It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved family member, Eileen R. Petersen, or Judge Petersen, as she was known throughout the Virgin Islands community.
Judge Petersen far surpassed her humble beginnings. She was a graduate of the Virgin Islands public school system and after attending college at Hampton Institute, now Hampton University, embarked on a career as an English teacher. She found her true calling in the law, but never lost her roots as a teacher.
Eileen R. Petersen’s legacy of service to the people of the Virgin Islands spans decades. Her legal career took her from the Virgin Islands Department of Justice as an Assistant Attorney General to the Municipal and Territorial, now Superior, Courts. She was the first woman judge in the territory and the first chairman of the Virgin Islands Control Commission. In these capacities, Judge Petersen traveled the world as a highly regarded panelist and speaker. She was innately a teacher, and mentored many women through her participation in organizations to include the Virgin Islands Bar, National Bar Association, Business and Professional Women, and the Mu Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Her passing was unexpected, but peaceful. We were all so fortunate to have Eileen in our lives, whether as a cherished cousin, aunt, godmother, friend, or mentor. From her we learned many invaluable life lessons: to not be afraid to be the first, to stand by your values, to be fair and compassionate, and to have a sense of humor.
Our family will miss her dearly and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.