Myrna Ellen Petersen Olsen died on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, of causes incident to age. She was born January 11, 1937, in Price, Utah, to Lorenzo and Wanda Petersen and grew up on the family's small beet and dairy farm in nearby Wellington. Myrna enjoyed a secure, happy childhood surrounded by family and friends. The Petersen family included three girls-Kay, Myrna, and LaRene-and younger brother Jim.
Myrna was a good student all through her years in school. In third grade, she began taking piano lessons, and she eventually became quite accomplished as a pianist. She graduated from Carbon High School in Price in 1955, then attended Carbon College for two years. In 1957-58, she spent a year in England on a farm exchange, living and working on the farm of the Black family in Suffolk; this gave her an opportunity to visit several countries in Europe, including the world's fair in Brussels. After returning home, she finished college at BYU with a degree in elementary education. She also served a mission in Brazil from 1960-62 and considered these years the highlight of her life. She learned Portuguese fluently and grew in her love for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 1964, she went to Okinawa to teach school on the military base. There she met David Olsen. They were married June 22, 1965, in the Salt Lake Temple, and after completing his military enlistment, settled in American Fork, Utah, where they raised their four children: Lisa, Peggy, Daniel, and Elizabeth. Myrna experienced long-term effects from a devastating car accident that left her with a traumatic brain injury and increasingly affected her ability to function as the years passed.
As the kids grew up, Myrna participated in the American Fork Civic Chorus and the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. She took up knitting and cross-stitch. She studied Russian in her fifties and traveled to Russia with her mother in 1992. She took up walking and for years tore through her daily "routes" of several miles. She remained very close to her mother and enjoyed attending the temple and cultural events with her. She and David traveled some-to Hawaii, to Oregon, to Texas. David embraced the role of caregiver and made sure Myrna's needs were met.
After David's death in February 2016, Myrna went to live at the Carrington Court assisted living facility near Peggy's home in South Jordan. Myrna was happy and content in her last years even as her cognitive capacities steadily dwindled. She was loved and appreciated by the other residents and caregivers at Carrington Court and retained at least some of her facility with word games. In the last year, as her ability to engage in any kind of conversation diminished, she enjoyed watching us do puzzles, and she continued to go on the group bus rides.
Myrna is survived by her four children: Lisa Olsen Tait (Mike); Peggy Peterson (Mike); Daniel Olsen (Danielle); and Elizabeth Brocious (Rod); and by thirteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Her sister LaRene Despain and her brother Jim Petersen are also still here to mourn her loss. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Kay Golding, and husband, David Olsen.
A viewing will be held from 9:30 to 10:45 on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel, 6141 West 11000 North, Highland, Utah, with a service following at 11:00. Burial will be in the American Fork Cemetery. Please share a memory on Myrna's Tribute Wall at www.AndersonMortuary.com.
Please click on the link below to watch Myrna's funeral service via live stream: