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Obituary: Elaine Arla Peterson Bezzant

Elaine Arla Peterson Bezzant 1930 ~ 2005 Elaine Arla Peterson Bezzant, 75, of Orem, Utah, passed away August 30, 2005, after a long battle with rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure and lung disease. Elaine was the daughter of Reed M. Peterson and Arla Stansfield. She was born in Fairview, Utah, on June 6, 1930. At the age of 6 years the family, consisting of her parents and her siblings; Ross, and twins, Leland and Leah; moved to San Bernardino, CA, where she grew up to young womanhood. She attended elementary and high school there, graduating from high school at age 16. She enrolled next in Brigham Young University and began studies leading eventually to a degree in speech pathology in 1952. At the university she met a young engineer, Robert Bezzant, and the two of them, after a year courtship, were married in October 1950 and sealed in the St. George Temple December 1950. Their first home was in a small USBR house trailer in the construction camp at the portal of the Duchesne tunnel, half way between Kamas and Mirror Lake in Utah. Bob was a shift engineer in the tunnel. In the spring the Utah National Guard 115th Engineer Battalion was called up for the Korean War. Bob was a 2nd Lt. in a company. They moved to Wisconsin's Camp McCoy to live for a year. Their first son, Bob Jr. was born there. Elaine practiced her speech pathology driving around the coulees from rural school to school, working with the children. Bob left for the Korean theater in May 1952 and Elaine returned to live near her parents in San Bernardino. When Bob returned in late 1952, they moved to an apartment in Alhambra, CA. After awhile they moved into a new tract home, in Monterey Park, CA. Elaine was pleased to be in the first home of her own and demonstrated her talent for home decoration, making a beautiful home. Son, Bill and daughter, Julianne, were born about this time. After a short time they moved to Alhambra, CA, to a new modern home they had built on the top of a hill overlooking the San Gabriel Valley. Bob was City Engineer in Alhambra by this time, necessitating the move. Again her house was a striking modernistic home with lots of color and forms. She practiced part time as a speech pathologist with Alhambra schools. Son Dan, daughters, Merilee and Jolene, were added to the family Elaine was active all this time in the Relief Society and in Primary. She served on the R.S. Board of East Los Angeles Stake and in the Primary in South Pasadena Ward. She also acquired a Masters Degree in her field by going nights to California State University at L.A. The family next moved to Hillsborough, CA, on the San Francisco Peninsula, when Bob changed jobs to be Public Works Director for San Mateo. The family lived there for the next 30 years. Elaine worked at remodeling the basic ranch style house Bob purchased into a nice home for the family. She began a 20 year career with San Mateo County Schools, teaching handicapped children speech abilities with their limited resources and enjoyed the rewarding feedback from her students. She often said, "I can't believe they pay me to do this work." The family built a summer home at Lake Almanor, near Mt. Lassen, where Elaine and the children lived in summer, swimming in the lake, doing crafts and hiking the mountains near by. Bob would come up on week ends and on vacation to join them. The primary kids she taught, and the young women friends of the kids, were invited up for a week also. As the children grew older and were self sufficient, Elaine would plan exotic vacations and journeys for she and Bob to take. She took Bob to Hawaii on a cruise first, then expanded to trips into Central and Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador and the Galapagos, the Scandinavian countries of her forbearers, Continental Europe, Italy, Greece, Crete, Rhodes, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Russia, Kathmandu, Tibet, Thailand, Sumatra, Borneo, Indonesia, Java, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, India, East Africa, South Africa, Egypt, Israel, England, Ireland, Alaska, Canada, Brazil, Costa Rica, and the United States (in an R.V.). After they retired in 1990 they went on a 2 year journey around the world on a do it yourself basis. The kids were mortified at such scandalous actions of their parents. She was ever the curious and adventurous spirit. The art and cultural museums of the world were like a shopping list that had to be visited. The Louvre, the Prado, Rijkes Museum, Kroller-Muller, etc. Elaine was an artisan in her own rite. She made stained glass windows for the house, welded sculptures, won a Bay Area prize in photography and was an excellent cook and gardener. She trekked through the jungles and the grasslands of the world to see and photograph the Highland Gorillas, Cape Buffalo, Orangutans, Lions, Rhinos, Cheetahs, Leopards, Giraffes and Elephants, the Tigers in the Game Parks in India, and over 350 different birds in India, Africa and the other countries of the world. A renaissance woman. Elaine leaves husband, Bob, children, Robert (Alice), Bill (Nieto), Julianne (Mark), Daniel (Susan), Merilee (Cliff), Jolene (Steve), 31 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A viewing will be held at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 East 800 North, Orem, Thursday evening, Sept. 1, 2005, from 6-8 p.m. The funeral service will be held at the Sharon 5th Ward Chapel, 6th South and 8th East, Orem, Friday, Sept. 2, at 11 a.m. A viewing will be held one hour before the service in the Relief Society room of the chapel. Interment will be held in the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at: