I join a deeply saddened Virgin Islands community in extending condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones of Dr. Eugene A. Petersen. His name and legacy are synonymous with being a renowned culture bearer, historian, musician, and stalwart of our community. I extend a prayer for comfort, strength, and for the gift of God’s grace to all who mourn his loss.

The embodiment of an outstanding Virgin Islander, Dr. Petersen distinguished himself as a public servant and cultural icon. He possessed a deep-rooted and vested interest in the place that he called home. Throughout his life he demonstrated a standard of excellence and commitment to service. Personally and professionally his impact was felt by Virgin Islanders near and far and will continue to be remembered.

Many throughout the Territory knew of his diligent efforts in striving to always make a difference. He did so through his many endeavors and remained steadfast in giving selflessly of himself. His care and compassion for people also extended to an innate love for animals.

Dr. Petersen studied veterinary medicine and holds the distinction of being the first Virgin Islander to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. He owned his own veterinary hospital and practiced for 25 years. His fondness for horses kept him involved in several areas of the horse racing industry. He served as the President and CEO of the Virgin Islands Racing Corporation and was a prominent voice of the simulcasted races.

His talents were vast and occupied a huge space in the lives of all who enjoyed his performances. As a singer and musician, he was more than just an artist. He was regarded as an icon and trailblazer, who mentored and inspired others to treasure and preserve our cultural traditions. In doing so, he left his mark across various radio and television platforms, organizations, boards, and community events. His wisdom, passion, and devotion to the Virgin Islands will be cherished and live on.

During this time of mourning, I encourage everyone who knew Dr. Eugene A. Petersen to embrace the wonderful times shared with him. May the fond memories of his influence and exemplary life fill your hearts with peace during this difficult time.