Harold Ross Peterson
1942 ~ 2021
Harold Ross Peterson -- Husband, dad, papa, great-grandpa, brother, son and friend -- died Monday, July 26, 2021 at his home in Draper surrounded by his family. He was 78 years old.
Harold was born on Friday, August 28, 1942 in San Diego, California to Herbert Benard Peterson and Gesenia Jeltje Struiksma Peterson. He grew up in a two bedroom home on a small chicken farm with his loving parents and four siblings -- Helen, Betty, Richard and Ronald. Harold loved growing up in San Diego. As a child, he was involved in many different sporting activities and he learned to play the trumpet. Although he was involved in various activities, baseball was by far his favorite. He started playing baseball in elementary school and used to practice his pitching by throwing balls at the back porch steps. He played and practiced all through elementary school and junior high and then went on to play for San Diego High School. He was a star player at San Diego High and played both pitcher and second base. As a senior, he made the All-California First Team and made all Southern California Player of the Year. Because of Harold's natural talent and hardwork, he was scouted by professional baseball leagues right out of high school. He chose to dedicate his time and energy to missionary service rather than pursue a baseball career. He continued playing the game he loved through various city and church leagues. He also coached many little league and youth baseball teams through the years.
He met his sweetheart and eternal love, Susanne, at a church fireside after he graduated high school. He was eighteen and she was fourteen. It was love at first sight. One of their most cherished activities was to ride the ferry from San Diego to beautiful Coronado and back over and over again. At the age of nineteen, Harold was called to serve a two and a half year mission to his ancestral home, the Netherlands, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He honorably served from November 1961 - May 1964. He had many great learning and teaching experiences while serving as a missionary and has always been grateful for that opportunity. He and Susanne were engaged before he left on his mission. While Harold faithfully served in the Netherlands, Susanne faithfully waited for him to return. Their letters to each other during this time display their incredible love and admiration for each other.
Harold returned home from his mission on May 9, 1964 and he and Susanne were married and sealed for time and all eternity in the Los Angeles Temple on June 13, 1964. They started their life together happily living in San Diego.
The next year, they were so excited to become parents when they welcomed their first child, Coni. A couple years later, they packed their little family up and moved to Long Beach, California where Harold began working for Warner Electric as an electrician. As time went on, more children joined the family. Their next daughter, Cari, was then born and they settled into their home on Albury Avenue. Over the years, their family grew when their son, Craig, two more daughters, Cricket and Cortney and son, Marvin, who lived with them for several school years, joined the family. The home on Albury Avenue was full and many fond memories were formed within those walls. Harold worked hard but still found time to spend with his children. He and Susanne provided a wonderful life for their family. He took great pride in his family and loved them very much. He often asked his children, "Are you happy?" He wanted nothing more than to see his children happy.
After working for Warner Electric for 24 years, Harold retired as an electrician and his family moved to Draper, Utah. While he lived in Draper, he worked as a Facilities Manager for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sandy, Utah for the next 20 years. He then retired and he and Susanne stayed in their house in Draper.
Throughout his life, Harold valiantly served the Lord. He held various callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served as a Young Men's Advisor and a counselor in the bishopric in the Long Beach 3rd Ward and a counselor in the bishopric in the Long Beach 11th Ward. He served as a Bishop in the Long Beach 11th Ward for four years. He also served as a Stake High Counselor in the Long Beach East Stake for eight years. For many years in the Hidden Valley Stake, he served on the Stake High Council as well. One of Harold's fondest experiences serving was the opportunity he had to serve as a temple worker in the Jordan River Temple and also the Draper Temple. He diligently served in the temple for over 15 years which was a great blessing to him.
Harold loved to serve people. He loved interacting with them and always tried his best to help others. It was not uncommon for Harold to stop by for visits with family, friends, and neighbors just to check in on them and to see if he could help in any way. He listened when he received promptings that someone was in need and then acted on those promptings. He was a great teacher who inspired many by his example of Christlike love. He would remind everyone -- his children, family members, friends and neighbors -- to always "Remember Who You Are." He had the knowledge that we are all beloved children of our Heavenly Father and he wanted to make sure everyone knew that. He was a man of integrity and was strong in his beliefs. He had a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and wasn't afraid to share it with others. He was a great example to many. Harold lived a selfless life of service. Even up to the day he died, Harold was determined to try his best and was an example of faithfulness and strength.
Harold's legacy of love, hardwork and faithfulness will continue on through his beautiful eternal companion, Susanne Runner Peterson; his children -- Coni Gray (Douglas), Cari Houghton (Lee), Craig Peterson (Sarah), Cricket Veenker (Craig) and Cortney Chambers (Aaron); his 24 grandchildren -- Elisabeth Houghton, Douglas Gray Jr., Jake Houghton, Scott Houghton (McKell) , Emily Stringham (Kevin), Cole Houghton (Libby), Hannah Gray (Brianne), Caleb Veenker (Shelbey), Abigail McGowan (Bradley), Max Houghton (Laikynne), Zach Veenker (Courtnie), Ross Peterson (Haely), Julia Chambers, Kate Peterson, Liberty Veenker, Jack Chambers, Emma Houghton, Adam Chambers, Luke Chambers, Brit Veenker, Ezra Chambers, Grant Chambers, Ava Chambers, and Jane Chambers; 3 great grandchildren -- Harper Houghton, Theo Houghton, Penny Houghton; 3 great-granddaughters to be born; 3 honorary grandchildren -- Jeffery Chee, Jessica Kaye, and Steven Chee; sister, Helen Millhone; brother, Richard Peterson (Eva); and sister-in-law, Marsha. He is preceded in death by his parents, Hebert Benard and Gesenia Jeltje Struiksma Peterson; sister, Betty Rider; brother, Ronald Peterson; and son, Marvin Chee.
Harold wanted to thank his wife and children for their loving care through the final chapter of his life. He faced the challenges of cancer with grit, unparalleled strength and unwavering positivity. The family would like to thank the many doctors and nurses at Lone Peak Hospital, Intermountain Medical Center, and Intermountain Hospice--especially his nurse, Bridget and his aide, Cassidy for their thoughtful care.
Harold especially wanted to thank his dear wife, Susanne, for 57 wonderful years that were full of great memories and awesome experiences with each other! He will always love you!
Family and friends are welcome to come celebrate Harold's life at his funeral on Monday, August 2, 2021 at 1280 Walden Ln., Draper, Utah 84020. There will be a viewing from 10:00 - 10:45 am. The funeral services will begin at 11:00 am followed by the dedication of the gravesite in Highland, Utah. www.goffmotuary.com
Published by Deseret News from Jul. 28 to Jul. 29, 2021.