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Dr. Edward Petersen
(November 19, 1921 - June 3, 2013)

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Edward Schmidt Petersen, M.D. passed away at his home in Middleburg, VA on June 3, 2013 after a fall and subsequent hospitalization. Dr. Petersen was born on November 19, 1921 in Chicago, IL. He was educated at the Chicago Latin School (1939), Harvard College (1942) and Harvard Medical School (1945). He served in the U.S. Army in the Medical Corps from 1946-48, and the U.S. Public Health Services (R) (Inactive) from 1948-81. After a brief period in private practice and two years as Assistant Director of Professional Services at the Veteran’s Administration Research Hospital in Chicago, he received an appointment to the Northwestern University Medical School in 1954 as the Director of Clinics. He later became Assistant Dean and then Associate Dean of the Medical School. In 1972 he joined the American Medical Association in Chicago as the Assistant Director and then Director of the Department of Undergraduate Medical Education. He concurrently served, starting in 1976, as the Secretary of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. He retired from the AMA in 1988. Dr. Petersen was particularly interested in medical history and the history of the American West. He won the University of Pacific Philip A. Danielson award for historical writing in 1972 for his article “The Military Surgeon in the West”, and he wrote more than 30 articles on various medical and Western history subjects over his career. He also had a lifelong interest in geology, classical archeology, and European history. He was active in The Westerners, Chicago Corral, and several medical societies, including The American College of Physicians, The American Diabetes Association, The Association of American Medical Colleges, and The American Association for the History of Medicine. He was also on the Committee on Hospitals and Clinics, The Illinois Department of Public Aid, and was a Director of Hull House in Chicago as well as being on the Board of The Civic Association of Lake Geneva, WI. During his retirement, Dr. Petersen volunteered for many years at both The Newbury Library in Chicago and The Sporting Library in Middleburg, VA. Dr. Petersen spent nearly every summer of his life at his family home at Black Point, Lake Geneva, WI. He loved sailing and at the time of his death was the longest serving member of the Lake Geneva Yacht Club. He was also a long time member of the Lake Geneva Country Club and Racquet Club of Chicago. Nothing made him happier than spending time with family and friends and his attendance record at graduations, weddings, reunions, and other celebrations large and small was near perfect. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Zoe Bakeeff Petersen, his daughter, Catherine P. Mack of The Plains, VA, his son, Edward B. Petersen of Washington, D.C., eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Black Point, Lake Geneva, WI in mid-July. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to The Newbury Library, Chicago, IL.


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