Charles Henning Petersen passed away on February 2, 2022 at the age of 81.
He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years Klaris Petersen and children: Brian, Carolyn and Andy. Charles is also survived by his sisters Karen Norquest, Margaret Anderson; nieces Britta, Brenda and nephew Peter.
He was preceded in death by his parents Theodore and Gertrude Petersen; sister Barbara Leatherbury along with brother “Billy” William Petersen who died while serving the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War in 1967.
Charles loved the outdoors so it’s no surprise that he studied Forestry in College at the University of Idaho. He completed certification as a Log Scaler and would go on to work as a Timber Assessor for the Oregon State Department of Revenue in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. He regaled his family with stories of the many adventures he had assessing timber value in Southern Oregon, hiking all over our great state. He had some tragic experiences including being assaulted by escaped prisoners in John Day, had a near miss from a Timber Rattlesnake striking near his face while working on the side of a mountain, and was shot at near Cave Junction by someone illegally growing marijuana where he was working on surveying timber value at that time.
He loved animals and had a special fondness for his cats. He also enjoyed feeding watermelon to a female deer he lovingly named ‘Jane Doe’ who over the last 9 years may have had as many as 13 offspring on their property.
He enjoyed hobbies like putting together puzzles and was quite efficient at completing them quickly. He had a lifelong love of golf and bowling with many trophies to prove it. He had a great sense of the history he lived through telling family and friends about his childhood in Arizona during the era of atomic testing and his later experience as a teenager working for a rancher Kenneth Arnold who had previously reported seeing UFO’s over Washington State in January 1947 which is the first documented sighting of “Flying Saucers.” He combined his experiences with a love of news and politics which made him a fascinating storyteller.
He will be dearly missed by all who knew him and so many who shared time with him including those in the cafes he frequented, to his friends in Merlin, Oregon who visited with him several times a week at the Merlin Senior Center for lunches over the past 20 years.