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Otis Eugene Petersen

Gene Petersen Gene Petersen

(Feb. 18, 1937 - Nov. 4, 2016)

Otis Eugene “Gene” Petersen, husband, father, grandfather, uncle and brother, died peacefully in Billings, surrounded by his family on Nov. 4, 2016. He was 79.

Gene was born on Feb. 18, 1937, in Sydney, Montana. He attended school in Sydney where he graduated from high school and entered into the Army. 

He met and married Vonda Lee Madsen. Together, they owned and operated Coley’s Cafe and raised their three children in Cody. After the passing of his first wife, Vonda, he met and married Betty Hamilton in 1999. 

Gene was a member of the Shriners Club, the Masons, the Elks Club and was a prominent member of the Eagles Club where he served as Eagle’s local and state president and as a national representative.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Otis and Elberta (Wagnnor) Petersen; son Baby Paul; first wife Vonda (Madsen) Petersen; grandson Jacob McGrady and many aunts and uncles and cousins.

Gene is survived by wife Betty (Hamilton) Petersen; son Mark (Coralie) Petersen of St. Francis, Minnesota; daughters Jeanne (Don) Wagner of Princeton, Minnesota, and Shelly (John) Anderson of Worland; grandchildren Brandon (Jordynn) Wagner, Jessica, Jordon and Justin Wagner, Stephen and Morgan Petersen, Reba Petersen, Kein, Kyle, Rylee and Logan Anderson; sister Joy Lee (Wayne) Ericksen of Carrollton, Texas and brother Jarold (Mary) Petersen of Cedar Park, Texas; and numerous other family members.

Services will be held at the Eagles Club in Cody on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 1 p.m. A luncheon will be held at 2 p.m. A short graveside service will be held at Riverside Cemetery at 3 p.m.

Cremation services have been arranged with Ballard Funeral Home. An online memorial is available at

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