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Peterson, Jr., Albert Carl

Peterson, Jr., Albert Carl

December 1, 1930 — August 5, 2019

Albert Carl Peterson, Jr., of Kansas City, Missouri, age 88, passed away on August 5, 2019, at Research Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, after a brief illness. He was surrounded by his loving children Jamie Ann Peterson Ashton, Jennifer Peterson, and Paul Peterson.

Al, or Carl, Jr. as he was known to his family, was born on December 1, 1930, in Adams County, Iowa to Geneva Hinton Peterson and Albert Carl Peterson, Sr. He was a child of the Depression and developed a strong work ethic at a young age by working alongside his father doing odd jobs and construction work to provide for his family. From the time he was a teenager, he was a proud dues-paying member of the local union for contractors. Al would go to monthly union meetings with his father in Corning, Iowa. After his mother’s death in 1948, he went on to graduate from Villisca High School and then attended community college in Clarinda, Iowa, often hitchhiking to get to class. Al began studies at Iowa State University where he majored in Civil Engineering with the encouragement of his father to become an engineer. To pay for his education, Al would hitchhike to Seattle and catch the ferry to Alaska for his summer job in construction. Al graduated from Iowa State in December 1952.

Al was married to Elynor (Jamie) Jamison Peterson Wagle on February 7, 1953 at the First Methodist Church, Clarinda, Iowa. Shortly after their marriage, Al joined the U.S. Air Force and was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant. After basic training in San Antonio, Texas, he was transferred to Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. Jamie joined him at Scott Air Force Base where they stayed for about 1 ½ years before Al was discharged.

Upon moving to Kansas City, Missouri, Al was hired by Black & Veatch where he began what would become a stellar career as a civil engineer. He was highly regarded for his integrity and innovations in the field and became a mentor to many. Al served as “the authority” on wastewater treatment plant layout and design. He was involved in or responsible for many of the most important water and wastewater treatment projects conducted by the company during his 43 years with Black & Veatch. He supervised projects in the U.S. and abroad.

In those early years in Kansas City, Al took a break from his budding career at Black & Veatch, as he and Jamie moved to Alaska for a bit of an adventure, where Jamie was a nurse and Al worked on the White Alice project, connection to the DEW Line. Al would tell how he opened a bank account in Creston, Iowa and he and Jamie would deposit money faithfully each month. When Al and Jamie left Alaska, they went to the bank in Iowa to withdraw the savings so they could drive to Mexico for an extended time to enjoy the sunny beaches. The bank was quite surprised to see the owners of these mysterious Alaskan deposits to their bank.

Al and Jamie returned to Kansas City after their Mexican holiday and Al resumed working at Black & Veatch. They constructed a mid-century modern house on a wooded plot of land near Swope Park on Gregory Boulevard. Al’s father helped with construction of this house. Al and Jamie’s three children Jamie Ann Peterson Ashton, Jennifer Peterson and Paul Peterson were born during this time. Al earned an MBA from the University of Kansas, taking classes at their campus in Kansas City while he worked at Black & Veatch. The family enjoyed camping and driving vacations across the United States and Mexico. Al loved to travel and explore every roadside attraction and historical spot along the way, and he often included extended family members on these trips. Later Jamie and Al divorced.

Al married Patsey Hemenway in 1970, and they began a blended family with Patsey’s children Rick and Karen and with Jamie Ann, Jennifer and Paul. Patsey managed their home and children’s schedules, as Al’s work life began to include projects in foreign countries. During this time, Al’s interests grew to include wine tasting, sailing and Chiefs games at Arrowhead Stadium. Al still loved to travel and he and Patsey enjoyed trips and cruises to exotic places around the world.

In his later years, with traveling behind him, Al could be found contentedly enjoying a Manhattan at 4 p.m., watching clouds from his backyard patio. Al was a modest person with a big and generous spirit. He and Patsey were life-long United Methodists who actively lived their faith as members of the Swope Park United Methodist Church where they met, and then for decades at Red Bridge United Methodist Church when they settled in south Kansas City. Al continued to volunteer and was always eager to help those less fortunate, supporting many charitable organizations until his last days. Al is survived by his wife Patsey Peterson; children Jamie Ann Peterson Ashton (Tom) of Bellingham, WA, Jennifer Peterson of Oak Park, CA and Paul Peterson (Sarah) of Westwood, KS, Rick Hemenway (Marilynn), and Karen Hemenway; grandchildren Brennan Ashton, Ossian Peterson, Christopher Dykes, Erica Dykes, Kevin Hemenway (Megan), Lisa Hemenway; great-grandchildren Paige Hemenway, Zoey Hemenway, Sumer Barker and Skye Barker; sisters Dianne Knudson (Jerry), Elizabeth Peterson White (Gary) and Sue Peterson Selby (Mike); nephews and niece Todd Knudson, Tracy Tvrdy (David), Travis Selby (Kim) and Alex Selby (Sarah).

Al was predeceased by his parents Geneva Hinton Peterson and Albert Carl Peterson, Sr., step-mother Lola Wolf Peterson, granddaughter Stephanie Hemenway, many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

On August 31, 2019, visitation will be at 11:00 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 12:00 p.m. at Red Bridge United Methodist Church. Memorial gifts may be given to Harvesters, 3801 Topping Ave., Kansas City, MO 64129, (816) 929-3000,

Please visit the funeral home website, to share condolences and memories.

Service Information

Visitation: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Saturday, August 31, 2019 at Red Bridge United Methodist Church 636 East 117th Street, Kansas City, MO 64131

Services: 12:00 p.m., Saturday, August 31, 2019 at Red Bridge United Methodist Church 636 East 117th Street, Kansas City, MO 64131


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