John Dwane Petersen, loving husband, father, brother, and friend, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on July 25, 2022 at age 55. With his stubborn determination and unbending faith in his Savior, John bravely faced his battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gherig’s disease).
John was born on April 5, 1967 to Carl Dwane Petersen and Betty Jane Bollschweiler in Murray, Utah. He was a sweet, caring little boy, always seeing the needs of others and offering to help. Growing up, John lived near Little Cottonwood Canyon where he developed his love for the outdoors. John would always spend his free time outside with his lifelong friends. One of them said it best, “I have never seen anyone jump a dirt bike farther, run faster, play better basketball, jump off a higher cliff, or shred the wake on a water ski better than John. In my mind’s eye, I can still see him seemingly defying gravity, flying 30 feet over my head on a dirt bike motorcycle, wearing only a pair of Levis and Vans, with his long 80’s rocker hair blowing in the wind…Rock On John!”
John attended Alta High School, graduating in 1985. He made the varsity team in soccer his freshman year but decided to pursue his skills in pole vaulting. John held many state records and was offered a full ride track and field scholarship at West Point, but declined, not wanting to join the military or cut his beloved hair.
In 1989, John met his eternal companion, Amy. Shortly before meeting, Amy and John attended a Bon Jovi concert separately. John jumped on stage, high-fived Bon Jovi, and was dragged off by security guards. A few weeks later, they met during a young adult boating activity. While sitting on the beach talking, a Bon Jovi song played and they discovered they had been at the same concert and John had been the one who was thrown out. They were together from that day on and married in the Salt Lake City Temple on January 4, 1991. Boating and Bon Jovi continue to bring their family together.
John has always been an extremely hard worker, using those skills in a variety of jobs. He started his own sprinkler company, Conservation Sprinkler, and later expanded to Conservation Sprinkler Supply Company. He also owned his own construction business, JDP Construction. A jack of all trades, John found joy in building and fixing things, always quick to volunteer those talents in the service of others. He built his family’s current home, reupholstered many boats, and restored a 1980 Fiat convertible.
One of his most memorable jobs was working on the construction of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. John was a faithful member of the Church. He was known for joining many Young Men high adventure trips and took pride in being an Eagle Scout. He held several leadership positions but his favorite calling was always to be in the Primary. John always knew Primary was sacred and believed when Christ returned to the Earth, He would visit the children first. John’s faith and testimony was built upon the simple truths of the gospel.
John was a natural athlete. He is often remembered for being incredibly competitive in any sport including church and community basketball games, and he never missed a neighborhood Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl. He loved riding motorcycles at the Sand Dunes, water skiing at Lake Powell, and teaching, while showing off his acrobatic skills on the trampoline.
John is a devoted husband and father. He has three children, Alexa, Dane, and Jada. He also adored his many “pups.” He taught his family the importance of hard work, service, and rocking out to 80’s music with an ice cold Coke in hand.
Throughout his life, John would always say “listen to understand.” When ALS took his ability to speak, he increased his already present skill to listen. We are anticipating listening to him as he continues to influence our lives. We look forward to a happy reunion where we will see his blue, sparkling, teasing eyes and hug our loving father and friend, to never say goodbye again.
John is survived by his wife, Amy, his children, Alexa, Dane, and Jada; his mother, Jane, and his eight siblings. He was preceded in death by his father, Carl.
The Petersen family would like to express their deepest appreciation for family, friends, neighbors, and medical professionals who helped care for him. They have been sustained by your love and support for the past three years.
Funeral services will be held Monday, August 1, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. with a viewing prior from 9:45-10:45 a.m. at the Manila Stake Center (850 N 900 E, American Fork, Utah, sharing the parking lot with the Timpanogos Temple).
A viewing will be held the prior evening, Sunday, July 31, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel (6141 West 11000 North, Highland, Utah).