Mark L. Petersen, 58, passed through the veil peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family, on May 29, 2017 following a courageous battle with cancer that, as with all things, he left in God’s hands. Mark was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, teacher, mentor, and friend.
Mark was born on January 3, 1959 to goodly parents Ronald L. and Charlene Petersen in Layton, Utah. He was the 4th of 7 children, including a close twin brother. He and his siblings enjoyed strong relationships and relied on one another often. A peacemaker in his home, Mark was able to feel empathy for others at a young age, and he listened and forgave with a tender heart. He attended Layton High School, where he developed a far-reaching love for the arts.
Mark served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tempe Arizona. In this rich setting he discovered his love for teaching and his talent as a powerful communicator.
Mark married his sweetheart, Becky Stott, for time and all eternity in the Ogden LDS temple on March 12, 1981. He cherished and served her all his days. They are the parents of six children, to whom Mark was a steady and faithful influence. With remarkable leadership, he taught his children to love the Lord, to value hard work and to nurture their own faith in Jesus Christ.
Mark graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Theatre Arts from Weber State College in 1984, working his way through as he directed and managed marketing efforts there.
He then worked as Director of Public Relations and Marketing at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah for more than 20 years. He served on and chaired various committees, councils, and boards, and in 2002 was elected President of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. He received many awards through the years for his publications and radio ads. Mark finished his career at Dixie as the Executive Director of the then-newly built Eccles Fine Arts Center.
During his career Mark never lost his love for performing. He played leading roles in Oklahoma, Mattie and many other community plays. He and his wife, Becky, sang in a number of prominent choirs that performed in venues all across the world. They also used their talents to shape the lives of hundreds of youth as they directed musical reader’s theaters.
Mark’s crowning professional service was his role as CEO for Mentors International—a micro-finance organization with operations in Africa, the Philippines, and South America—a position he held for more than ten years. Mark lifted the entire organization. He was dedicated to its mission of helping the impoverished become self-reliant, ultimately feeding, clothing, and educating hundreds of thousands.
Mark served the Lord faithfully his entire life and in every calling he was asked to fulfill, including that of bishop twice. Recently, he served as the Gospel Doctrine instructor in his ward where he masterfully taught the principles and doctrines he had learned to love decades ago as a full-time missionary. Mark was always a committed home teacher and priesthood holder.
Mark enjoyed working in his yard, which was always immaculate. One of his favorite pastimes was singing around the piano with his family. He had a genuine love for and interest in the people around him, and he made many friends throughout his life.
Mark’s greatest achievement and commitment was to his family. He spent countless hours in cherished conversations with his children, leading them with wise counsel and a listening ear. He inspired them towards obedience and a passion for doing good. Mark and his wife Becky faithfully led their family with love and devotion to one another. This was especially evident after the near-drowning accident of their son, Nathan. Mark’s diligence at home was matched only by his testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Mark is survived by his wife, Becky; his children, Melissa (Nolan); Julie (Jon); Derek (Katie); Adam (McKenzie); Kalynn, and Nathan; and 12 grandchildren, with two on the way. He is also survived by his siblings: David (Raylene); DeAnn (David); Scott (Marilyn); Renee (Steve); Rusty, and sister-in-law Brenda.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Ronald and Charlene Petersen, and his brother, Doug.
Mark’s family is grateful to all who enriched his life and helped make it full and beautiful.
A viewing will be held Friday June 2, from 5 until 8 p.m. at Anderson & Sons Mortuary at 6141 West 11000 North, Highland, Utah. Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 3 at 2:00 p.m. at the LDS chapel at 1320 West 3540 North, Pleasant Grove, Utah prior to which family and friends may call from 12:45 until 1:45. Graveside service and dedicatory prayer will be held afterwards at Highland Cemetery in Highland, Utah.
In leiu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to Mentors International at https://mentorsinternational.org/mark/
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