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Obituary: Mark Peterson

Published: Thursday, Feb. 14 2008 5:46 p.m. MST

Mark Peterson

5/20/41 ~ 2/10/2008

Virgil Mark Peterson, age 66, passed away, February 10, 2008. He was born May 20, 1941 in El Paso, Texas. He and his parents Virgil Vance and Audrey Harris Peterson resided in El Paso until 1944 at which time they moved to Denver, Colorado. By the time Mark was five years old his parents noted his uncanny knowledge for coinage. He could make change for any amount handed to him. Because of this, Mark's dad set him up with a door-to-door business of selling light globes. Neighbors were so impressed by his skills, that they purchased many more globes than they actually needed. While in Denver two more siblings, Marcia and Jan, joined their family. In 1950 they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where Mark attended William Penn Elementary, Central and Olympus Junior High and Olympus High School, from which he graduated with the class of 1959.

Mark was an avid (LDS Church) basketball and baseball player. He, along with his Valley View 6th Ward teammates and best friend Reed Jensen, played both sports in "All-Church" competition. Besides sports Mark enjoyed building a 1930 Model A Ford, by piecing together parts he purchased and located in obscure places. He and his friends enjoyed many fun adventures; after he got the car running (for the most part). He and Reed were also quite successful at finding coins which were both valuable and collectable, while rummaging through bags of ordinary coins they purchased from the bank.

Upon graduating from high school, Mark attended the University of Utah. After his first year he received a mission call to Sweden; but due to the Berlin Crisis he was drafted into the Utah Army National Guard. He took permanent leave from the National Guard as soon as he could. Shortly after, he received another mission call from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve in the North-East British Mission for two years (1962-1964), under President Grant Thorne. While serving in York, England, he met and baptized Neville and Valerie Thatcher; a young couple who became lifetime friends. Upon his return from England, he enrolled at Brigham Young University majoring in Business and Finance with a minor in Accounting. He was a member of the Delta Phi Kappa Fraternity. In the fall of 1965 while venturing out on a geology field trip to Rock Canyon, he met Nancy Larkins, who would become his future wife. They were married two years later, June 3, 1967, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Los Angeles Temple.

On August 23, 1968, Mark graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Science degree in the Department of Business. Shortly after graduation, Mark took an offer to work for an accounting firm in Salt Lake City. He never loved accounting, so the hours he spent at work passed slowly. Six months later he was hired by the Salt Lake based brokerage firm, Barraco & Co. to do back-office accounting. Quickly his boss realized Mark's talents were not as much in accounting as they were in buying and selling stocks. Paul gave him the opportunity to pursue the occupation he had always hoped for: being a stock broker. He was very successful from the beginning. The company shut down soon after, due to the volatility of the Stock Market in the 1970's. This forced Mark to find employment elsewhere. He worked for several different brokerage firms throughout the next 10 years. The last company he was employed by as a broker was Johnson-Bowles. In 1981 Mark felt he had learned enough from others about the brokerage business to open his own company. He purchased a building on Fourth South and Fourth East in Salt Lake City, and opened Alpine Securities. When other brokerages were forced to close their doors, Alpine Securities remained open because of its reputation for integrity. Mark put, (metaphorically speaking) his "blood, sweat and tears" into his brokerage business. The stock market; and the people he associated with through his work were his life's joy. The "team" at Alpine Securities were very close; especially Mark's association with Todd, Clark and Sue. There were also many others throughout his working years, including Eric, Kirk, Fraser, Karl, Eli and Tom K., whom he admired for their integrity, depth and intellect. Mark often commented how blessed he was to associate with and be a friend of so many extraordinarily good men. Mark learned many lessons about life through his work. He felt that the most important lesson he learned was that of trust. Mark felt that integrity was the most important quality a person could possess. If you told Mark you would do something, he expected you to "do it!" Mark's word was his bond. A handshake with Mark from someone he trusted was always good enough to "seal a deal." Mark's work was not only his livelihood; it was his pleasure, his hobby, and his passion.

Mark would always bound out of bed early every morning eager for another day on the job. He would come home late after giving it his all; only to fall into bed exhausted and rise early the next morning ready for another day filled with opportunity. Everyone associated with Mark will surely miss his lively gallop up and down the stairs at Alpine Securities, and his enthusiastic and positive outlook on life. There's so much more we will miss about Mark. We will miss his preciseness; his funny quirks; his personal and financial advice; and his always telling it, "Just like it is"; his huge smile every time he turned on the ignition and drove away in his "Wall St." Porsche; the loud shouts when BYU scored in football or basketball games; how he felt that "his" children and grandchildren were the best and brightest kids on earth; the way his eyes lit up when hearing that one of the stocks he owned shot up; the tears that filled his eyes when something touched his heart.

Mark felt blessed as a result of the hard labors of his life. Because of this, he donated in abundance to many good causes. He loved what he did for a living; and many people and organizations were blessed by his generosity.

On March 23, 2007, Mark underwent surgery, followed by a diagnosis of stage 4 bladder cancer. A heartfelt "thank you" to Mark's friend and business associate, Fraser for providing the avenue for Mark to be placed in the care of Dr. John Ward at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City. Mark often commented, "Fraser saved my life!" and he did; along with the Huntsman and University of Utah Medical Center staff. Following surgery, Mark's kidneys shut down. Had he not received such immediate care, he may possibly have passed away last March. We are so grateful for the extended period of time we were given with him in our lives. Mark passed away after battling the effects of chemotherapy, radiation treatments, many operations, and all else that accompanies the ravages of cancer. He never expressed self pity. He put forth the most valiant effort he could; and never gave up.

The family would like to express their deep appreciation and gratitude to our family, extended family and friends for their many loving kindnesses, visits, fasting and prayers for Mark and our family. Also to the doctors, nurses and staff at the Huntsman Cancer Institute for their excellent care and concern; with special thanks to Dr. William Dunson, Dr. John Ward and his nurse, Marcia Mills; and to Susan who helped facilitate Mark's hospital stays many times.

Today we lost our husband, father, grandfather, brother, son-in-law, uncle, cousin and friend. It is with enormous grief in our hearts that we bid him farewell. We will always be reminded of our time with Mark as we recall a quote from the movie, "A Christmas Memory", (Taken from the book of the same title written by Truman Capote.) "HOWEVER MUCH TIME THERE IS, THERE'S NEVER ENOUGH."

There will NEVER be another Mark, Virgil Mark, Virg, Chief, Pete, or Marcus. Tears flow as we even mention his name. We are so grateful for the peace we feel, having the knowledge that through our Savior, we will all be together in the eternities. God be with us 'till we meet again.

Mark was preceded in death by his father, June 29, 2001, and his mother, June 7, 2002.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy; his children, Angela (Wade Torp), Kennesaw, Georgia; Rob Peterson, SLC, Utah; Brian (Mindy Dibb) Peterson, Alpine, Utah; Sandi Stevens, Saratoga Springs, Utah; Jeff (Mary Milar) Peterson, Alpine, Utah; Tig (Jonique Hood) Peterson, Alpine, Utah; and his beloved 11 grandchildren, Jennifer, Katie, David, Sara, Anna, Eric, Emma, Daiviann, Parker, Nickolas and Tanner; his sister, Marcia (Gene Gronning), West Jordan, Utah; his brother, Jan (Janice) Peterson, Layton, Utah; and his father and mother-in-law, Robert and Jean Larkins, Alpine, Utah.

Those wishing to share time alone with Mark may visit the Warenski Funeral Home, at 1776 North 900 East, American Fork (located four blocks north of the Mt. Timpanogos Temple), on Friday evening February 15, 2008 from 5-8 p.m. Funeral services for Mark will be held Saturday, February 16, 2008, at 12 noon in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Alpine North Stake Chapel, 1125 North Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, Utah. Family and friends may attend a viewing at the church on Saturday morning from 9:30-11:30 a.m. prior to services. Interment will be in the Alpine City Cemetery, immediately following his funeral.

A special thanks to Alpine Hospice, Warenski Funeral Home and Alpine Cove Ward for all their care and concern which made Mark's final days more comfortable for him and his family.

In lieu of flowers, PLEASE send donations to the HUNTSMAN CANCER FOUNDATION: In Memory of Mark Peterson, 500 Huntsman Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108; to help find a cure for this horrific disease which causes such horrendous pain and suffering to patients and their families.

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