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1937 Craig 2024

Peter Craig Mortenson

December 26, 1937 — March 14, 2024

Peter Craig Mortenson passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 14, 2024 after several years of struggling with dementia.  He was 86 years old.  He was born December 26, 1937 to Francis Niels Mortenson and Ila Estella Miner in Richfield, Utah. He has an older brother Neal, 20 months his senior, and his sister Tonita, is 13 months his junior. His earliest childhood memories included playing tag and hide-and-go-seek in the streets with his siblings and the neighborhood kids.  He delivered newspapers from the age of six on.  Both of his parents had been school teachers and taught college. He father had a PhD in agriculture.  Education was always a priority in their home.

 

When he was two years old, they moved to California for his father to take a job working for the Seagull Milk Company. They lived in Berkeley. These were the war years, and they had to ration food and practice black outs in preparation of the possibility of Japan bombing California. The family moved back to American Fork, Utah when his father got a job working for Geneva Steel, as a liaison between the farmers and the Steel company.  Craig thought their house was pretty big at the time, but in retrospect it was quite modest. He always knew what presents would be coming before Christmas, because there were only so many places to hide gifts. A present he remembered fondly was a pair of boxing gloves. Craig was a tall, strong child, so Neal became his manager and would arrange matches for him with the neighborhood kids.

 

Craig learned to play the clarinet, Neal the trumpet. When they went trick-or-treating on Halloween night, they would take their instruments and play the song, “Open the door, Richard!”  This their parents insisted on, because to beg door to door without giving something of value in return was wrong. There would be no free handouts without some work involved.  Craig played the clarinet until the 9th grade.

 

He met Ada in the 5th grade in American Fork. He remembers noticing her at a dance.  He was there dancing with a girl named Patty. Craig didn’t know how to dance very well. Ada noticed and switched partners so she would teach him how to dance.  In the 11th grade they were co-chairs for the Junior Prom. Craig excelled in school.  He was the state champion in tennis as well as debate.

 

After they graduated from high school, Ada went to BYU and Craig started studying at the University of Utah.  Craig qualified for a 4 year Navy scholarship, including books, lodging, tuition, and a stipend, but he turned down the scholarship because of the stipulation that he couldn’t get married until the end of his service.

 

Craig and Ada were married in the Salt Lake Temple after their third year of college, on September 18, 1958. Craig was not yet 21, and therefore still too young to sign his own marriage license and had to have his mother sign for him. The young couple found a little apartment, 2 blocks below the University of Utah, and were living there what they had their first child: Melissa – they called her Lisa.

 

Craig had decided to become an engineer while in the 10th grade.  He figured that Chemistry was the hardest branch of engineering, and so would be highest pain due to high demand. Only 12 out of his 140 classmates at the University of Utah graduated. His senior thesis was on “Thermal Conductivity of a Non-Newtonian Fluid,” a topic that was of particular interest to the Army at the time.

Upon graduation, Craig took up employment with B.F. Goodrich and their family moved to San Bernardino, California. Their second child, Dean Craig, was born there. Craig was assigned to research solid rocket propellant and rubber.  Craig went back to school and got an MBA at UCLA. While he was in school, he also worked part-time for American Aviation, working on the B1 Bomber. They lived close to the beach and Ada took the kids down to the ocean often, and Craig joined them as work and school would permit. Their third child, Patti, was also born in California.

 

Craig felt he had always had a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but felt it grow and solidify when he was called to teach the Book of Mormon to an 18 year old Sunday school class in California.  Studying the scriptures, he felt his questions and doubts resolved one by one, until one day he said to himself, “What a wonderful feeling! The Gospel is true!”

 

Upon completing his MBA he entered a two year training program with General Electric, and that meant they lived in various parts of the country, including New York and Indiana.   Their fourth and last child Peter Bennett, was born in Utah while Craig worked for General Electric.

 

In 1968 Craig took a job working for Cobe Laboratories, which specialized in kidney dialysis machines, and the family re-located to Golden, Colorado, where they lived for 42 years.  He worked for Cobe for about 10 years, before making the leap to real estate.  He often told his children, “The only person who will pay you what you are worth is yourself.”

 

Craig and Ada were very involved in the church in Colorado, with Craig teaching seminary for many years.   He also served in Bishoprics, as the Stake Young Men’s President, and on High Councils. He continued playing tennis almost daily until the last couple of years of his life.  He loved to take his grandchildren to hit tennis balls.

 

In their retirement years, Craig and Ada enjoyed traveling with Neal and Ann, and Tonita and Paul. They were blessed to visit many places, including China,  the Holy Land, Europe, South America, and more. Branson, Missouri was a regular favorite.  Craig was especially fascinated by the ancient ruins in Central America.

 

Craig and Ada served as missionaries in the Suva, Fiji mission from 2003 to 2005.  They helped people apply for the Perpetual Education Fund, as well as supporting wards, branches, and local leaders. They loved their new friends from Fiji and facilitated some of them being able to move to the United States.

 

After many years of living in Golden, Colorado, in 2010 Craig and Ada retired to St. George, Utah to be closer to their siblings, kids, and grandkids.  It was a difficult decision to leave Colorado, they had so many dear friends there, and they continued to be loyal Broncos fans.  They were quick to make new friends in St. George, and Craig played tennis there year round.  His grandchildren have many fond memories of time spent with Grandpa Craig, and they loved that he always has Tic Tacs in his pocket to share with them.

 

Craig is survived by his wife Ada Bennett Mortenson, Layton, UT, his children; Melissa (Joel) Weathers, Dean C. (Melea) Mortenson, Patti (Scott) Quinney, and Peter Bennett (Julie) Mortenson, 20 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, his siblings; Neal (Ann) Mortenson and Tonita (Paul) Crookston. He was preceded in death by his parents.

 

I lieu of flowers, the family invites you to donate to the Alzheimer’s Research Fund of your choice.

 

Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 N. Fairfield Rd., Layton, Utah. Friends may visit with family Wednesday March 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the mortuary prior to the service.

 

Interment,  American Fork Cemetery, American Fork, Utah.

 

The funeral service for Craig will be live-streamed and may be viewed by scrolling to the bottom of Craig’s obituary page at www.lindquistmortuary.com

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Peter Craig Mortenson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

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Lindquist's Layton Mortuary

1867 N Fairfield Rd, Layton, UT 84041

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Thursday, March 28, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Lindquist's Layton Mortuary

1867 N Fairfield Rd, Layton, UT 84041

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, March 28, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Lindquist's Layton Mortuary

1867 N Fairfield Rd, Layton, UT 84041

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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