Notice regarding Coronavirus... Read More

Pettersen, John "Jack" Peter

Leave a CondolenceSend FlowersPrint

April 19, 1945 - June 17, 2015

Pettersen, John "Jack" Peter

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.

Please send the family condolences and share memories on this website.

To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.


Please enhance this tribute to Pettersen, John "Jack" Peter by adding your condolences or memories. Click Here

Rod Kelly

July 01, 2015 9:01AM


I was so very sorry to learn from Boro, just this past Monday, that your dad had passed away. He sent me his obituary. His obituary is a tribute to his life. Having spent 3 years in the Air Force, I was familiar with several of the AF bases in the US where he was stationed. Pattie grew up as an "Army Brat", so she and I both appreciate and honor the service that your dad gave to his country. I know how close you were to your dad and I know that you will miss him dearly. However, in the "Circle of Life", the Lord has given you a wonderful wife and two daughters that I know will help fill the void left by his passing. Just remember, there is a part of him in those two daughters that you will be able to enjoy for the rest of your life. I wish God's blessing on you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Rod & Pattie

Jim and Melody Cole

June 24, 2015 1:42PM

Jack and I were very close growing up. We had a lot of fun in our family. He always had a lot of friends wherever we moved to. His family meant everything to him. I will miss him, but know that we will meet again in heaven. Love, Melody

Teresa Heist

June 22, 2015 10:37PM

I always enjoyed the rare times I spent with my Uncle Jack. I imagined him to be very much like my Grandfather, Nels Pettersen, whom I never knew -- soft-spoken, hard-working, highly intelligent, loyal and very kind and thoughtful. The last time we were together, I was visiting the family in Portland, and we would talk in the mornings over coffee. I envision him together again with his beloved Nellie forever in the bliss of eternity.

Chris Pettersen

June 22, 2015 9:35PM

To my brother whom will be dearly missed, where family meant more than anything, who's integrity and honesty was the bedrock of his being, may God welcome you to the glory of heaven and keep watch over us as we continue on with out you!

Phyllis Hurd & Bill Goldthwaite

June 22, 2015 5:16PM

I first met John at SBT in the 80's I remember him telling me about Nelly being pregnant and having a
boy starting college. He was so proud of his family. Bill my husband remembers working with John
on Northern Telecom computers. Bill and I moved to Arkansa and returned to Dallas around 2009
for a visit and went to the house to see John & Nelly that was a good visit and the youngest son came
in and I asked if this was the baby? John laughed and said yes.
Sadly after Nelly passed we lost contact with John.
Our condolences to you John and Alex and your loved ones.

Sandy and Jerry Miller

June 19, 2015 9:03AM

We offer our condolences for you loss. Jack was an exceptional person, very kind and thoughtful. I know his family will miss him dearly.