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Leopold Petersen

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Leopold Leif Petersen

May 10, 1924 - November 15, 2013


It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Leopold “Leif” Petersen of Nelson on November 15, 2013 at the age of 89.

Leif was born in Riga, Latvia to Leopold and Victoria Petersen on May 10, 1924.  In 1951, he immigrated to Canada with his wife Tamara, and after living in Sandon, New Denver and Trail, finally settled in Nelson. 

Leif and Tamara started Petersen's Sewing Service, initially a door-to-door sewing machine business and then later opened up a store – the last location being on the corner of Baker and Ward Streets, which operated for nearly 40 years.   The Petersens raised five daughters most of whom worked in the store at one time or another. 

Leif was predeceased by his parents, daughter Tammy Potts in January 2002, and his beloved wife of nearly 52 years, Tamara, in November 2002.

He is survived by daughters Vicki Matthews, Lana (Phil) Donaldson, Alexy (Wally) Zoobkoff, and Natalie Petersen;  grandchildren Tamara, Donovan and Geoffrey Matthews, Andrea Donaldson, Lorissa, Alicia and Leah Zoobkoff; and great granddaughters Tamara and Maria.

The family extends its sincere appreciation to Dr. Ramsay, Dr. Kalia and Dr. Janz, and to the staff of Mountain Lake Seniors Community for the exceptional care and kindness shown to dad.

Leif will be greatly missed for his kindness and sense of humour and remembered with love and respect by his family and friends.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

Pages: 12

From: Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff

Thompson Funeral Service Ltd. Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Linda Zeznik
Relation: Friend

Sorry to hear of Leif’s passing.
Nelson has lost one of it’s finest citizens.A pleasant and friendly man,he and his sweet wife ran an old fashioned family business,one where it was always nice to visit and chat with them,they always took time for that. A kind and decent man,he is already missed along Baker Street,where you could always see him taking care of business.
Rest in peace Mr. Peterson.
Linda Zeznik

From: James F.
Relation: friend

Leif loved to talk with folks in town. He’d often see me with pack sack and sad frown, and would ask how I was doing. He made me feel interesting, surprising even myself, as he listened to me with his bright eyes watching. Thank you Mr Petersen. Yes, I’m still doing OK.

From: Jamie Chan
Relation: Long time Nelsonite

I met Mr Petersen many years ago as a newly married young women. He often shopped in my brother inlaws store Darwin’s. Which is where I met him.
In later years I managed the local KFC and Mr Petersen brighten the day . When he would come in for a classic and hot chocolate. He always had a smile and a joke. My heart goes out to the family.

From: Arlene Otterbein McMillin
Relation: friend

so sad to read of Mr. Petersen’s passing…I so enjoyed his delightful energy and interest in the world around him….he brightened up the lives of many and he shall be missed….blessings Arlene

From: Kathy Doyle
Relation: long time friend of his daughter so knew Mr. Petersen too

So sorry to hear of Mr. Petersens passing. A true gentleman, with a great sense of humour a smile always. He will certainly be remembered fondly. Kathy & Iain

From: Ron Davis
Relation: friend

I was fortunate to meet Leif just after moving to Nelson in the mid 90’s. I met him and his wife in their sewing store and they rented a sunny apartment to me in the KWC building.

Leif with his wit and cheerful nature was always open for a discussion and he made me feel welcome to Nelson and to drop into the store for a chat at any time.

Thank you Leif,

From: Carolyn Wolfe
Relation: Lived next door growing up.

Lexy and family. So sorry to hear of your loss. We are still in Mexico so cannot attend the service but our hearts are with you nevertheless. He had a great humour, to be sure.

From: Anja E
Relation: went to school with Vicki

My sympathy goes out to Vicki and the Petersen family. I remember Leif mostly from meeting him on his many “walkabouts” in Nelson later in his life; always a smile and pleasant greeting. He and his wife, Tamara, are remembered fondly for their unique sewing store of many years; they are very much a part of Nelson’s history…we still call the corner on Baker – “The Petersen Building”. Anja

From: John Eggleton
Relation: Relationship - How did you know the deceased?

I’m saddened by the news of Leif’s passing. He was a longtime friend who always expressed enthusiasm and optimism which was infectious . He was kind and understanding especially whens and I struggled to find the ‘rent’. I’ll miss him and know he’ll always be loved by his family. To Lana, Victoria, alexia and Natalie your father was a unique and colourful nelson figure who contributed much to the community.im sorry for your loss… With angels may he rest…john

Pages: 12

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
November 30, 2013
Beginning at 1:00pm

Chapel of Thompson Funeral Service
613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L1T2

Burial will follow at Nelson Memorial Park Cemetery

613 Ward Street
Nelson, BC Canada V1L1T2

Memorial Gifts

Memorial donations will be gratefully accepted to:


Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation
#3 View Street, Nelson, BC V1L4M1

Thank You Notice

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621B Herridge Lane, Nelson, BC V1L 7B3
Phone: (250) 352-5592

2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
Phone: (250) 352-3468 / Toll Free: 1(800) 712-6797

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