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John Petersen August 6, 1931 - June 23, 2024

John Charles Petersen

Born August 6, 1931 in St. Louis Missouri passed away peacefully on June 23, 2024 at the age of 92.  A lifelong resident of St. Louis he attended Our Lady of Lourdes primary school followed by CBC High school. He furthered his education by attending Washington University. Being born in the Depression right before World War II provided lifelong lessons about work ethic, perseverance and self-sufficiency. This shaped his outlook on life as he and his two brothers, Jim and Eugene began raising families of their own.

He was the beloved husband of the late Gloria Briede Petersen. This month marks the 69th anniversary of that 1955 wedding celebration. Gloria preceded him in passing in 2016. Never a day went by that he did not mention her name. She was the love of his life.

He is survived by five children: Linda (Jim) Schmuke, John Scott Petersen, Gregory (Anne) Petersen, Lisa (Tim) Kriegshauser, and Christopher (Susie) Petersen. Additionally, he had fourteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren with two more on the way. All five of his children attended The Immacolata Church grade school. His involvement and participation extended well beyond church attendance. He personally helped transform the old church into a gymnasium when the new church was built in 1967. He was a hands-on contributor and developed an unused piece of land into the soccer field behind the school.

He was Senior Vice President of St. Paul Title Insurance in Clayton for many years until he founded his own company Disbursement Advisors, Inc in 1976. It proved to be very successful, and he gained recognition and accolades from professional colleagues for his intellect and attention to detail. His expertise in construction lending and mechanics lien laws garnered him the utmost respect of banks and top law firms well beyond the borders of Missouri. The firm continues in the family tradition under son Christopher’s leadership.

He was involved with several trade organizations in prior decades and had a fondness for The Shamrock Club of St. Louis County where he served as past President.

A lifelong affection for working with tools gave him joy as he tinkered in his workshop for hours on end. He took repurposing to a whole new level as he invented pragmatic, yet sometimes humorous, solutions to household problems.

John loved to read.  Numerous nonfiction books on a variety of topics littered his bookcase. He then would transfer that knowledge on anyone who would listen.  He relished the role of storyteller and educator.

He never smiled more sincerely as when the grandchildren came to his home. His serious patriarchal demeanor quickly gave way to silly interactions and joyful banter.  His well-developed sense of humor has been a treat for all to witness.

Genealogy was another hobby that fascinated him.  He retraced the family tree back to Denmark and cataloged many pages for future generations to read.  When asking him any question about an ancestor you would likely encounter a protracted monologue beginning with the Vikings arrival in North America.

He was an unapologetically practical and resourceful man with a sharp wit and unwavering devotion to family, a sentimental man with confidence and principles. “Papa Bear” was deeply loved and will be missed by all of us.

Services:  Visitation and Memorial Mass will be held Wednesday, July 3, 2024 at Immacolata Catholic Church, 8900 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, MO 63117.  Visitation at 9:30 a.m. with the Mass to follow at 10:30 a.m.  Interment private at Calvary Cemetery.

Visitation and Memorial Mass will be held Wednesday, July 3, 2024 at Immacolata Catholic Church, 8900 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights, MO 63117.  Visitation at 9:30 a.m. with the Mass to follow at 10:30 a.m.  Interment private at Calvary Cemetery.


  1. REPLY
    Richard D. Schreiber says

    Scott: Sorry to read of John’s death. Condolences to you, and your family. John would love it; the last time I saw him was at the Shamrock Dinner last March! I got to know John long ago in my law practice, and we became friends. He knew my Dad the same way. And then, of course, when he was the lynch pin of the Shamrock Club, and almost single handedly brought it back from the brink. John was a great friend. May he Rest In Peace.

  2. REPLY
    Nancy Peters says

    I think the Poker Club is complete in heaven. I know Don is welcoming John as I write our condolences.

    Love and sympathy,
    Nancy Peters

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