Evelyn N. Peterson

LA JARA — Evelyn N. Peterson, 98 of St. George, Utah passed away on January 3, 2021. Evelyn was born April 6, 1922, in La Jara, Colorado to Peter Robert Peterson and Nellie Poulson Peterson. She was the fifth child of these wonderful parents.

Evelyn grew up on the Peterson ranch just outside of La Jara, Colorado. She often shared facts about her childhood in the family home, and the many activities and responsibilities she experienced as a member of a large family.  Evelyn referred to these years as “a happy time, and a good life”.

Evelyn graduated from La Jara High School.  It was here that she met and dated her lifetime sweetheart, Robert W. Garris.  She liked school and was especially fond of attending all of the school dances.

Since her date didn’t own a car at that time, Bob chauffeured Evelyn on his bicycle.  He often peddled the two of them to and from the ranch to town, even in cold weather.

Evelyn and Bob were married August 8, 1943. After their marriage, they moved to Denver, Colorado where Evelyn completed beauty school and then worked as a hairdresser.  During this time, her husband attended business school and pursued accounting studies. Evelyn later trained in secretarial skills and used these attributes the many years she worked as a secretary and office administrator in her husband’s accounting practice in Alamosa, Colorado.

Evelyn was always an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in various callings. She was a Sunday School teacher, counselor and president of the youth program, very involved in genealogy, and served as a devoted temple worker. Evelyn and Bob were sealed in marriage in the Mesa, Arizona temple on January 23, 1953.

Evelyn supported Bob in his leadership roles in the Church as Bishop, Stake President, and Regional Representative.

Since living in St. George, Evelyn has been a member of the Green Valley 8th Branch. 

Evelyn spent most of her life in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. After retirement in the early 1980s, Evelyn and Bob moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. This move was followed by their move to Mesa, Arizona in 1990 because of their calling in the Church as temple workers in the Mesa Arizona Temple.  In November 2000, they moved to St. George, Utah where they established their final residence. They both loved the years they spent in St. George.

Evelyn lived a full life filled with work, travel, and her extended family. She loved beautifying her several homes and yards. Evelyn was very good-humored and strongly believed in finding Joy in the Journey.  She enjoyed providing service to her church and to her family and friends. She loved music, dancing, shopping, picnics, visiting, and especially family get-togethers. Evelyn adored all her nieces and nephews and was often guilty of spoiling them!

Evelyn was preceded in death by her loving husband, Robert W. Garris in August 2010.  She was also preceded by her parents Robert and Nellie Peterson, and her siblings: Cora, Alice, Wade, and Leigh.

Evelyn is survived by her sisters: Norma Haynie Seattle, Washington and Lou Ann Gilliat, St. George, Utah; her brothers: Paul Peterson (Gerry)La Jara, Colorado and Myron Peterson La Jara, Colorado. Evelyn is also survived by 14 nieces and nephews, as well as their spouses and children.

All of these close relatives share a significant bond with this special aunt. Each of them holds memories of numerous experiences with “Aunt Evelyn” as precious parts of their early and current lives. She was always a listening ear, a caring heart, and a generous helping hand. She will be dearly missed. 

Due to COVID-19, a private family viewing followed by a graveside memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2021.

In lieu of floral arrangements, donations may be made to Huntsman Cancer Foundation or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Our family would like to give recognition and thanks to Dixie Home Hospice for their special care and service.

Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah. Friends and family are invited to sign Evelyn’s online guestbook at www.spilsburymortuary.com.