In loving memory of Robert Henry Peterson

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August 22nd, 1935 – March 25th, 2023

Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, Robert (Bob) H. Peterson, passed away peacefully in Provo Utah on March 25th 2023 at the age of 87 surrounded by his family. He will be sadly missed and will always hold a place in our hearts. We would love for you to come and honor his life at the LDS church located on 1174 South 1700 West, Lehi, Utah on Friday, March 31st at 1:00 pm.

Bob was born in Park City, UT on Aug 22, 1935 to Henry Edgar and Mary Elizabeth Peterson. He was the oldest of three children. Bob spent his childhood in Park City, Vernal and Midway, UT. His father, Henry, aka "Hank" worked many years in the Park City mines. His grandparents, Axel and Jenny Peterson, emigrated from Sweden to Park City to seek their fortune in mining. Bob lived in a small house in Park City on King Road which Hank had purchased for $500.00. His maternal grandmother, Gertrude (Gertie) McKnight lived with them and she and Bob grew to love each other during that time. His grandmother, Jenny, ran a hotel at the top of Main St. in Park City that is now an Italian Restaurant called "Grappa". Both his grandmothers adored him and became an important part of his life. Both grandfathers had died of pneumonia before Bob was born.

Bob had fond memories of his childhood in Park City where he had adventures in abandoned mines, played pool in the bars, and went to movies at the Egyptian Theater. When he was seven years old his younger brother John was born. At age ten he was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. His mother Mary was a convert to the church and his father Henry later joined the church in 1963.

Hank Peterson moved his family to Vernal looking for work in the oil fields when the mines shut down around 1949. He simply had to walk away from their little house; they could not sell it. Bob’s grandmother Gertrude had moved to Vernal where her sisters and her son Art lived. Bob enjoyed his friends and cousins and worked hard trying to earn money doing yard work, shining shoes and setting up pins in the bowling alley. Bob loved being outdoors and was always up for a new adventure. He spent the summers swimming in the Maser Canal, biking to the hills, killing rattlesnakes, and ice skating in the winter. During that time Bob contracted rheumatic fever and found it very difficult to follow the doctor’s orders to stay in bed.

When the oil fields lost their luster and the family moved to Midway. They lived for a short time with his dad’s sister, Margot Mitchell, on the family dairy farm where Bob learned how to milk cows and bale hay etc. The family moved to downtown Midway and later purchased a small farm on the outskirts of Midway, near Memorial Hill. The house and farm building were made of pot rock. He spent his summers cutting timber, only coming home on the weekends. When he was fourteen his sister Judy was born. He loved to tease her, but always looked out for her.

Bob stood tall at six foot four inches and became a star player on the Wasatch High School basketball team. After graduating from Wasatch High, he attended Southern Utah University and played basketball for them. His next adventure was joining the Army from 15 July 1954 to 24 May 1956. He was sent to Fort Belvoir Engineering School in Virginia. From there he was sent to Sendai, Japan to participate in the rebuilding after World War II. After two years serving his country, he served the Lord on a 2 1/2 year mission to Sweden. While there he was able to copy family history from Swedish church records. He was also fortunate enough to meet some of his Swedish relatives. He was a dedicated and valiant missionary who touched many lives for good. After being released, he motorcycled through Europe and even camped overnight in East Germany!

After his mission, Bob married Virginia Topham on Dec. 23rd 1959 in the St. George Temple. He drove an ambulance to support his family. After graduating from the U of U with a bachelors degree in physics he moved his family to Boulder, Colorado to work at the National Bureau of Standards. They lived there from 1963 to 1965. In late 1965, he began working at Holloman Air Force Base near White Sands in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on the Athena missile. ( We all can truthfully say that Dad/Grandpa was a "rocket scientist"). NASA also had a facility there where they used chimpanzees for testing. He told the story of a huge male chimpanzee that escaped from his cell and quietly made his way into Bob’s office and looked over his shoulder, curious to see what he was doing as he was typing up a report. Later in life he recreated this experience for his students.

In 1968 he began teaching of physics and calculus in the two-year electronics program at "Utah Tech" (now Utah Valley University). After a few years he also got his Master’s Degree from BYU. His thesis paper was to help the deaf to visualize words with an LED matrix panel.

His students complained how hard his classes were and accused him of trying to "kill them with calculus". But serious students were very grateful to him if they went on to pursue Bachelor degrees. Bob had his son Corry as a student for one semester and when he (Corry) would raise his hand and ask a question and address him as "Dad" the whole class would laugh. Bob loved to make people laugh. Using his experience with the chimp, he donned a gorilla suit and roamed the halls of the University making gorilla noises and handing out bananas to the students! The gorilla became famous and even was sighted at the BYU.

Bob and Virginia had five children together, four boys and one girl. They later divorced.

He married Lorraine Mantz on October 10th, 1992. They lived in Springville, New Harmony, Mendon and Monticello before moving into a residential home in Provo. He was always active in his church. He was a temple worker, served a genealogy mission and served a total of three missions to Sweden.

He had many talents. He sang in the Heritage Choir, he could play the piano by ear and he painted beautiful pictures. His spirit of adventure and love of outdoors had him fishing and hunting, especially in the Uinta Mountains. He took his family to Mexico every Christmas for years.

Bob is survived by his wife, Lorraine, his children; Corry Mark Peterson, Tawn Robert Peterson, Thayne Mardell (Mona) Peterson, Collin Silas (Kim) Peterson, Reva Lynn (Ted) Blaney, Kit (Celia) Mantz, Tina (Jerry) Murdock, Eric (Natalie) Mantz, Laura (Ken) CanField, Robert (Joanna) Mantz; siblings John and Judy; 42 grandchildren and ~47 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Bob was the favorite resident at Legacy Village. He was funny and kind and made them laugh. They all loved him because he was so easy to love.

The Peterson family would like to thank Legacy Village of Provo for their amazing loving service.

Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, Mar. 31, 2023 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
1174 S 1700 W
Lehi, UT 84043

Family

  • Survived By
  • Lorraine Peterson, Spouse
  • Corry Peterson, Son
  • Tawn Peterson, Son
  • Thayne Peterson, Son
  • Reva Blaney, Daughter
  • Preceded in Death By
  • Henry Peterson, Father
  • Mary Peterson, Mother

Life Story Info

Author

Judy Houston

Post Date

Mar 28, 2023

Personal Info

Born

Park City, Utah, United States

Died

Provo, Utah, United States

Cause of Death

Age

Age

87

Gender

Male

Religion and Beliefs

Latter-day Saint

Occupation

Education

Military Affiliation

  • Army

Worked For

  • UVU

Education

  • Master's
    BYU
Concerned about this Life Story? Please let us know.
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Guestbook

I miss spending time with Grandpa Bob. He is very welcoming and treats me and my family with kindness. I’ll work on applying this experience in a way that encourages me to make friends quickly and enjoy the moments I have with family and friends.

I’m sad that I did not spend more time learning about his careers. I love physics and would have enjoyed his stories.

Jacob Mantz , Wahiawa , HI, US Mar 31, 2023

I will miss Grandpa Bob. I loved spending a week with him and Grandmother every year during my childhood. I will miss playing different card games and going on walks with Sparky.

Love, Jennifer

(Kit's daughter).

Jennifer and James Newman , Henderson , NV, US Mar 28, 2023

My sincere condolences to you and the rest of your family on the loss of your dad.

Linda Kerecman , Eagle Mountain, UT, US Mar 28, 2023

Timeline


  • 1930
  • 1935

  • 1935

  • 1937

  • 1937

  • 1938

  • 1938

  • 1938

  • 1938

  • 1939

  • 1940
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  • 1940

  • 1943

  • 1943

  • 1943

    Bob and little brother John

  • 1943

    Bob and little brother John

  • 1948

  • 1948

  • 1950
  • 1953

  • 1953

  • Sep 1953

  • Nov 1953

  • Mar 1, 1954

  • Mar 1954

  • May 1954

  • Dec 1954

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  • Dec 1959

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  • 1990
  • Oct 1992

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  • Mar 28, 1997

  • Jul 1997

  • Jul 1997

  • 1998

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  • 1998

  • 1999

  • Mar 1, 1999

  • May 1, 1999

  • Jun 1999

    Making Shingles Gammelstad, Lulea

  • Jun 1999

    Making Shingles Gammelstad, Lulea

  • Jun 1999

    Making Shingles Gammelstad, Lulea

  • 2000
  • 2000

  • 2000

  • 2000

  • 2000

  • 2000

  • 2000

  • 2000

  • Mar 2000

  • May 2000

    With Kathleen And Harry Terry (Lorraine's sister) Sweden

  • May 6, 2000

  • May 17, 2000

  • Jun 2000

  • 2001

  • 2001

    Best person for service and fun!

  • 2001

  • 2001

  • 2002

  • 2003

  • 2003

  • Mar 2003

  • 2004

    Bob at reception desk

  • 2004

  • 2004

  • 2004

  • 2005

    Sparky

  • 2008

  • 2010
  • 2011

  • 2011

  • Aug 1, 2013

  • 2015

  • Aug 2018

  • Sep 30, 2019

  • 2020
  • Jan 2020

  • 2020

  • 2020

  • Aug 2021

  • 2022

  • Mar 16, 2023