J. Eugene Peterson of South Salt Lake City, Utah, age 82, passed away Monday, August 22 following a brief, but stoic battle with cancer. He was ushered out of this life surrounded by all of his immediate family who shared stories, special memories, and life lessons learned from having been part of the family he created with his wife, Iona Marie. He was alert and interactive until shortly before he passed, a blessing for those who were able to have their final conversations with him.\n\nJ. Eugene Peterson was born on May 14, 1940 to George and Victoria Peterson in Santa Ana, California. He was the middle child, having an older brother, Dean Peterson and younger sister, Marilyn Peterson. He enjoyed much of his youth in California surfing, swimming, boating out to Catalina Island, abalone hunting, exploring with his dear friend (Dean Werelius), and helping at his father’s market on the beachfront of Newport Beach. He also was very proud of his black 1940’s Ford Coupe that he carefully restored. He worked at Disney Land in high school and later worked for McDonnell Douglass, assembling airplanes, until he left for an LDS mission in Central Mexico. He learned to speak fluent Spanish and maintained that ability throughout his life, delighting in any opportunity to speak the language.\n\nOn July 14, 1967 he married his lifelong partner, Iona Marie Uhlig in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1971, while pregnant with their second child, Eugene and Iona moved to Hilo, Hawaii to pursue life goals. Throughout their 21 years in Hawaii, Eugene consistently demonstrated his ability for adaptability, perseverance and creative endeavors. He was a true entrepreneur - accomplishing multiple successful ventures that were a first of their kind. He built 2 large brick homes, with the help of his wife and sons and purchased additional investment properties. He developed a monthly newspaper detailing aspects of life on the Hilo side of the island – a publication still listed in the Library of Congress; he ran every aspect of the paper from 1975 – 1985, from taking and developing photographs, formatting the layout, printing the periodical with his own printing press, and mailing to Hawaii landowners living on the mainland. Simultaneously, he ran a business providing bookkeeping and tax preparation services, real estate appraising, and a car rental service for land owners coming from the mainland to view property investments. Later he transitioned his business to also include off-power appliances, generators, solar-power, wind-power generators. He was able to repair all of the things he sold, and find creative solutions for his off-grid customers - gaining respect as a knowledgeable asset for them. For several years, he ran 2 branches of his business – one on each side of the island. He was among the first to own personal computers – the IBM NorthStar (one of the earliest affordable Micro-Disk systems available), and taught computer programming classes in the evenings. He was self-employed for nearly all of his income-earning years - demonstrating discipline, perseverance, intelligence, respectability, and intuitiveness. He was an incredibly hard worker and expected the same from his children; it is a trait they learned from him. He had a strong personal sense of what was right from wrong.\n\nIn 1992, he moved his family back to Salt Lake City, Utah where he finished raising his children. He worked as a real estate appraiser for many years, and enjoyed various income generating projects re-selling various finds and refurbished treasures. In his inventive viewpoint, everything had a useful value, and he collected things earmarked for projects. He continued to enjoy music and joined an acapella singing group in Utah. \n\nEugene enjoyed so many things in life. He loved jogging and did so up until the last year of his life. He very much enjoyed a good musical, going to a live performance of any kind, Shakespeare, camping, hiking, downhill snow skiing, and was an avid reader all of his life, visiting the library often. Occasionally, a 5-minute nap was one of his indulgences. He valued an education and taught himself the skills to be successful in his efforts. He was often heard talking at length with himself to mull over his thoughts – it was reassuring for his grandchildren; it was a way to always know where Grandpa was. He loved a family gathering and reminisced about family events long after they passed. Listening was one of his talents – he rarely spoke of himself. When you talked to him, you always had his attention. Watching his clear blue eyes and expressive eyebrows express his response to your story was the best way to gauge his reaction. How he loved a good joke! He deeply enjoyed his grandchildren and looked forward to hearing about how they were doing. He truly loved his wife and strived to provide for his family.\n\nEugene is preceded in death by his parents (George & Victoria Peterson), his brother (Dean), and his infant grandson (Zachary Weeks). He is survived by his wife (Iona Peterson), his seven children: Michael Peterson (Jody), Michelle Weeks (James), Mark Peterson (Stephanie), Marla Moxley (Chris), Marsha Beck (Scott), Melinda Pyles (Nick), and Monica Meidell (Jonathan), 24 grandchildren, soon to be 7 great-grandchildren, his sister (Marilyn), and many nieces and nephews. \n\nGraveside services will be held on August 26, 2022 at the Crescent Cemetery in Sandy, Utah at 11:00 am with a celebration of life for family to follow services.