Kenneth Petersen

Memorial Service

4:00 pm
Saturday, December 16, 2023
Hartley Funeral Home Chapel
830 2nd Street NE
Hartley, Iowa, United States
Following the Celebration of Life service, the family invites you to the Hartley American Legion Hall for food and fellowship.

Obituary of Kenneth Peter Petersen

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    Kenneth “Kenny Pete” Petersen passed away on November 25, 2023, in Des Moines, IA. He was born in Hartley, IA on October 16, 1945, to Adolf and Emmy (Bern) Petersen. His siblings consisted of two older sisters: Mary Lou Chochon (deceased) and Charlotte Roland (Windsor, CO) and two younger brothers: Lester and Arthur (both deceased).

    Kenny was married to Cheryl (Kern) for 30 years and together they had three children: Michele, Mathew and Amanda. The majority of Kenny’s life was spent on the farm south of Hartley. He was the recipient of the FFA “American Farmer of the Year Award” and was a member of the O’Brien County Pork Producers as well as the Iowa Pork Producers which blessed him with many lifelong friendships.

    In 1986, Kenny and Cheryl opened Pete’s Steakhouse in Hartley. Kenny had a passion for pork and won the “Taste of Elegance” award, and in 1993, the “National Pork Restaurant of the Year” award. After retiring from Pete’s, he continued to work in the restaurant business in the company of good friends in the Des Moines area and was active with the Iowa Restaurant Association where he continued to promote pork. 

    Kenny was strong in his Lutheran faith, serving as Sunday School Superintendent at St Paul’s in Hartley and President of Iowa District West Walther League, spending a great deal of time at Camp Okoboji. He also volunteered as a member of the hospitality team at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines.

    Outside of the restaurant, Kenny enjoyed gardening, building Legos and model trains, photography, and just being together with his children and granddaughters.   

    He is survived by his daughter, Michele and spouse, John Vaubel and granddog, Gia of Okoboji, IA; his son, Mathew and spouse, Laurinda (Denny) and their children: Madelyn of Washington, D.C. and Mollie of Elkhorn, NE; daughter, Amanda and spouse, Greg Lyness and their children: Lydia, Meredith, and Everleigh of Ankeny, IA; his sister, Charlotte Roland; nephews, nieces, and a host of wonderful friends.


 A private family burial will take place at Pleasant View Cemetery near Hartley, IA 

Following the Celebration of Life service, you are invited for food and fellowship

at the American Legion Hall in downtown Hartley.


A memorial will be made in Kenny's name

to a Des Moines organization

which provides mental health services.


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