LDS woman recognized as 'Distinguished Nevadan'

By Keith Thomas

For Mormon Times

Published: Sunday, May 29 2011 7:00 a.m. MDT

Anna Lou Call Peterson, a member of the Monte Cristo Ward, Las Vegas Nevada Sandstone Stake, received the Distinguished Nevadan award at the University of Nevada Las Vegas commencement ceremonies on May 14.

The Distinguished Nevadan award represents the most prestigious award conferred by the Board of Regents. It is given to prominent individuals who have made significant achievements that have contributed to the cultural, scientific or social advancement of Nevada.

A native of Malad, Idaho, she graduated from BYU in 1956. She is married to Grant L. Peterson and has six children: Bradley Grant Peterson, Zan Peterson Hyer, Clark Call Peterson, Sona Peterson Lemmon, Lance Grant Peterson and Jana Peterson Loerwald. She also has 24 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

"She was always just content to just do her best, especially being a great wife for the past 55 years, and a wonderful mother to all our children,” says Grant Peterson.

Professionally, Ann Peterson has served as assistant court administrator in Las Vegas from 1976 to 1980, and from 1980 to 1993 she served as the court administrator for the Eighth Judicial Court of Clark County. She was also a court representative at the Legislature and in the community. During this time, she was instrumental in the formation of the Family Court Division, developing concepts for resolving domestic disputes, promoting self-help clinics for litigants, and programs to aid victims of domestic violence. She introduced many innovative court programs, including the complete revamping of the jury program to ensure a larger, more diverse jury pool.

She also served as chairwoman of the Clark County Justice System Steering Committee and as a member of the Nevada Advisory Committee on Records Retention. She has also received the Liberty Bell Award from the Clark County Bar Association.

In addition to her professional contributions, she has served on numerous charitable and community organizations throughout the years, including the board of the Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra and the advisory board for the School of Social Work at UNLV.

Active in politics, she served as the coordinator of the LDS Church's marriage amendment efforts in Southern Nevada. She is an annual speaker at the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Leadership Las Vegas training sessions. She is also listed in Distinguished Women of Southern Nevada and was named Clark County Mother of the Year in 2000.

She is also a founding Member of the BYU Management Society and was recently recognized by the BYU Emeriti Alumni Group with its 2011 Emeriti Award.

“When they read the list at the awards ceremony of my mother’s accomplishments, I was amazed. We just knew her as a great mom,” said daughter Zan Hyer. Daughter-in-law Kathy Peterson says that “she has been a great influence on our children. In fact, sometimes it seems like the grandkids like her more than they like us.”

She has held many positions in the organizations of the LDS Church, including many years as a seminary teacher. She also has hosted a weekly scripture study group for more than 30 years. She and her husband, Grant, a long-time banker in Las Vegas, and former bishop, also served a full-time mission in the George Atlanta Mission.

She served for over 12 years as an ordinance worker in the Las Vegas Nevada Temple, which she says "is one of the things that has brought me the most satisfaction of all the endeavors in which I have been involved. I know I’ve done lots of things over the years, but being a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, is what I enjoy most.”

Keith Thomas is a public affairs representative in the Las Vegas Nevada Sandstone Stake.

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