Majors Tom and Sylvia Petersen retire

After 22 years of faithful service as officers, Majors Tom and Sylvia Petersen recently entered honored retirement.

Both were brought up in The Salvation Army church, and Sylvia is a fifth generation Salvationist. They met at the Long Beach, California corps and were married in 1961.

After college, Tom chose a career in retail management with J.C. Penney’s and Mervyn’s Department Stores. He worked in retail for 19 years, then six years for the Army as a thrift store supervisor in an adult rehabilitation center. He was then transferred to a Red Shield youth center, where he served as director for two-and-a-half years.

Before becoming an officer, Sylvia was active as a church leader, serving as a choir member, timbrel leader and Sunday school teacher. She also worked for the Army as a secretary for nine years.

Tom and Sylvia answered the call to ministry in 1985, thereafter serving in the Southern California Division; Honolulu, Hawaii; Boise, Idaho; and most recently, Reno, Nevada.

Among their most rewarding experiences were forming Hispanic corps in Santa Ana, Compton and Los Angeles, California. Throughout their career they saw changed lives—people accepting the truth of the gospel and gaining a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

A celebration of service was held at the Reno Corps on June 25.

Tom and Sylvia have two children, Eric and Dorla, and four grandchildren, Jordan, Devin, Daniel and Katya. They have retired to Spokane, Washington, to be near their family.

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