Green River Star -

James Vernon "Vern" Petersen


October 17, 2019

Courtesy photo

James Vernon "Vern" Petersen

James Vernon "Vern" Petersen, 96, of Rock Springs passed away Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, at Deer Trail Assisted Living in Rock Springs. A longtime resident of Rock Springs, Petersen died peacefully in his sleep.

He was born Aug. 15, 1923, in Omaha, Neb., the son of Charles C. and Virginia Finlayson Petersen. 

Petersen attended schools in Green River and was a 1941 graduate of the Green River High School. He also attended and graduated from the University of Wyoming with an Education Degree in 1950.

He married Betty Jane Strong in Laramie Sept. 2, 1955, and she preceded him in death May 21, 2012. Petersen was a decorated United States Air Force World War II Veteran who flew 35 missions over Europe.

He was employed by Sweetwater County School District No. 1 as a math teacher and taught school in Rock Springs for 30 years, prior to that he worked as a machinist for Union Pacific. Petersen was a member of American Legion Archie Hay Post No. 24 and Veteran's of Foreign Wars. He also volunteered at Broadway Bargains for many years.

Survivors include one son, Von Petersen of Santa Cruz, Calif., his granddaughter, Centa Atencio and two great-granddaughters June and Lucinda, also of Santa Cruz. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, his son, Jim and three brothers.

Funeral Services were conducted at the Vase Funeral Chapel, 154 Elk Street, Rock Springs. Military honors and interment will be conducted at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens Cemetery.

Friends may call at the Vase Chapel, one hour prior to services. Condolences may be left at


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