Karol Lautner Peterson died early in the morning of August 25, 2015, in her home. She was surrounded by close, loving family members.

Karol was the president of The John Lautner Foundation as well as a former member of several boards and commissions in Marquette, Michigan. She was a lifetime advocate for the work of John Lautner and worked tirelessly to preserve it and to educate others about it.

At the time of her death, Karol was working, along with the rest of the board of directors, with two Cal Poly Pomona professors to help list several Lautner buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.  She was also studying methods for creating endowment funds, in hopes of creating one that will fund the Foundation over many years, and helping develop a preservation fund.

She was the guiding force that created the Foundation in 1996 and saw it through to its acceptance as an educational nonprofit in 1998.

Judy Lautner with Karol in Palm Springs during Modernism Week in 2015.
She was instrumental in developing the year-long celebration of John Lautner’s 100th birthday in 2011.   One of her prime achievements as head of the Foundation was the transfer of the John Lautner archive to the Getty, where it will be protected and preserved for generations to come. She was always celebrating the work of John Lautner in one way or another.

Aside from being a tireless worker for architecture, Karol was a loving mother of two, wife of many years to Bruce Peterson, oldest of seven children of her mother, enthusiastic volunteer at the DeVos Museum of Art (Marquette), preservationist of family history, and loving friend to more people than can be counted. She was always busy, and loved to relax by kayaking in Lake Superior. For 22 years she joined the walk across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day.

Services will be held in Marquette, Michigan, at the
First Presbyterian Church
120 N. Front Street on
Friday, August 28, 2015:

10 – 12 Visitation
12 – 1  Memorial Service
1 – 2  Reception in the church hall

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be given to The John Lautner Foundation at or the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter, 84 Snowfield Road, Negaunee, MI, 49866.

The Foundation also plans to host a memorial celebration of Karol Lautner Peterson’s life in the near future in the Los Angeles area. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.

Last updated: 01-Sep-2015 04:38 PM
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