Cover photo for Janet Peterson's Obituary
1933 Janet 2020

Janet Peterson

July 21, 1933 — May 27, 2020

Janet Saunders Peterson , beloved wife, mother of 10, grandmother of 47, and great-grandmother of 32, passed away May 27, 2020 surrounded by her family at the age of 86. As a family, it is difficult to describe in words a life that touched so many people for good. Janet’s life was full and joyful - she made sure of it. She always had a positive attitude and searched to find the good in those around her.

The Beginning:

Janet was born on July 21, 1933 to Mervin Louis Saunders and Frances Christofferson in Los Angeles, California. Janet was the oldest of four children. She had two brothers, Frank (Bud) Saunders and Roy Saunders, and one sister, Kari Harvey. Janet was fun-loving and surrounded by friends during her childhood. Janet loved the beach and playing sports. She later moved to Utah to attend the University of Utah, where she met her future husband, Lloyd Draper Peterson, at the LDS Institute.

The Bride:

Janet and Lloyd were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on August 28, 1953. Janet never suspected that her life could become the adventure that awaited her. Lloyd joined U.S. Air Force and became a navigator. Janet faced the challenges of military life head-on. Lloyd and Janet moved often, living in California, Georgia, Kansas, Japan, Idaho, and Utah. Along the way, about every two years to be exact, a new Peterson child joined the family to include: Lynda, Marcus, John, Connie, Matthew, Lisa, Keith, David, Brian, and Lori.

Our Mom:

The word “Mom” overtook any other name by which Janet would be known. She was mother to 10 (yes 10!) children. Janet and Lloyd wanted a large family, and that is what they had. Six boys and four girls in a span of 20 years. Janet was not the fragile type. As a military wife, she did what had to be done. In fact, her last daughter, Lori, was born after Janet drove over 10 hours from Riverside, California to Alpine, Utah during their last military move. They arrived at their new destination, and about 12 hours later, child #10 arrived.

Janet spent many hours in the kitchen preparing healthy meals. Most meals consisted of a meat and two or three vegetable choices. She worked hard to keep her family healthy, and if you were a stray or wild animal attempting to eat the fruit off the trees in her backyard, you better look out - she wasn’t afraid to pull out the shotgun to protect her harvest.

As the Peterson children gathered to talk about memories of their mother, the common sound was laughter; Janet made them laugh. She was easygoing, spoiled them too much and happily played along with their pranks and jokes. Janet was loved by all her children’s friends who looked forward to her yummy sandwiches and an open pantry filled with chips, cookies, and crackers. Janet welcomed everyone to her home; a full house was a happy house.

The Widow:

After 32 years of marriage, Janet faced the ultimate challenge. Her dear husband Lloyd was diagnosed with terminal cancer. One year later, Lloyd died at age 54, leaving Janet alone to raise 10 children, four of which were still at home. Not one family member can remember there ever being a word of complaint or despair after his passing. Family and friends found that instead of lifting Janet’s spirits through these difficult years, it was Janet who was elevating and sustaining them.

Janet willingly accepted her call to lead the family and did so by example. Her faith in a loving Heavenly Father and his Beloved Son were demonstrated in her selfless service and firm testimony. She knew that her life, if well-lived, would be rewarded and her family would be united again.

The Grandma/Great-Grandmother:

Janet, not being the typical mother, was also not the typical grandmother. Her bigger than life personality and contagious laugh was enjoyed by all along with her favorite grandkid nicknames “little pill,” “my dear,” and “squirt.” Grandma Janet put more miles on her car than anyone we know. She was everywhere supporting her grandkids: baseball games, dance recitals, football games, rugby matches - you name it, grandma was there. You can bet your bottom dollar if a bad call was made by an umpire (especially against one of her grandchildren), Janet would let them unequivocally know (along with all the other spectators) they were wrong!

Anywhere her family was celebrating an occasion, Janet was there to fill any need and work longer and harder than anyone half her age. Whether she was preparing the food to feed her family (equal to an army), quilting one of her dozens of wedding and graduation quilts for her grandchildren, waterskiing at Lake Powell or Dworshak until she was 78, or having a game night with her vast array of friends, Janet was the life and center of the party.

Grandma Janet not only loved playing games with her children and grandchildren, she loved BEATING her children and grandchildren at those games. On a rare occasion when the children, or adults for that matter, would beat grandma at a card game, you knew it was a true victory. When Janet’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren were asked to describe their grandma in one word, responses included: Kind, inspirational, energetic, charitable, spirited, laughter, heart of gold, radiant, involved, caring, independent, benevolent, giving, strong, motivational, ready, vivacious, “Grandma Toots”, wonderful, active, spunky, card shark, supportive, devoted, thoughtful, witty, fun-loving, adventurous, bright, enthusiastic, talented, happy, and of course, her “Grandma Peterson squawk,” how Janet would call their names in a high-pitched but loving tone.

The Athlete:

Janet was quite an athlete herself (if having 10 children was not sport enough). She served as an athletic director with youth in her church for many years. Then, at age 64, when most people are beginning to make retirement plans, Janet joined a dancing group called Jean’s Golden Girls. She cherished that experience and the dear friends she made.

In addition to dancing, Janet began participating in the Huntsman Senior Games for over 20 years. She was both a bowler and a golfer, bringing home dozens of gold medals including what would be her last gold medal in bowling just last year at age 86!

The Grand Matriarch:

Janet will be remembered as a loving matriarch who in her own unique style held her family together physically, emotionally and most importantly, spiritually. She led with integrity, honor, and courage. Dearest mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Janet, thank you for your love, your laughter and the life you gave each of us. It is your turn to begin again and to be with our dad. You will be missed, but you leave with us your example of love, faith, testimony and the hope to raise our families as well as you have raised yours. Our desire now is to make you and dad proud. It’s now your turn, mom, to accomplish dad’s favorite saying: “TAKE IT ON IN.”

A viewing will be held Sunday, May 31 from 6-8 pm at Anderson & Sons Mortuary Lone Peak Chapel, 6141 West 11000 North, Highland. To comply with Covid-19 regulation, please see the electronic SignUp Genius button below to attend Janet’s viewing at an assigned time. Private graveside services will take place at Alpine City Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Janet Peterson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, May 31, 2020

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Anderson and Sons Mortuary Lone Peak Chapel

6141 W 11000 N, Highland, UT 84003

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