Joel Clarence Petersen, passed away on September 12, 2021, at the age of 61, at the
Fairmont Nursing Home in Fairmont, Nebraska. Joel was born on September 13th, 1959, in
Lincoln, Nebraska, to Jerry and Anastasia Petersen. Joel was born with Downs Syndrome and during
this time, Jerry and Annie were proud to raise him themselves in their loving home. In January
of 1960, the family moved to a farm in Cambridge, Nebraska, where Joel spent his childhood.
Joel had one brother, Tim, who was two years younger. They were very close
growing up. Joel attended specialized schooling in Palisade, Nebraska, and then at
The State School for Trainable Children in Cozad, where he made many friends,
learned to read and write, and developed many life skills that made it possible for
him to live on his own as he got older.
While in Cozad, Joel competed in Special Olympics and won many events. He was
proud of his medals and loved to display them in his living room for others to see.
Joel loved to travel and took several bus trips to fun places around the country,
some of his favorites were Disney World and Disney Land.
Joel spent most of his life living in Oxford, Nebraska, where he worked for Mid
Nebraska Individual Services. While in Oxford he also made many lifelong friends
there with town residents and the nice folks that looked after him. He spent many
weekends in Cambridge with family and loved going to the Town Talk for dinner and
attending the Congregational Church service on Sundays. Joel loved playing pool
on the family pool table and also enjoyed watching and attending Husker football
games. Family was very important to Joel. He knew everyone's birthday and loved
to celebrate with cake and ice cream. He loved supporting his niece, Frankie
Petersen Reinwald, and two nephews Gus and Zane Petersen in all of their
activities and sports. Joel also loved animals and had many special cats and dogs
that he remembered and would talk about, though his favorite was "PeeWee" the
Joel is survived by his parents, Jerry and Anastasia Petersen of Cambridge; his
brother, Tim of Cambridge; his niece and nephews: (Tobin) Frankie Reinwald of
Lincoln, Neb., Gus (Bailey) Petersen and Zane (Aimee) Petersen of Cambridge.
Joel's Celebration of Life will be held at a later date, to be determined.
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