the first Shasta College class from 1950 to 1952 and played intercollegiate tennis.

He received a bachelor of science degree in history from Chico State University in 1954 and taught history at Anderson High School until he entered the U.S. Army in 1956.

After his two-year Army stint, Petersen who also received a master's degree in history from the University of Michigan, returned to Anderson High School.

He taught there until 1965 when he became a Shasta College faculty member. He was a Shasta College counselor and division director for 20 years, retiring in 1992.

Petersen often contributed religious columns to the Record Searchlight and was the author of five books about Shasta County's history, including "In the Shadow of The Mountain."

Local history link: Peter Lassen, intrepid Dane. This pioneer and settler from Denmark proved to be as tough as the untamed land confronting him. Peter Lassen - California naturalist


the yellow badge

denmark flag

The rescue of Denmark's 8,000 Jews serves as an example of an entire nation mobilized to rescue humanity from the abyss of German terror. A story of truly noble grandeur is how the king of Danmark, Christian X showed his courage by cointinuing his daily horseback rides during the occupation. When Hitler's order came down for all Jews to wear the yellow Star of David, King Christian threatened to abdicate and to wear the star as a badge of honor, in identity with the Jewish people. That symbolic gesture inspired the entire nation of Denmark, demonstrating passive yet formidable opposition to all anti-Semitic legislation. Almost all of the Jews of Denmark survived the war, while those in almost every other nation occupied by the Nazis had their ranks decimated.

A September 1943 decision by the Nazi occupiers of Denmark to round up all Danish Jews for shipment to the death camps was thwarted. Courageously acting on a tip from a German shipping official, Danes from all walks of life mobilized whatever would float and ferried 5,900 Jews, 1,300 part-Jews, and 700 Christians married to Jews to safety in Sweden. Of the 500 or so Jews left in Denmark on October 1, 1943, all were deported by the Germans to Theresienstadt. Eighty-five percent survived the war. Historians have pondered why the citizens of Denmark resisted the war against the Jews, unlike most of their European neighbors. One reason is that Denmark did not have a history of anti-Semitism. Another was that nearby was neutral Sweden, willing to accept the Jews that could be saved."

a true account
worthy of praise

gary chiles

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Plus ONE Mentoring
Another Project touched by Ed Petersen
YOU can help a kid

Support PlusONE Mentors (or become a mentor yourself)
Ed Petersen was one of the north state's most beloved and respected leaders. His extraordinary community service career included work as a mentor, counselor, writer, teacher, pastor and historian. His life left an indelible mark in the lives of countless people and families in the north state and around the world. His heart for the poor and disenfranchised stands as a beacon to many achievers tempted to pursue only material rewards. His love for all people and his servant leadership were qualities of his life and character that were empowered by his abiding love for God as well as for his neighbor.

Born as the only child of William and Hannah Petersen who owned and operated the old Cottonwood Feed Store in the 1930s, Ed was a graduate of Anderson High School, Shasta College, CSU and a Masters history graduate of the University of Michigan. Returning to the north state, Petersen taught school at Anderson High School, chaired the counseling division at Shasta College, and served on the Shasta College Board and numerous school boards in the area.

He founded the Anderson / Cottonwood Neighborhood Church (ACNC) after it divided from its original mother-church, First Baptist Church of Cottonwood. He also went on the lead a unified, regular fellowship of ministers of the local churches in the County.

More recently, Petersen went on to found and serve as board member of a community based volunteer mentor program, PlusONE Mentors, Inc. He had a passion for enabling at-risk youth and adults to develop their full, God-given potential and become productive citizens. PlusONE Mentors is a non profit, tax exempt service recruiting, training, and placing volunteer mentors with youth mentees who desire to learn and change.

I believe every person at risk should have the opportunity to have a mentor, and every citizen should be given the opportunity to be a mentor. We can best preserve and serve our community as we apply the great command to love our neighbors as ourself.

Today our community is facing a crisis of the breakdown of the family which contributes to failure in school and the workplace, unwanted pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, suicide and unhealthy co-dependencies. Governor Wilson has created the California Mentor Initiative to address this crisis. PlusONE Mentors is an active member of this initiative to serve at-risk people in the north valley. Mentored people are 46% less likely to get into drugs, 55% less likely to commit suicide; 59% get better grades or perform better in the workplace and 73% raise their goals.

Now with YMCA: PlusONE Mentors
ALSO see "No Room for Racism (Tom O'Mara)

They are Together :: Edward and Nadiene Petersen
Our beloved Nadiene Petersen entered into the presence of the Lord July 22, 2010. Her life was a shining example of God's redemptive love.

Nadiene spent her life extending grace, kindness, and wisdom to those around her. Her life of ministry to her family, friends and community emulated the love she experienced through her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We will greatly miss our dear mother, sister, mentor and friend.

Nadiene was born Jan. 31, 1932, in Quincy, to Frederick and Helen (Neer) Brown. She grew up in Crescent Mills, and spent many summers with her dad in Tacoma, Wash., after her parent's divorce.

Nadiene graduated from Greenville High in June 1950, attended cosmetology school in Oakland and after passing her state boards exam in August 1951, decided against opening a beauty shop in Greenville and enrolled at Chico State College.

Through the loving ministry of her roommate, Sally, and others, Nadiene responded to the irresistible grace of her Savior, Jesus Christ. God had more than academic preparation for Nadiene at Chico State as she not only received her degree in education in 1955; she also met the love of her life, Edward Petersen from Cottonwood.

During her first teaching job on the Indian Reservation in Covelo, the romance with Edward continued and they married in Cottonwood, June 16, 1956.

Nadiene began teaching at Meadow Lane Elementary in Anderson and Edward was drafted into the Army to serve in the Korean War. Edward was stationed in Detroit and Nadiene joined him.

As they returned to Cottonwood, Nadiene returned to teach at Meadow Lane and later West Cottonwood, and Edward returned to his teaching position at his alma mater, Anderson High School, and eventually Shasta College. As their family grew with the addition of three girls, Rebecca, Elizabeth, and Sarah, so did their connections and involvements in the community. Nadiene and Edward were instrumental in starting Anderson-Cottonwood Neighborhood Church. Their home in Cottonwood became the center for Bible study, ministry, community outreach, and discipleship.

Nadiene was preceded in death by her beloved husband Edward (they are now hugging in heaven). She is missed dearly by her daughter Rebecca (Wion) with husband Doug and children Matthew, Nathaniel, Rebecca, Timothy, and Elizabeth; and daughter Elizabeth (Boyle) with husband Mark and children Heather, Grace, and Hannah; and by her daughter Sarah (Fitch) with husband Chris and children Rachel, Jonathan, and Bethany. Her family also includes her brother, who preceded her in death, Jimmy North and his wife Kay and children Chad and Lance, and her brother Harley North and Ann and their children, Tristan and Jill.

Dream Songs and Ceremony
Frank R. LaPena

Frank LaPena's book is the closest thing to a prayer that any combination of words and art can be. Its sensitive evocation of place --- and the ancient relationships of Native people to a living landscape, is truly marvelous. I can think of no other book in recent years which succeeds so well on so many levels.

(Joseph Bruchac, poet and editor)

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