Obituary of Kenneth F. Petersen
Kenneth F. “Ace” Petersen, 90 of St. Petersburg, Florida (formerly of Penn Yan, NY) died February 19, 2022. He was a retired union bricklayer and an internationally known brass soloist with various Drum Corps.
Ken was born April 2, 1931 in Penn Yan, the son of Marius and Mary Petersen. He began playing trumpet at age 9 and by 1947 had started his Drum Corps career.
Beginning in the mid-1950’s he was featured field soloist for the famed Geneva Appleknockers and was noted for his tone, power and range. During this time, he also became featured soloist for the Appleknocker indoor shows and played Carnegie Hall in New York among other venues.
He became corps director and brass instructor for various corps in Western New York and also established a reputation for teaching teens and young adults music and life lessons, helping them succeed when they previously were struggling.
In 1991, at the age of 60 Ken returned to marching competition with Rochester’s Empire Statesmen, helping them win their first of several World Championships. In the 2000s he helped win another World Championship with the Ghost Rider mini-corps. He also joined The Mighty St. Joe’s Alumni Corps and played exhibitions until the age of 86, finally retiring after a 70-year career.
Ken is a member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame and the Bugler’s Hall of Fame, where he was inducted by legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. He also is a life member of the Elks Club in Penn Yan and a member of The Moose Club and Sons of American Legion.
Ken is survived by son Chris (Barb) Petersen of Riverview, FL and daughter Kenna (Carl) Fischer of St. Petersburg, FL; sisters-in-law Pat Pedersen of Penn Yan, Babe Ferraro of Geneva and Alice Pedersen of Farmington; nephews Mike (Vicki) Pedersen and Preston Pedersen of Penn Yan; nieces Dana (Jim Loree) Cohrs and Rachel Cohrs of Geneva; cousin Ruth Hilfiker; extended family Ann Kirch, Neil Kirch and Su Genecco; and numerous friends from his very active life.
He was predeceased by his wife of 64 years Phyllis Petersen, son Dane, his parents, brothers-in-law Howard Pedersen and Thomas Ferraro, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Friends and family may call on March 5, 2022 10AM-Noon at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Penn Yan, NY with a funeral service to follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests you consider a contribution in Ken’s honor to Yates County Humane Society, PO Box 12, Penn Yan, NY 14527, or via www.yateshumane.org.
Arrangements handled by Townsend Wood & Zinger Funeral Home in Penn Yan and Reese Funeral Home in Seminole, FL.