John L. Peterson

John L. Peterson

Madison – John L. Peterson died on Sunday, September 30, 2012. He was born January 24, 1929 in Waseca, Minnesota to Lawrence R. and Lida (Ericson) Peterson. He married Carolyn Johnson July 18, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois. He leaves two children; a son, Mark, married to Ryia (Ross) and a grandson Jake; a daughter, Elinor, married to Michael J. Guzniczak and two granddaughters, Lauren and Emily.

He attended Waseca, Minnesota public schools graduating in 1947 and then earned a Bachelor degree in Speech from Grinnell College in 1951. He continued his education at Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio earning a Master of Arts degree in Speech and Hearing Disorders in 1952. After serving in the US Air Force for two years, he was employed as a clinical audiologist for Veterans Administration in Atlanta, Georgia. Subsequently, he attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and was awarded a PhD in Audiology in 1959.

He began his career as an educator and administrator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that same year teaching a course in audiology and administering the Speech and Hearing Rehabilitation Center on campus. He moved to Louisiana State University Medical School in 1962 where he developed a graduate training program in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. After a one-year sabbatical leave in 1968-1969 at Sahlgren’s Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, conducting research on the middle ear, he returned to LSU and was selected as Dean, School of Allied Health Professions. He led the school for five years until his return to UW-Madison to become the first Dean of a new School of Allied Health Professions. He stepped down from that position in 1980 to return to teaching audiology in the Department of Communicative Disorders. He retired in 1989.

Continuing his interest in travel which began many years previously, he and his wife took many trips to Europe, Asia, Africa as well as North and South America. He and Carolyn purchased a second home in Seaside, Florida, upon retirement where they spent winter months for several years.

After the death of his wife, he served as a member of the Advisory Council of the Chasen Museum of Art on the UW-Madison campus. He also established the John and Carolyn Peterson Charitable Foundation providing funding to several visual and performing arts programs and architectural activities in Madison and other cities.

A memorial service will be held at FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 203 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison, on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. with Rev. Carly Kuntz officiating. A gathering will be held at the church on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. until the time of service. Private inurnment will be held at Forest Hill Cemetery.

The family requests that you write down your favorite memory/story of John and share online at

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the John and Carolyn Peterson Charitable Foundation, P.O. Box 1507, Brookfield, WI 53008 or Attic Angels Place, Resident Aid Fund, 8301 Old Sauk Road, Middleton, WI 53562.