Frances Petersen

Frances Marie (White, Sedlak) Petersen of Winter Park, Florida, and formerly of Hayward and Racine, our beloved mother, Frances, is now with God and cherished family after passing peacefully at home on Sept. 3, 2021, at age 100.

Frances was born Aug. 4, 1921, in Hayward to Ingvald and Oline Amundson Melby. She, along with her older sisters, moved to Racine during World War II. Frances began work for Rainfair, producing clothing for the military. After her marriage to the late Victor McKinley White, they settled in Wind Point. Frances enjoyed the views and the proximity to Lake Michigan for beach walks. She became a homemaker and they raised two daughters: Kathleen and Carol.

Frances loved her large family of 11 siblings, along with many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and cousins. She traced her Norwegian heritage back to the 1300’s as Kings of the Isle of Man, while enjoying trips to visit her cousins in Norway for happy family reunions on her mother’s and father’s sides.

During the span of many years, Frances enjoyed a wide variety of social activities. Among them were PTA and St. Luke’s Hospital Auxiliary. She loved playing cards with her many friends, both at her residence at Lakeshore Towers and The Atrium. In addition, she loved shopping, dancing, golfing and fishing. She was a member of Meadowbrook Country Club and Racine Bible Church.

In 2013, Frances moved to Winter Park, Florida, to be near her daughter, Carol, and granddaughter, Kirra. She made many new friends and enjoyed an active life, both at her home at Westminster Winter Park and by attending First United Methodist Church in Winter Park.

Travel was stimulating and enlightening to Frances. She instilled a passion for travel in her daughters and grandchildren. She traveled around the world to many countries, always developing friendships. Frances was curious and filled with wonder at the beauty of God’s world.

Frances is survived by her daughters, Carol White Hughes of Winter Park and Kathleen Ann Burke (Robert), of Lafayette, California; grandchildren, Hunter Burke (Ashlee) of Boulder, Colorado, Tanner Burke (Josh Jacobs) of Oakland, California, and Kirra Hughes Mesches (Tai) of Fort Collins, Colorado; great-grandchildren, William Sadler Burke and Scarlett Elizabeth Burke, both of Boulder; sister-in-law, Vivian Melby of Hayward; and many cherished nieces and nephews.

Frances was preceded in death by her husbands, Victor McKinley White, Walter Sedlak and John Petersen. Also, preceding her in death were beloved sisters, Eleanor Dase (Edward), Inga Larsen (Stanley), Gladys Larsen (Skeets), Ruth James (Lyle), Minnie Weiler (Edward) and Betty Rumen (John); brothers, John Melby (Gwen), Orville Melby (Julia), Melvin Melby (Grace), Neil Melby and Clifford Melby (Eunice); along with several beloved nieces, nephews, aunts and cousins.

A celebration of Frances’ life will be held at West Lawn Memorial Park’s Chapel, 9000 Washington Avenue, Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, 53406, on Saturday, Sept. 25, with visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral ceremony at 10:30. A committal service and interment will follow. Pastor Spencer DeBurgh will officiate.

Contributions in memory of Frances may be made to Caring with Love-Lydia Rodriquez.

Condolences and stories of Frances may be shared at

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