US Marine Corps

Peter Henry Michaelsen

February 15, 1926 ~ December 4, 2020 (age 94)


Peter Henry Michaelsen passed away at the age of 94, on December 4, 2020.  

Peter was born on February 15, 1926 in Tilden, Nebraska to Hans and Alma (Claussen) Michaelsen.  He was raised on the family farm and received his education in Neligh, Nebraska, graduating from Neligh High School in 1943.  After completing his education, Peter worked on the family farm for a year and then went into the Marine Corps.  Peter completed boot camp at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California.  Upon completion of boot camp, Peter served 115 days on nine different ships during his time in the Marine Corps from June 1944 to July 1946.

After his honorable discharge on July 28, 1946, he returned to Neligh, NE where he continued to help with the family farm, remained part of Marine Corp Reserves until August 1950 while also working as a certified Ford tractor mechanic for the Neligh Tractor Company from 1949 to 1951.  On February 26, 1951, he married Ruth Hawk in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and they began to farm east of Neligh until August 1958.  They then moved to central Wisconsin Sherry area where they farmed from August 1958 to January 1991.  After retirement from farming, Peter worked at Festival Foods in Marshfield to keep himself busy.
Peter’s interests included his love of going to auctions, researching family genealogy, being outdoors working in the gardens, mowing lawn, and growing specialty orchids.  He truly did have a green thumb and could make everything grow.  His other passion was the love of small airplanes.  Peter was a licensed airframe and aircraft engine mechanic.  Acquired his Recreational Pilot license and had plans to build a Van’s RV3 single-seat, single-engine, low-wing aircraft upon his retirement.  Later in life, he enjoyed taking many road trips and vacations with his extended family.  He truly enjoyed when Lisa would attempt to ‘get him lost’ on the back roads of Wisconsin.  Peter was like an almanac, always able to find his way back to a familiar road.

Peter was a member of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, where he served on the church council for 18 years; Wood County Farm Bureau for 28 years, where he served as Secretary and Treasurer for many of those years; Associated Dairymen which later merged to become Associated Milk Producers Inc., serving as committee member for the redistrict that allowed him to travel from Canada down to the Caribbean.  

Peter is survived by his daughter Sherry Michaelsen of LaCrosse; son Jerry (Missy) Michaelsen of Marshall, along with two grandchildren, Tim (Megan) Michaelsen of Canandaigua, New York and their four children Mason, MacKenzie, Kacie and Kelsey; and Amanda Havey of Columbus and her son Donald (DJ); two sisters Norma Simon of Stanton, Nebraska and Betty (Richard) Zechmann of Norfolk, Nebraska.  Peter is also survived by his extended family in his life for the last 18 years, Ruth Schulze, Kevin and Lisa Prust, all of Marshfield.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ruth; one brother, Arnold Michaelsen and three sisters, Margareta Anderson, Helen Weinrich, Mary Pettijohn and great-granddaughter Madeline Havey.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, arrangements to celebrate Peter’s life will be held at Fairview Cemetery in Sherry, WI at later date.  Please visit to share thoughts and condolences.

The family extends a very heartfelt thank you to Heartland Hospice team for the excellent and compassionate care of Peter and support of the family.




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