Nathan Petersen • June 21, 2021
Nate Petersen, who lived a short and sensational life, was admitted on June 17 and died on Monday, June 21, at Sacred Heart Hospital, in Pensacola, Florida. He was 37.
Nate lived a life defined by humor and wonder. Before his 25th birthday he had seen the world, exploring unbeaten paths in places like New Zealand, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Bali, where he revelled in everything from bullfights and wildplassen to coastal glaciers and coral reefs.
Nate was born in California in 1983. A Navy brat, he was educated in a half dozen cities, from San Diego to New Orleans, and graduated a year early from high school. At St. Cloud State University he studied business before earning a master’s degree in finance after graduating at the top of his class he was hired by General Electric as a tax analyst.
In 2010, Nate moved from Ft. Myers to Pensacola, where he settled into a life of golf, spreadsheets and the occasional cocktail at Perdido Bay Golf Course where he went from the cart barn to administrative assistant and Food Beverage manager. When he wasn’t on the golf course he stole away and drove for hundreds of miles to seek out new fairways or renowned international restaurants.
Apart from golf, Nate enjoyed cooking, quoting movies, watching sports and spoiling his niece with presents he sent early and often to as far away as Bali.
His friends will remember him as fun-loving—sometimes capable of being gracious to a fault. A poignant storyteller, he was quick to mix the whimsical with the macabre. Impressively obsessed with the ordinary, Nate should be remembered for the times he reminded us about the power of choice—that we get to consciously decide about what has meaning and what doesn’t. Reminding us that what we choose to write off as mundane, or instead appreciate as meaningful and sacred—the faraway din of child’s laughter, an empty beach, well managed green speed—ought easily be enjoyed as some of the most beautiful and cherished things in our lives, on fire with the same force that made the stars. And more often than not, these joys are hidden in plain sight.
Nate lives on in the stories we will tell about him, today, tomorrow and for years to come.
He is survived by his mother and father, Tony and Betty Petersen; and his brother Zack, his wife Nila and their daughter Sienna.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Perdido Bay Golf Club on Wednesday July 14th at 7 pm.
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