April 19, 1945 - June 17, 2015
A viewing will be held in the Brooks Family Chapel at the North Dallas Funeral Home, 2710 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, Texas 75234 on Tuesday, June, 23, 2015 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 10 a.m. in the Brooks Family Chapel of the North Dallas Funeral Home with Pastor Brian Hayes officiating with interment to follow at Hilltop Memorial Park, 1810 Perry Road, Carrollton, Texas 75006.
John “Jack” Peter Pettersen passed away Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at Texas Health Presbyterian Plano at the age of 70.
John Peter Pettersen was born on April 19, 1945 in Ord, Nebraska to John Nels Pettersen and Jocelyn Auble. John’s father was a Bird Colonel in the Army Air Corps that flew missions within the Korean and Vietnam War. John’s mother was a Lieutenant Nurse in the Army Air Corp. Only months old, John’s mother passed away. With John’s father on missions, he went to live with his aunt and uncle in Norfolk, Nebraska until he was two years old. At this time, his father remarried Bess Leftwich, and he moved in with his new mother and her family in Sedalia, Missouri. It was here that John became a big brother to his first sibling, Melody. At the age of five, John, Melody and their mother packed up their bags to board the USS Horace Mann for a two week voyage to Japan to join his father whom was stationed at Honshu Air Force Base. As a military family, the stay was short lived and a year later they moved to the main island where they then resided at Tachikawa Air Force Base. They welcomed a new baby sister, Mary. John always had fond memories of his stay in Japan, learning a new culture, eating new foods and traveling the country with his sister. In 1956, John’s father received new orders to return to the States where he would then work at the Pentagon, so off to Virginia the family went. It was in Virginia where John finished up his elementary and middle school years. At this age he was immersed in American culture, playing football, and learning about American history by visiting Washington DC. It was in Virginia that he became a big brother to his first and only brother, Chris. However, that didn’t last very long as his father was once again assigned to the country of Turkey in 1960 where they lived in Izmir on the Mediterranean coast. Being so tall, John was on the basketball team and had many tales of his tournament trips in the region. Not only did they play in Turkey, but they also would travel to Greece and to Italy for tournament play. He always told the story of how the Turkish national team wanted him to play for them professionally. Being a teenager, of course he had to get permission from his father, which told him that he could not and must pay more attention to his schooling and go to college. We (sons) always joked with him that we could have been sons of a NBA Hall of Famer. Thanks a lot Grandpa Pettersen! While in Turkey the family grew by two more as they welcomed Elizabeth and Gretchen. In 1963, John graduated from Izmir High School and it was this same year that his father was transferred back to the States to Dyas Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas. In Texas, John started his college career by attending West Texas, Cisco Junior College and North Texas State (University of North Texas) and studying radio communication. Once graduating from college, John followed in his father’s footsteps and enlisted in the Air Force. He was stationed at the Aviano Air Force base in the country of Italy. Here is where is worked as a Radio Technician to keep communications running between the pilots and the towers. It was at this time where the young man had met the woman of his dreams, Nelliana. She was young waitress working at a pizzeria near the air force base. It was this eatery in which John would frequent and flirt with her. However, John at the time did not speak any Italian and Nelliana did not speak any English. So as two young people who are in love would do, they found a common language they both kind of knew to communicate and that was French, which is funny because in high school John received a failing grade in French. This was another chapter in John’s life he would always talk fondly of. John was so in love with Nelliana that he wanted to marry as soon as possible. However, at the time, since John was in the military and Nelliana was not a U.S. citizen, this could not be done. So, in 1971, when John had fulfilled his four year commitment, he was honorably discharged and headed back to the States. But, before he did, he went to that beautiful girl he met at that pizzeria, gave her 400 dollars, and told her this is for you for whenever you are ready to come to America. It was soon after that, Nelliana had boarded a plane to the U.S. to meet her future husband and they began their lives together. During their nearly 40 years of marriage, John and Nelly had two sons, Bryan and Alexander. Both of their sons are so proud and honored to have had great parents, ones that have taught them right from wrong, ones that have taught them to be considerate, ones that have taught them to share and ones that have taught them to go out and be free and live your life. Don’t be afraid to jump into life and experience what life has to offer you. We will miss you Dad and Mom, your influence on your sons and your memories will last forever as they will be passed down to your grandchildren. May God be with you and may you rest in peace.
John is preceded in death by his wife, Nelliana Maria Pettersen, parents, John Nels Pettersen and Jocelyn Auble, and stepmother Bess Leftwich.
John Peter is survived by his oldest son, John Bryan Pettersen, wife Ami, and granddaughters Emma and Elliana; youngest son, Alexander Derrick Pettersen; and siblings Melody, Mary, Chris, Elizabeth, and Gretchen.
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