Allen Petersen

allen petersen

Allen Petersen, 66 of Fargo, ND died Saturday January 19, 2013 at Sanford Palliative Care.

Allen was born December 12, 1946 in Fargo to LeRoy and Florence (Gubrud) Petersen.

He grew up and attended school in Tower City, ND. He graduated from Valley City State University and attended NDSU

On August 11th, 1972 he married Elizabeth Norgon. They raised two daughters Anna and Caroline. Prior to joining the Fargo Public Schools Allen was the guidance counselor at the New Rockford Public Schools and Fort Totten. For the last 35 years he was a guidance counselor at Woodrow Wilson High School in Fargo. He was involved with Dollars for Scholars, Philanthropy and Youth Program and various Counseling and Social Studies Committees. Allen always made time for the students and staff at Woodrow.

Allen had numerous hobbies and interest they included North Dakota History, genealogy, and so much more. He had a rare book business for the past thirty years where he specialized in Western Americana.  Through his book business Allen met many friends.    Allen was a dedicated husband and father and much beloved by all his family.  One of his greatest pleasures was spending time with his family and friends.

Allen is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughter Caroline (Cody) Heilman of Fargo ND, brothers David Petersen Tower City, ND. Ron (Deb) Petersen, Valley City ND , sister Connie (Loren) Sherman, Fingal, ND, and step-sister Terease Tallackson, Tower City ND.  As well as numerous nieces and nephews, and an uncle Lyle Petersen, Little River, SC.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Anna Petersen, parents LeRoy and Florence(Gubrud) Petersen, and step-mother Ann Petersen.

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  1. Fargo ndElisabeth and family,
    I was both surprised and saddened to learn after returning to Fargo about the passing of Allen. My sincere sympathy to you. I truly enjoyed and appreciated his working with me over so many years acquiring North Dakota
    publications for the Institute for Regional Studies. I always enjoyed his visits since we had many common interests. I am sure you and the family are proud in all of Allen’s accomplishments in life. His was a great love for North Dakota
    and its history. Am so glad a part of his research work is permanently a part of the Institute. – John

  2. Puyallup WashingtonWhen we were little our favorite thing to do was to pile in the car and drive to North Dakota
    to visit our family. The Peterson home was always a happy place where we felt welcome. The first morning I was there I woke up to laughter coming from Allen’s bedroom… all the cousins were giggling their heads off while Allen told unbelievable stories! I can remember my mother posting a “Welcome Home, Allen” sign in our kitchen window when he got out of the army. As an adult I often would call him for sound advice, honest opinions, and guidance. Beth and Caroline, “Thank You” for sharing your wonderful Dad with us…He just made life a little sweeter!

  3. I am a past student of Woodrow Wilson. Woodrow Wilson has changed my life forever. The students and teachers at this school are one big family. Allen has taught me so many things, he was always there for all of us. If it was advice in school or life, a shoulder to cry on, or just to joke around with.
    He always said, ” Failure to plan, is planning to fail.” He would not let any of us slack. He would give us the boost we needed, to keep going until we got that diploma in hand. I will forever remember all of his words.
    I was in philanthropy and youth with my classmates, Allen and other teachers . His compassion and heart will live on with us forever.
    On graduation Allen said that I had a huge heart, to keep my head up and expects me to go far in life. Will never forget his smile. We all have another angel to look after us.
    Rest in Paradise Allen. I will never ever forget you.
    Ali Roscoe
    Class of 2010.

  4. West Fargo North Dakota
    Thinking of the family through these difficult days. Will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. I’m a former student of Woodrow Wilson and along with the rest of the absolutely amazing teachers Allen always put every need of every student first. Woodrow Wilson is one of the most amazing school programs and Allen was really the glue that kept everything and everyone together. He made sure I could never fail at anything I did in his class and opened my eyes to so many philanthropy opportunities through PaY. He changed and helped so many of us students’ lives, there will be many of us to pay our respects at the funeral on Thursday morning. He left a great impact behind. Thanks for everything Allen!!

  6. Mott ND
    Am quite taken aback. We shared our common interests in politics, history and literature for decades, but I’d no idea that he was ill. His passing is a blow to his family and friends, but also to the world of books. He was owner of one of the finest collections of North Dakota
    books in existence and without doubt the premier expert on that subject.

  7. Custer South DakotaWhat a nice guy! I really appreciated his knowledge of old and rare books on Dakota. I had the pleasure of knowing Allen when I taught at South High. He is most fondly remembered.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. The loss of a loved one is so heartbreaking. Did you know that dying was not a part of God’s original purpose? Yes, If Adam and Eve would have remained obedient, they along with their offspring would have lived forever. Will God ever fulfill his original purpose? The Bible teaches in Psalms 37:10,11 that one day soon all suffering will come to an end. Also death, a condition that God is not pleased with. John 5:28,29, 1Corinthians 15:26. For more comfort and information please go to Pubications,>Listen To God And Live Forever. You can either read on line or, listen to it.

  9. Fargo When I look back on my high school years, Allen is always one of the people comes to mind immediately. He helped me find direction and was one of only a handful of people who seemed to sincerely want me to succeed without ever passing judgement. Years later when I came back to Woodrow in a teaching capacity, he was a great friend and lunch buddy. In his career he has touched countless lives, even if they didn’t know it at the time. He will be truly missed. The world is different because he was in it.

  10. I was saddened to see that Mr. Petersen had passed away. I inherited a copy of his book Tower City History 1879-1979 in which many members of the Ellsbury family are described. George Henry Ellsbury is my great-great-great uncle and founded Tower City. I am planning a trip to Tower City this month and had hoped to track down Allen J. Petersen. After reading all the tributes, it was apparent to me that he must have been a wonderful man. I’m sure many people miss him

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