Olaf Petersen
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October 2, 1927 ˜ June 3, 2020

After 92 well lived years, our father passed away June 3, 2020. His own father had passed when he was just 14 years old, leaving him responsible for the family farm while under German occupation during WWII. At age 27, he immigrated to Canada from Denmark with just a few dollars in his pocket and Danish as his only language. His boat landed in Nova Scotia from where he took a train cross country to the West coast where there were more job opportunities. Coming from mostly flat Denmark, the Canadian Rockies made quite an impression. Our mother, Grethe, followed a few months later and they were married in Prince George, BC.
Not long after they immigrated to the US and Dad took up his trade as a cabinet maker. A few years later, with his now 3 children, he moved us to what would become his beloved farm. He evicted the goats from the run down house, moved it to a different location, and remodeled it from the studs out. From there he went to clearing land to raise our cattle. Dad was truly a craftsman, but his real love was farming. He’d talk about what it meant to him to be out in nature, to be “free”.
When our mom passed in 2000, it was difficult. His enthusiasm for life wasn’t so much diminished as less focused. Mom was his rudder in many ways and he missed her. His was an immigrant’s story. Devotion to family, enterprise, sacrifice, hard work, do with less now to have more later. In his later years he’d look back, thinking about his journey in his adopted country, and in near disbelief say, “It’s fantastic”.
He will be so deeply missed. He leaves behind his children, David Petersen, Belinda Sarich and Benjamin Petersen; as well as seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Please sign his guest book @ www.columbian.com/obits

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Published in The Columbian on Jun. 28, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
July 9, 2020
Olaf was a very sweet man and will be greatly missed. I enjoyed hearing him talk about his days on the farm and his beloved homeland of Denmark. He truly loved his life in America and his family and was so proud of the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.
Vicki Fitzsimmons
July 2, 2020
I worked with Olaf for many years as well as his son David. Olaf was a very genuinely nice man. When we would speak his accent was always so heavy Id have a hard time understanding him but he was always willing to repeat himself and do it with a smile. Makes me chuckle when I think about it. He never ever went a day without saying good morning and I can really appreciate his kindness. Rest In Peace Olaf. God Bless.
Steven Sullivan
June 30, 2020
Sorry to hear about the loss of your dad.
Dennis Matson
June 28, 2020
Our condolences to you and your family.
Ed/Sandi Webber
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