NAUGATUCK — Martin Raymond Petersen, 89, of Naugatuck and formerly of Beacon Falls, passed peacefully into eternal rest on Thursday, March 12, 2020, at Beacon Brook Health Center with his family by his side. He was the devoted husband of Elaine Margaret (Petruny) Petersen for more than 69 years.
Mr. Petersen was born on March 14, 1930, in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pa., a son of the late Ogaard Morris and Ruth Anna (Tschauder) Petersen. He was a graduate of Seymour High School, Class of 1947, and he attended the University of New Haven founded on the campus of Yale University. Mr. Petersen was a proud U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. As the top graduate in his basic training class and because he was a skilled marksman, Martin was asked by the Army to remain and serve stateside as a guided missile instructor at Redstone Arsenal, the center for the U.S. Army’s missile and rocket programs. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to Beacon Falls with his wife, Margaret, and he resumed his career as a manufacturing engineer with the former Homer D. Bronson Company. He retired in 1992 after more than 40 years of service.
A true country gentleman, Martin enjoyed hunting and fishing, working in his garden and workshop, and he loved all things pertaining to the natural world, especially the backyard birds and his apple trees. He was a founding member of the High Rock Sportsman Association, and in later years, he enjoyed membership in the Naugatuck-Pomperaug Chapter of Trout Unlimited, serving on its board of directors for a number of years. Martin was an avid outdoorsman who upheld the principles and motto of the HRSA: “Conserve and Preserve.” As such, he remained passionate about environmental conservation and he enjoyed working alongside Connecticut DEEP staff stocking trout and salmon throughout the year.
Martin was skilled and knowledgeable about many things, particularly fresh and saltwater fishing, and he loved to share that knowledge with everyone at any time. He was a recognized and published fly-tyer, and he took great pride in his ability to both build and restore fishing poles, especially classic bamboo fly rods.
Martin was a loyal fan of both the UConn men’s and ladies’ basketball teams, in addition to New York’s Yankee baseball team, he enjoyed learning and the Discovery Channel, and he was a proud Grampa who supported his grandchildren in all their activities. He celebrated his Catholic faith daily and his generosity of spirit, his patience and integrity, and his quiet humility made him a role model for his children and all those whose lives he touched. Martin was often described as a kind and gentle man, and he appreciated all that he was given by God.
Beside his beloved wife, Margaret, left to cherish his memory and honor his legacy are his children, his daughter, Karen Petersen and her husband, Stephen Colton, of Southbury, and his son, David Petersen and his wife, Tammy, of Oxford; his brother, John Petersen and his wife, Isabel, of Beacon Falls; and his cherished grandchildren, Caitlin and Bryan Petersen of Oxford. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews and countless dear friends.
Martin was a devoted son and brother, husband and father, Grampa and friend who will be remembered for his selflessness and the ways he looked out for and cared about others. He lived to serve the Lord with gladness. He was deeply loved. He will be forever missed.
The Petersen family would like to thank and acknowledge the staff and caregivers of both Beacon Brook Health Center and Vitas Healthcare for their excellent and compassionate care and for the support they provided Martin and his family during his illness.
When considering a memorial contribution, the Petersen family requests that you perform a simple act of kindness for a friend or an individual in need.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 20, 2020, with the funeral procession leaving the Naugatuck Valley Memorial/Fitzgerald Zembruski Funeral Home, 240 North Main St., at 11 a.m. and proceeding to St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, 25 Maple Ave., Beacon Falls for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. Burial with full military honors will follow in St. James Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Members of the Naugatuck Veterans Council will meet at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home.
To send an online condolence, visit www.naugatuckvalleymemorial.com.