Laura Victoria Petersen, 98, passed away peacefully at her home on November 7, 2023. She was born on December 23, 1924, in Homestead, Pennsylvania, to Walter and Sophie Stempin and was the elder sister of Geraldine Stempin and younger sister of brother Carl Stempin.
Laura initially attended Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, PA, but yearned for something new and exciting and transferred to University of Colorado (CU) where she pursued pre-medical studies. It was at CU where she met a fellow student—her future husband, Donald Dale Petersen. Don and Laura were married in Loveland, Colorado, on August 31, 1947, and they raised five children.
For most of their 69-year marriage they enjoyed paired ice dancing at CU in Boulder and in Longmont. In the early years of their ice skating pursuit they would sometimes venture out to secluded, frozen lakes where they would sweep off the snow and skate together under the moonlight.
Laura liked to spend some of her time painting and was a talented artist. She previously served as the President of the Longmont Artists’ Guild. She also liked to travel. After Don’s retirement in 1989 she and Don traveled throughout Europe, Africa and also made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
Laura was a dedicated wife and mother. She also helped her husband at their pharmacy/gift store, Don’s Center Drugs, on North Main Street of Longmont, Colorado.
Laura and Don were devoutly religious and were members of St. John’s Catholic Church since 1951. Laura freely shared her faith in the Lord through her actions and manner of living and also spread His Word in conversations with her acquaintances. She remained faithful to her Christian beliefs throughout her life. When she was younger she faithfully attended church every Sunday; later in life when she was unable to attend church personally she would watch the Mass on TV on a daily basis.
Laura lost her beloved husband, Donald Dale Petersen, when he passed on December 31, 2016. Laura was preceded in death by her sister, Geraldine Stempin, and her brother, Carl Stempin. Two of her children also predeceased her: Brian Gregory Petersen and Diane Dale Petersen. She is survived by her other children: Randall Duane of Fredericksburg, Virginia; David Alan (June) of San Diego, California; and Dawn Kristene (Gordy) of Wheatridge, Colorado. She leaves behind three grandchildren: Amy Annelle Messer, Jennifer Anne Petersen, and Clare Alder, two great grandchildren: Shawn Randall Messer and Ashlyn Kate Messer. Laura’s sister-in-law, Doris Gertsch, of Cheyenne, Wyoming also survives her.
Carroll-Lewellen Funeral and Cremation Services is entrusted with arrangements.