May 112011

Don L. Peterson of Snowflake died on Friday, May 6, 2011, just eight days before his 89th birthday, at Sierra Blanca Rehabilitation Center. A viewing will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2011 at the Owens Livingston Mortuary-Heritage Chapel, located at 84 E. 19th South in Snowflake. Services will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, at the Temple View Chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, located at 2885 W. Highway 277 in Snowflake, Arizona, with a viewing to begin at 1 p.m. at the same location. Burial will be in the R.V. “Mike” Ramsay Memorial Cemetery in Snowflake.

Don L. was born May 15, 1922, in Thatcher, the youngest child of Alma and Blanche Walrade Bilby Peterson. The family moved to Mesa when Don L. was 10 years old. They moved back and forth between Mesa and the Gila Valley for most of his childhood.

He graduated from Mesa High School and then served an LDS mission to the Central States (Colorado and Nebraska). He began his mission on Pearl Harbor Day. After he finished his mission, he joined the Navy and served on a “baby flattop” in the Pacific through the end of the war.

He met Lucile Eyring at church in Chandler. They began writing and, in 1945, she met Don L. in San Francisco and they were married on May 22, 1945, in Oakland, Calif., with both their mothers present. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Mesa Temple of the LDS church.

Don L. and Lucile had four children, Donna Rescorla of Snowflake, Don Peterson of Manti, Utah, Richard Peterson of Holbrook and Doug (Nina) Peterson of Springville, Utah; 21 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

For more than 35 years, Don L. served as a teacher and school administrator. His last position was as the business manager for the Ganado School District. One of his first positions was with Holbrook High School, where he taught English, journalism and drama. When he retired, Don L. and Lucile moved to Snowflake and went on a series of LDS missions. They first served in Costa Rica/Panama, then Guatemala, Chile and New York City. Between missions, they had several other callings, including managing the church cannery and Bishop’s Storehouse in Snowflake. They also served a number of years as temple workers in both the Mesa and Snowflake LDS temples.

Don L. loved to read the scriptures and to discuss gospel principles. He also loved gardening and had one of the most attractive yards in his neighborhood. He worked many hours planting his vegetable garden so the family could enjoy the produce for many months. He loved the gospel and tried very hard to live all its principles.

He was predeceased by his parents; his brothers and sisters, Leoma Shumway, Horold Peterson, Chester Peterson and Melba Allen; as well as one grandson and several great-grandchildren.

He and Lucile had a special relationship and, because of their many missions, they learned to depend on each other for everything they needed. As mission companions, they grew to love each other even more than they had at the beginning of their marriage. He will be missed by those he left behind, but they know he was happily welcomed by his many friends and family members.