The Yankees cap on his head, even when bowling, left no doubt about Peter Petersen’s loyalty.
He brought the same enthusiasm to music — he loved Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley — and his job as a platemaker at Newsday, his family said.
“The best thing for him was working. He loved working in the plate-making department. I think he was the longest-tenured employee in the plate-making department — 48 years,” said his wife, Suzanne.
Petersen, a Lynbrook resident who started working at Newsday as a teenager and retired about 15 years ago, died Aug. 17 at age 78, his family said.
Petersen was born Nov. 6, 1938, in the Cambria Heights section of Queens, attended technical school in Queens and joined the Army in 1961, according to his son, Richard, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Petersen was honorably discharged in 1963 after serving in the artillery.
He married Suzanne Sternfeld in 1966. She was living in the Bronx at the time and had met Petersen when she went to a dance in Queens at the urging of her sister.
“Peter walked by, and then he came back and asked me to dance,” she said. “So we danced. And we missed the last bus back to the Bronx, and he drove us home. He knew, but I wasn’t so sure about him.”
After they married, the couple moved to East Rockaway, and then to Lynbrook in 1974, where they raised their four children.
She said she went to a few Yankees games with her husband, but they became full-fledged fans in the 1960s after seeing how badly the New York Mets played at Shea Stadium. “We were even more devout Yankees fans after that,” she said.
His late brother, Harold, of Malverne, was a Mets fan, and that made for some spirited discussions at family gatherings. “Typically, my father won,” Richard said.
Petersen’s daughter Christine Petersen, who lives in Lynbrook, said she and her father bowled together once a week at the San-Dee Lanes in Malverne. “We had a very special time,” she said. “He wore the baseball cap. He always had a hat on.”
Petersen was also a volunteer with the Lynbrook Fire Department in the 1960s, his family said.
He is also survived by daughters Melissa Petersen of Franklin Square and Jennifer Flickner of Franklin Square.
Services were held Aug. 20 at Flinch & Bruns Funeral Home in Lynbrook, followed by cremation, his family said.