James Monroe Peterson

Published 11:21 am Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DECLO, Idaho — James Monroe Peterson, age 89, died of natural causes at his home the morning of June 21, 2010.

He was born Sept. 25, 1920, in Elba, Idaho, to Carl Julius and Lou Stelle Barham Peterson. He graduated from Wendell High School in 1939, and the University of Idaho in 1950, with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

He weeded onions with his sisters and brothers, worked on a railroad tie gang, and in his youth helped support his family during the Great Depression. Following high school, Mr. Peterson enlisted in the Coast Guard for six years and was a radioman and instructor during World War II. He gave more than 30 years civil service until he retired as chief of engineering in the construction division of the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg.

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He married his Southern belle sweetheart, the late Norma Wray Johnson, on July 25, 1942, in Baltimore, Md. They later were sealed in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.

A faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served as a bishop three times, actively supported the Boy Scouts of America, often shared his faith and love of the gospel, and always served wherever asked. He enjoyed carpentry, tennis, hunting, fishing, gardening, singing, the jitterbug, good stories, poetry, and chess. Most of all, he enjoyed relationships with family and friends.

He is survived by his baby sister, Ida May Bell; his brother-in-law, Frank C. “Red” Gilmore; his daughters, Julia Dawn and Bonnie Wray Bair (Russell); his sons, James Monroe Peterson Jr., Bryant Wendell Peterson (Ivy), Jonathan Larelle Peterson, and Erik Stefan Peterson (Anita); 22 grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson.

Mr. Peterson was preceded in death by his wife, Norma Wray Johnson Peterson; his parents, Carl Julius and Lou Stelle Barham Peterson; siblings, Carl Oscar Peterson, Anna Laura Peterson King, Iva Lou Peterson Badger, Eva Lena Peterson Gilmore, and Julius Grant Peterson; and two grandsons, Michael James Peterson and Daniel Thomas Black

The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, June 25, at the Declo LDS Stake Center, 213 W. Main St., with Bishop Garth L. Searle officiating. Burial will be in the Declo Cemetery with military rites provided by the Mini-Cassia Veterans Organization.

Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. Thursday at the Rasmussen Funeral Home, 1350 E. 16th St., in Burley, and from 9 until 9:45 a.m. Friday at the church.

The family suggests memorials be directed to the Boy Scouts of America in care of the Declo First Ward.