Willis Clarence Petersen passed away Saturday, November 24, 2018, at Legacy House in Bountiful, Utah where he spent the last year with his wife Elna Despain Petersen. Willis was born on April 13, 1927 to William Petersen and Mary Lavon Wagstaff Petersen in Elwood, Utah. He was the first of five children: Willis, Earl, Harold, Carol, and Reed. Willis married Virginia Lee on Sept 18, 1953, in the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They had five children: Christine, Larry, Kendall, Steven, and Lisa. After Virginia passed away in 2000, Willis married Elna on March 15, 2002, in the Logan Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Willis is preceded by his parents, his brothers Earl and Harold, his wife Virginia, and his daughter Christine. He is survived by his wife Elna, and his children Larry and (Becky) Petersen, Ken Petersen, Lisa Shinney, and Steve and (Sotheary) Petersen, seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Willis will also be missed by Elna’s children and grandchildren.
After graduating from Bear River High School, Willis joined the Navy in 1945 at age 18 and was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He later attended Utah State University. Willis was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and served for three years in the Danish Mission. He also served missions later in life with both Virginia and Elna.
Willis was a surveyor for the Soil Conservation Service in Tremonton for many years. He also farmed a few acres in Elwood. After retiring from the Soil Conservation Service, he worked for the LDS Church and drove a school bus. He really enjoyed the kids while he drove the bus. Willis loved his family and doing research on family history and genealogy. He planned and guided family history trips to Denmark and England. He was also very involved with scouting and received the Silver Beaver award.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, December 6, 2018, 5:00 – 7:00 pm at the Rogers & Taylor Funeral Home (111 North 100 East, Tremonton, Utah). There will be another viewing on Friday, December 7, 2018, 9:00 – 10:30 am at the Elwood Third Ward building (4865 W 9600 N, Elwood, Utah). Following this viewing, the funeral will be held at 11:03 am. Interment will be at the Tremonton Riverview Cemetery following the funeral.
The family would like to thank Jennifer Girswold – APRN, Debbie Johnson – RN, Althea, and the staff at Legacy House of Bountiful for the care they provided Willis and Elna during his final months.