Virginia Lucille Peterson

1926 ~ 2022

Obituary Photo for Virginia Lucille Peterson < >

Lucille Peterson, 95, after a long and full life, died peacefully at home of dementia-Alzheimer’s on July 30, 2022. She was born September 16, 1926, to John and Jennie Nesbit in Provo, Utah. She graduated from Lincoln High School in Orem, Utah on May 19, 1944. Following High School she worked briefly at JC Penney on Center Street in Provo, then as a switchboard operator for Mountain States Telephone Company.

She was born and raised on the Penrod-Nesbit family property, near where LaVell Edwards Stadium is today. There was a canal that flowed through the property. Her parents were so worried their children would get caught in the current that they scared them into staying away from the canal. Because of this she never learned to swim as she was terrified of water. Although her fear of water remained with her throughout her life, she would later begin to develop a level of courage when it came to water.

It is said that Mom would frequent the soda fountain lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Provo. While eating lunch, she caught a young man’s eye, a young Robert Peterson. Mom was known to be quite shy and reserved. When Dad learned that she worked at the phone company just around the corner from Woolworths, he went there to ask her on a date to a New Year’s Party in Salt Lake City and she accepted. On the way to the party, they dropped by his parents’ home. Unfortunately, his parents were not home so Dad left a note, it said, “I wanted you to meet the girl I’m going to marry”. They were married 5 months later, on May 28, 1949. They were later sealed in the Salk Lake Temple on May 26, 1955.

Mom was blessed with beautiful red auburn hair that she kept in her distinctive up-do for most of her adult life. She religiously got her hair done every week and was never without a rain bonnet to protect her beautifully coifed hair from the weather. The night before her hair appointments, she would wash her hair and brush it out and that long red hair would cascade over her shoulders. It would certainly cause a double take.

Together, Mom and Dad raised four boys: Stephen, David, Michael, and Mark, mostly in Cottonwood Heights, UT. She raised her boys with patience and a quiet example. Her boys were her true joy and as such she began to understand that change was on the horizon having to raise four sports minded boys. Dad coached Little League baseball for all four boys. Going to baseball games was a new experience for Mom and it was certainly not her idea of fun to sit on bleachers in the hot sun all summer long. But she did it for her boys. Baseball games turned into football and basketball games, and then Boy Scouts and frequent camping and fishing trips. Again, not because she liked it but because her boys loved them. Eventually she learned to enjoy sports and later attended many BYU football games and Jazz Basketball games.

Dad continued to expanded Mom’s comfort zone especially when he bought a truck and camper, which led to our first boat. Being in a boat on the water was obviously a stretch for Mom but being with her family meant so much to her that she was able to overcome her fear of water just enough to get on that boat. This began an almost 45-year tradition of summers spent at Flaming George and of course, Lake Powell. Lake Powell vacations began in a tent and then a truck and camper which then led to a motorhome and eventually a houseboat. Dad did everything he could to make Mom more and more comfortable and it worked. We all have memories of Dad lifting Mom on and off the boat so that her feet didn’t have to touch the water. Mom was known for sitting in “Her” seat on the boat, drinking Pepsi while reading a Harlequin Romance, and yelling instructions to anyone learning how to waterski. Yes, Mom was shy, reserved and, of course terrified of water, but the love she had for her family gave her the courage to participate in Dads adventures. The legacy of water sports and travel continues in our family to this day.

Mom always kept a tidy home, always supported her boys, and was a best friend to her husband. From a young age, she taught all four boys how to do laundry, properly iron clothes, as well as cook and clean. Little did she know that she was preparing her sons to serve missions for the Church around the world. She was a wonderful cook for her family and started some delicious traditions like her famous potato salad, date nut cookies at Christmas and her shrimp salad. She had a sweet tooth for fudge, divinity and chocolate chip cookies (chewy Chips Ahoy towards the end). When we were young, she loved Wrigley’s Double Mint gum. She would chew a piece for days because she loved it when it popped as she chewed. She would also keep a large Hershey’s Chocolate Almond Bar in her nightstand and still somehow stayed skinny.

Whether at home or on trips, Mom enjoyed playing her favorite card game called “Garbage”. Playing Garbage was a right of passage for her boys and grandkids. She would never admit it, but she won most of the time! When we played, it became a running joke in the family, “who has to sit next to mom?”. Let’s just say, when it came to Garbage, Mom suddenly got very competitive.

As her boys grew, Mom would eventually work with Dad in his Sprouse Reitz store on Highland Drive in Salt Lake City. In about 1971, Dad encouraged her to manage a store of her own. This would certainly tax her comfort zone, but Dad was right there every step. She managed the Sprouse Reitz store in Sandy Utah until her retirement in 1993. Mom and Dad were very rarely apart. Except when Dad played golf, they went everywhere together and did everything together. They would sit side by side, always holding hands. The relationship between Mom and Dad was a wonderful example to their boys and their grandchildren. Their reunion in heaven was surely joyous.

Mom was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She particularly enjoyed working in the Primary. She also worked as a Temple worker with Dad for 9 years at the Jordan River Temple. Their example of living the Gospel has helped to guide and teach their children and grandchildren.

Mom was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Maurine Burningham (Clifford), Nyla Nesbit, brother Robert Nesbit (Nellie) and daughter-in-law Jeanne Wainwright Peterson. She leaves behind her four sons Stephen Peterson (Karen), Highland Utah, David Peterson (Sue), North Ogden Utah, Michael Peterson, Salt Lake City Utah and Mark Peterson (Lisa), Elk Ridge Utah. She had 13 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren with a few more on the way. She was loved very much and will be missed.

A graveside service will be held Monday, August 15, 2022 at 11:00 AM at Larkin Sunset Garden (1950 E 10600 S Sandy, Utah) with a viewing 1 hour prior to the service. Internment will follow the graveside service in the Larkin Sunset Garden Cemetery.

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I so enjoyed getting to know your sweet Mom on your family trips to Lake Powell and Palm Springs! She was always so gracious and kind, and always so agreeable with what everyone wanted to do. What a wonderful gift she has blessed us all with through her awesome children, and what a beautiful legacy she and your father have blessed your entire family with for years to come!

- Brian Moser