School 14

James C. Petersen

September 6, 1944 ~ December 4, 2018 (age 74)

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James C. Petersen, 74, of Julian, NC, passed away December 4, 2018.  He was born in Buena Vista County, Iowa, on September 6, 1944, to the late James and Leone Petersen.  James received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from Northern Iowa University and his PhD from the University of Iowa.  For 25 years, he served as the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, professor of sociology and Director of the Kercher Center for Social Research at Western Michigan University.  The last seven years of his career were spent as a professor of sociology and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  James authored and edited many books and journals and had a passion for research. 

His other interests included making pottery, playing music on the banjo and guitar, and he was a luthier.  James had a love of animals and had many canine companions and fish over the years.  He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and brother who will be deeply missed.

Survivors include his wife of 27 years, Deborah Bartz; two sons, Eric Petersen (Kelly Merriwether) and Kurt Petersen (Amy Wenglar); three step sons, Jarrod Bartz, Joel Bartz (Erika) and Joshua Bartz (Rachelle); one brother, Gene Petersen (Diane); and six grandchildren, Kendall and Jasmine Petersen, Jeremiah, Annabelle, Elizabeth and Jonah Bartz.

The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 pm on Thursday, December 6, 2018, at Cumby Family Funeral Service, 1015 Eastchester Dr., High Point.  Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, December 7, 2018, at the funeral home with Rev. Joel Bartz officiating.  Interment will be held in Michigan at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Ruff Love Rescue, PO Box 2013, Thomasville, NC 27361, Art Alliance Greensboro at or Southern Poverty Law Center at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James C. Petersen, please visit our floral store.


December 6, 2018

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Cumby Family Funeral Service - High Point
1015 Eastchester Drive
High Point, NC 27262

Funeral Service
December 7, 2018

11:00 AM
Cumby Family Funeral Service - High Point
1015 Eastchester Drive
High Point, NC 27262


Ruff Love Animal Rescue
P.O. Box 2013, Thomasville NC 27361

Art Alliance Greensboro

Southern Poverty Law Center

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