Robert G. "Bob" Petersen, 81, retired colonel in the Air Force Reserves, died Sunday, June 17, 2012. He was born Dec. 3, 1930, in Little Rock to Nell and Gregg Petersen.
He graduated from Little Rock High School and attained his undergraduate degree from Hendrix College. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas and began his teaching and coaching career in 1960 at Jefferson Davis High School in North Little Rock.
He moved on to become coach and athletic director at Northwest Mississippi Junior College and then at Kilgore Junior College, where the team won the 1966 NJCAA national football championship. For that accomplishment, the entire Kilgore football team was inducted into the 2008 National Junior College Athletics Association Hall of Fame. After a brief coaching stint at Louisiana College, Bob became a pharmaceutical representative for Smith, Kline & French in Monroe, La. From there, he became a representative for E.R. Squibb in North Little Rock. He retired in 1986.
He served in the Air Force Reserves. He was commander of the 96 MAPS at Little Rock Air Force Base. He specialized in proper aircraft-loading techniques of C-130s deployed from LRAFB. He was an Air Force liaison to Adjutant General Harold Gwatney.
He was an ardent supporter of Camp Aldersgate. He was a member of the North Little Rock Rotary Club, where he participated in the club’s charity efforts. One in particular he supported was the "I Like Me" campaign to provide books for kindergarten children.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Melba; two sons, R. Gregg Petersen II and wife Marie D. Friend and Steven B. Petersen and wife Denise, both of Little Rock; five grandchildren; one great-grandson; and two sisters, Barbara Huban of Conway and Andrea Gillespie and husband Melvin of Beaver Creek, Ohio.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church in North Little Rock.
The family requests memorials be sent to Camp Aldersgate, 2000 Aldersgate Road, Little Rock, AR 72205; the First United Methodist Church Library Fund, 6701 John F. Kennedy Blvd., North Little Rock, AR 72116; or the NLR Rotary Club, c/o "I Like Me," P. O. Box 651, North Little Rock, AR 72115.
Sign the online guestbook at www.nlrfh.com.