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Official Obituary of

Raymond E. Petersen

June 27, 1939 ~ March 30, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Raymond Petersen Obituary

Raymond E. "Ray" Petersen, age 84, of Carpentersville, Illinois passed away on March 30, 2024. He was born in Chicago, IL on June 27, 1939 to Charles and Esther Petersen.

Ray spent his childhood exploring the city of Chicago by riding the ‘L’ and taking wagons of lemonade to sell at the stockyards. He attended Fenger High School and Chicago Vocational High School. Having never met a stranger and always ready for adventure, Ray entered into service with the U.S. Marine Corps at the age of 17, spending time in California and Japan, and proudly served for 3 years.

In 1982 Ray began his decades long career at Inland, where his hardwork and dedication earned him the title of President of Inland Mortgage Corporation. Upon retirement, he continued his involvement by serving as a board member of Inland Mortgage Investment Company, LLC.

Always full of energy and spirit, Ray kept himself busy with his many hobbies and interests. He greatly enjoyed travel, both domestic and worldwide. He would take cross-country motorcycle trips, go hiking and camping, and wine tasting. In fact, he considered himself a wine connoisseur. When home he would spend time listening to classical music and attending performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He also loved dressing up for Halloween and decorating the yard for Christmas.

For Easter of 2008 Ray was invited to attend Willow Creek Community Church. The Lord, Jesus Christ, met him there, and Ray prayed for Jesus to lead his life. He later described that he tried to leave after the service, but felt compelled to walk to the front and be prayed over by the pastor. Because of this change to his life, Ray started to attend regularly, proclaiming the Gospel, and volunteering in the prayer room at Willow Creek.

In 2011, God brought Wendy into Ray’s life. They married, and enjoyed attending church and Bible studies together. They shared a love of family, gardening, landscaping, and exploring little thrift stores in nearby towns, searching for antiques to restore. Ray successfully restored a 1909 Singer treadle sewing machine, as well as a 1900 English Tudor credenza. In the last years, Ray and Wendy enjoyed the simple things in life - watching the news, World War II documentaries, old John Wayne westerns, and the Marx Brothers movies. They loved feeding the wildlife in their yard, especially the birds, squirrels and deer.

One of Ray’s greatest joys was working in the yard. He was known for spending whole days pulling weeds, planting flowers, and working on his waterfall and pond. He worked tirelessly outside in all types of weather. He loved his Stihl chain saw, cutting down trees and then making his own mulch. From ages 74 to 79, he worked continuously on multiple construction projects in the backyard. He created (without plans) two waterfalls, a stream, a large cedar deck, a curved bridge, a brick patio, a koi pond, and many trails. He single handedly moved over 40,000 pounds of boulders and rocks to complete these projects. He also delighted in showing everyone the progress year after year, as well as teaching some of the grandkids carpentry skills as he was building the deck.

Ray cherished time with family and friends. He and Wendy attended dozens of grandkids' and great grandkids' events, including baseball and soccer games, plays, dance recitals, gymnastics exhibitions, concerts, recitals and graduations. His favorite family times were the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. He was well known for his lavish spreads, especially the hors d’oeuvres tables. Ray and Wendy regularly hosted over 80 family and friends during these holiday gatherings.

Ray is survived by his loving wife of 12 years, Wendy Petersen, six children from previous marriages: Dawn Fry, Diana (Frank) Feraco, Raymond (Deanna) Petersen, Jr., Jeffrey (Stephanie) Petersen, Victoria Petersen (Luis Rodriguez Rosario), and Elizabeth (Andrew) Martowski, two stepchildren: Matthew (Cori) Bryant and Joshua (Tamara) Bryant and nephew Steve (Bernadette) Schultz. He is also survived by his many grandchildren, Nicole (Mike) McElwee, Shannon (Chris) Hartwig, Chad Petersen, Brandon Petersen, Holly (Steve) Haug, Drew Bryant, Alec Parthe, Ian Bryant, Frankie Feraco, Danielle Fry, Marisa Bryant, Isaac Petersen, Anika Petersen, Briana Feraco, Braelyn Bryant, Tallulah Bryant, Brooks Martowski, and baby Martowski due in June. He was blessed to have five great-grandchildren: Emma Hartwig, Sarah Haug, Liam Haug, Alaina Haug, Logan Haug. He was preceded in death by his father Charles, mother Esther, brother Charles (Cle0), sister Charlotte (Millard) Schultz, and niece Debbie Clay.

Ray will be dearly missed by all who knew him. He will be forever remembered as a patient and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, as well as a faithful friend to many. His laughter and his sense of humor will be greatly missed. He was a man of great faith, and devoted to daily prayer.

A "Celebration of Life" gathering for Raymond will be held on Sunday, April 21, 2024, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Willow Funeral Home & Cremation Care, 1415 W. Algonquin Rd., (one half mile east of Randall Rd.) Algonquin. The schedule includes Fellowship Time from 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Testimonials from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, and Military Honors under the auspice of the United States Marine Corps. at 4:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Marine Corps. Toys for Tots at or the Wounded Warrior Project at

Online condolences may be expressed to the family by clicking on Tribute wall.




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Memorial Visitation
April 21, 2024

11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Willow Funeral Home
1415 W. Algonquin Road
Algonquin, IL 60102


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