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Harold Petersen, Malverne Fire Chief and Deli Owner, Dies

Long-time Malvernite and active volunteer passes away at age of 71.

A beloved leader, a generous businessman, a hero, a coach, a volunteer and a family man. Harold Petersen was all these and more to the residents of the village of Malverne, friends and relatives, who are now mourning his loss.

Petersen died Tuesday at the age of 71.

"He was a fixture in the village, a fixture at the fire department ... just a very special individual," Malverne Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald said Wednesday night.

The long-time Malvernite, who was born in Brooklyn on May 15, 1941, was very active in the village. His family owned Petersen's Deli, which was located at 307 Hempstead Avenue in Malverne for 45 years, and he held many positions within the Malverne Merchants and Professional Association. He spent the past 11 years working for the Fourth Precinct of the Nassau County Police Department.

The Malverne Volunteer Fire Department was deeply saddened by the news of Petersen's death. He devoted 48 years to the department, served as chief form 1977 to 1979, and was still an active member upon his passing.

"It's a tremendous loss," Malverne Fire Chief Scott Edwards said. "To me, it was very sudden and he will be sorely missed."

Petersen also volunteered his time helping the youth in the community by coaching Little League, CYO Soccer and CYO Basketball. And as a charter member of the Malverne Merchants and Professional Association, he invested in the future of Malverne by providing employment for more 40 high school and college students. 

Aside from his dedication to his community, Petersen was also a family man, a loving and adored husband of Linda for 45 years, a devoted father to Lisa Krumpter (Thomas), Thomas (Alicia), Kathryn Von Buttgereit (Robert), and Brian (Thuy), and cherished 'Pipa' of seven grandchildren - Thomas III, Andrew, Ryan, Reiley, Lucas, Matthew, and Casey.

Visitation services will be held Saturday, Aug. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 5, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (with a firematic service at 8 p.m.) at Flinch and Bruns Funeral Home, located at 34 Hempstead Ave. in Lynbrook. The funeral Mass will be Monday, Aug. 6, at 9:45 a.m. at in Malverne followed by interment at 11:30 a.m. at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Petersen's honor to the Make a Wish Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Share your memories of Harold or offer your condolences in the comments section below.

Janine Louise August 02, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Our condolences to the Petersen family who lived down the block from us on Utterby. Harold Petersen was a fabulous man!
mr mac August 02, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Harold didn't just "coach" soccer, he inspired a group of young boys to become Nassau and Suffolk CYO Champions at the Midget and Junior Division levels. His team - the Shamrocks, lost only one game in their last two seasons together and "graduated" as young men.
Famgel August 04, 2012 at 04:13 PM
He was one of the first people i met when moving to Malverne 28 years ago. Such a sweet man, our thoughts and prayers to the family.
Deanna August 05, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Uncle Harold will be remembered as the Uncle who always had a smile on his face and good cheer to share with his nieces and nephews. I will miss him, and extend condolences to his family during this sad time. Deanna Pucciarelli (Petersen)
Vivia Huber August 05, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Harold was a wonderful human being. He always had a smile. My condolensces to Linda and his family. He will be greatly missed. Vivian Huber

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