Chicago 2

Erik Bjorn Peterson

December 5, 1975 ~ June 11, 2021 (age 45)


Erik Bjorn Peterson,45, of Chicago, formerly of Geneseo passed away on Friday, June 11, 2021, at his home.  A funeral service will be on Monday, June 21, 2021, at First Lutheran Church, Geneseo at 10:30 a.m., with viewing from 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.  Pastor Laura Kamprath will officiate.  A luncheon will immediately follow the funeral service at First Lutheran Church.  Visitation will be held on Sunday, June 20 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Vandemore Funeral Homes & Crematory – Geneseo Chapel.  After the funeral service, cremation rites will be accorded.  Memorials may be directed to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (


Erik was born on December 5, 1975, in Galesburg, Illinois, to the late Roger and Dianne (Carson) Peterson.  Erik graduated from Geneseo High School, University of Iowa with a BS in Psychology, and University of Dayton with a MS in Psychology.  Erik worked as a Director, Customer Experience at HDMS in Chicago. 


Erik was the best brother and greatest friend to many, many people world-wide. He lit-up whatever room he entered and was the master of storytelling, as he always said, “The hallmark of good story telling is embellishment.” His friends ranged in age from 10 to 84!  Erik’s friendships were long-lasting and cherished by him. His sense of humor and quick wit, which he inherited from his beloved mother, endeared him to many.


Erik loved to travel, which he did frequently, visiting six continents, over twenty countries and too many cities to count. Some of his most favorite trips included cruising the Baltics with an extended visit to Sweden, hiking on a 200-year-old glacier in Patagonia with dear friends from Canada, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and perhaps his favorite, going on Safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa, where he was able to see all of “The Big 5” and more, in their natural state (including a close call with a white rhino!). Erik was also well travelled domestically having visited several National Parks.


In addition to travel Erik was a zoo enthusiast visiting them at home and abroad. He was knowledgeable and could speak to everything including music, pop culture, politics, history (he prided himself in knowing all of the US Presidents, in order, by age 5) his cherished tennis, and so many more.  Erik was an excellent cook, loved to try new recipes, and enjoyed many cooking shows, something he shared with his father. In addition to cooking Erik enjoyed trying the latest restaurants and loved a degustation menu, some of his favorites being a 24-course meal at Alinea in Chicago, a 12-course lunch at Per Se in New York, and an awe-inspiring New Year’s Eve dinner, complete with 360-degree fireworks show, at the famed Vu de monde in Melbourne, Australia.


Those left to cherish his memory are former partner and best friend Mark Rottman, Chicago; brother Garth (Beth) Peterson, Cameron, NC; sisters, Angie (Adrian) Graber, Milan, and Michelle (Lisa Finch) Woods, San Rafael, CA. He is also survived by nieces, Chastity (Rick) Sletten, Norfolk, VA; Kajsa (Vern) Wilson, Elgin, SC; and nephews, Travis Graber, Milan; Nick (Kiley) Graber, Dallas, TX; and Avery Finch, San Rafael, CA.  Erik is also survived by great nieces, Daisy Sletten, Revy Graber, and Svea Wilson, great nephew, Taggart Sletten, and God-Mother Jean Swanson, Aledo, IL.  Additional survivors include Erik’s long-time friends; Darlene Sand, St. Charles, IL; Stephanie Armbruster, Riverside, IA; Jenny Dahl, Wellington, NZ; Dee Safford, St. Charles, IL; and his beloved work family including Susan Evans, Teena Karappally, and Rebecca Chien.


Erik was preceded in death by maternal and paternal grandparents, and his parents, Roger and Dianne.





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Visitation - VFH Geneseo
June 20, 2021

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Vandemore Funeral Home - Geneseo
580 E. Ogden Avenue
Geneseo, IL 61254

Funeral Service
June 21, 2021

10:30 AM
First Lutheran Church - Geneseo
114 E. Main Street
Geneseo, IL 61254

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