Peter Mygatt

5 entries | 1 photo
  • "Recall our days together at DOE ID he was a great guy. Not..."
    - Ron King
  • "Dear Marilyn and Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear of Petes..."
    - Anne Hosford
  • "My condolences to the family . May cherished memories..."
  • "Condolences to you Marilyn and to the family. It was a..."
    - Chuck Safris
  • "Our deepest condolences and wishes...Medina Family..."
    - Orlando Medina
The Guest Book is expired.

Mygatt, Peter


Peter Mygatt, journalist, cowboy, forest firefighter, miner, roustabout, amateur paleontologist & car enthusiast, died Feb. 23, 2017 at his home in Boise, ID. He was 90.

He was born in New York City and moved with his parents to Wilson Point, Connecticut, and La Jolla and San Clemente in California before settling in the Taos, New Mexico, area in 1939.

After graduating from Taos High School, he attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where he earned a bachelor's degree in journalism. He worked in a gold mine in northern New Mexico, oil fields in the West and as a firefighter in the Sierra Nevada mountains in northeastern California and northwestern Nevada. He was leading a firefighting crew near Truckee, California, when they were overtaken by a fire leaping through the treetops. He felt hot embers falling on his face, but the crew survived, crawling under their blankets while the flames raced overhead.

Pete served in the U.S. Air Force, then began his journalism career. He briefly worked at the Reno Evening Gazette and the Los Angeles Examiner before becoming editor of The Ely (Nevada) Daily Times and then news editor of The New Mexican in Santa Fe. He won press awards for writing and newspaper layout, and was twice honored by The Associated Press for top 10 stories of the year. He also won awards for photography and taught journalism at the College of Santa Fe.

Pete moved on to public information jobs, initially with Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, and later with the federal Atomic Energy Commission. He spent the remainder of his career with the U.S. Department of Energy in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Panama; Germantown, Maryland; Idaho Falls, Idaho; and Grand Junction, Colorado.

He enjoyed taking the road less traveled, spending most of his free time with his wife, Marilyn Kniseley Mygatt, hiking, rock-hounding and fossil hunting. In 1981, while on one of those expeditions, the Mygatts co-discovered what would become the Mygatt-Moore Dinosaur Quarry in Rabbit Valley, Colorado, west of Grand Junction. He spent a lot of time unearthing dinosaur fossils at the quarry and preparing them at the Museum of Western Colorado's Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita, Colorado.

One of the earliest known small armored dinosaurs, Mymoorapelta, was discovered at the quarry. Pete was accepted as a member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. The dust on Pete's cowboy boots didn't just come from wandering the Colorado desert. He also dug mastodon bones from the Gay Mine on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation in Idaho & netted hundreds of fossil fish from the 55 million-year-old limestone quarries of Kemmerer, WY.

When he wasn't hiking across the beaten path, he enjoyed target-shooting, fishing and restoring vintage Ford Mustangs, including his prized 1966 coupe. A connoisseur of hamburgers, Pete searched far and wide for varieties he had yet to try. He never met a piece of bacon he didn't like. He was an accomplished photographer, taking photos of wildlife, trains and anything unusual that caught his eye.

He also was an expert horseman, and would be moved to tears by the sight of a horse trotting across a pasture.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn; brother Robin Bright; & his kids, Matt, Tony, Amy, Wendy and Scott. Instead of a funeral, Pete asked that friends & family go out & have a beer â€" or any other drink of choice â€" & celebrate. Peter, we will be watching for you, "the fly on the wall" everywhere we go. We wish you peace and thank you for being in our lives.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

Funeral Home
Summers Funeral Home - Boise Chapel
1205 West Bannock Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 343-6493
Funeral Home Details
Send Flowers
Published in Albuquerque Journal on Mar. 12, 2017
bullet Firefighters bullet Journalists