Kenneth Joseph Petersen (“Ken”), age 59, died unexpectedly on December 29, 2018. He spent his last days with his beloved wife and two grandchildren, who adored their “Grampy.”
Ken was born on April 19, 1959, in Meriden, CT, to Ronald and Dorothy Petersen. A naturally gifted athlete, Ken grew up to excel at football in high school and college, and he made physical fitness a priority his entire life.
In 1982, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from C.W. Post University, where he met the love of his life, Toni Ann Manna. She felt blessed every day to have him as the one and only love in her life and regards him as the most loving, kind, honest, and selfless man she will ever know. They married on February 5, 1983 in Valhalla, NY.
Ken and Toni welcomed their son, Dennis Joseph Petersen, on July 22, 1985 in the Bronx, NY. They later welcomed their daughter, Marina Catherine Petersen, on October 2, 1988 in Waterbury, CT. The couple settled with their children in Watertown, CT in 1992, where their family home remains.
Ken was known throughout his life for his incredible work ethic. After welcoming his children, Ken worked full time and went back to school in the evenings to earn his Master of Public Administration from the University of New Haven.
Shortly before his passing, Ken completed a successful career of 34 years at Pitney Bowes. Beginning as a security guard, he moved onto manufacturing, and his interest in people brought him to human resources, where he found his true calling within the company and would eventually be promoted to Vice President of HR. Working in human resources, he helped countless men and women find and maintain meaningful and gainful employment. Ken often said that he literally grew up at Pitney Bowes, and the many lasting friends he made along the way became a second family to him.
Ken’s proudest achievement and greatest joy, however, was his family and the time he spent with them. He loved beach vacations and an evening at the theater with his wife. He enjoyed baseball and hockey games with his son and spin class with his daughter. He cherished afternoons at the playground and summer days at the pool with his grandchildren. His selfless devotion to his family, joyful spirit in spite of adversity, and commitment to living life fully in each moment will be deeply missed.
Ken is survived by his wife and best friend, Toni; beloved son, Dennis; his beautiful, loving daughter-in-law, Megan; precious grandchildren, Anne and Joe, who brought Ken and Toni light back into their lives; dear parents Ronald and Dorothy; loving sister, Cynthia Fahey and her husband Dan; loving sister Lisa Hackett and her husband Karl Luschenat; beloved brother-in-law John Manna and his wife Linda; nieces and nephews: Kelly, Allyson, Tyler, Tommy, Meghan, and Katherine; and a closely knit extended family, all of whom are richer in different ways for having been loved by Ken. In passing, he is reunited with his beloved daughter, Marina.
Reposing, Hawthorne Funeral Home, Friday, January 4, 2019 from 4:30 pm - 8:00 pm. Funeral Mass, Holy Name of Jesus in Valhalla, NY on Saturday, January 5th at 10:00 am. Entombment, Ferncliff Mausoleum to follow.
Memorial donations may be made to the Taft School, with notation for the Marina C. Petersen ’06 Scholarship (www.taftschool.org/giving/endowed-funds) or the Lafayette College Marina C. Petersen ’10 Study Abroad Scholarship, specifying the name of her scholarship in the comments section (https://development.lafayette.edu/ways-to-give/).
HAWTHORNE FUNERAL HOME
21 West Stevens Ave
Hawthorne, New York 10532