Heritage Day: Couples honored for their service to Lehi (Part One)

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The Lehi Historical Society and Archives has elected 11 couples to honor for their significant contributions to Lehi at Heritage Day on September 4, Labor Day, at 2 p.m. Each couple will be honored for their service with their own brick in the Walk of Fame Garden in front of the Legacy Center at 123 Center St., and then at 3 p.m., will be showcased in a city parade from the northwest corner of Wine’s Park down 600 N., and up 300 W., past Bandwagon Park to the LDS Church at 1149 N. 300 West. The public is encouraged to come out and help celebrate the lives of these good people. Check out the Lehi Historical Society and Archives Events on Facebook or call 801-768-1570 for more information.

Learn more about the first half of the honorees below!

 

Lynn and Arlene Peck

If you want to know something about old Lehi, Lynn Wilson Peck would be a good person to ask.

“He is one of the oldest generations left,” said Lynette Harris, a founding member of the Lehi Historical Society and Archives. “He has amazing stories. He knows and remembers things that no one else does.”

Born in the old Lehi Hospital on Apr. 23, 1934, Peck is the son of Odell Elisha and Lileth Peterson Peck. He was raised on the Peck farm, milking cows, hauling hay and sugar beets and doing anything else the farm required.

Today, where the farm used to be, there stands a monument at Dairy View Park, 1666 E. and 900 N., in Lehi in honor of Lynn’s ancestors, Lott Russon Jr. and Elisha Peck Jr., their families and the farm they maintained for 122 years. Lynn’s ancestors immigrated from England, settled in Lehi and purchased the bench land from which four generations of families made their living producing thousands of tons of hay, grain, sugar beets, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, corn, fruit, berries, beef and dairy.

Lynn attended Lehi schools and seminary, played football and threw the javelin at Lehi High School.

“He has many fond memories of Lehi and all of its places,” said his daughter, Tori Peck Gerber. “He remembers riding his motorcycle to Wine’s Park and the Royal Theater when he was just 10 years old. He also likes to tell about historic Main Street, where he bought guns at Hutch’s and groceries at Price Brothers.”

Lynn met Arlene Slater of Pleasant Grove at a high school dance after a basketball game. The couple was married on June 9, 1954. They have five children, 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

For more than 30 years, Arlene worked at Broadbents. “She had such a fun personality,” said Rhea Lewis, founding member of the Archives. “She wrapped gifts beautifully, and she could help you find just what you wanted and needed. Her hair and makeup were also always ahead of everyone else.”

Sadly, Arlene passed away on Jan. 16, 2016.

Lynn graduated from BYU and served a few years in the ROTC before quickly returning to Lehi to build a home and start a family. He made his living as a co-owner of Peck and Peckham Asphalt Paving Company.

Although Arlene was from Pleasant Grove, she too had ancestors in Lehi. “Her grandfather, Nephi Slater, and his brothers owned Lehi Morter and Brick Company in 1893. They supplied the brick for the old Third Ward Building and the lining of the Lehi School gym.”

For many years, the couple enjoyed a Couples Dance Club, and Arlene was a member of the Letitian Club. Both sang in their church choir. Lynn was a ward clerk, and Arlene was known for her decorating abilities at Relief Society activities.

“What they have accomplished in their lives is worth celebrating,” said Gerber. “Their values and legacy are of great worth to their family, community and country.”

 

Dean and Noortje Bolles

Dean and Noortje Bolles have a passion for preserving history, especially Lehi history. Even though neither is a native of Lehi, Dean is from California and Noortje the Netherlands, one would never know it by the amount of time they have spent in service to Lehi.

Soon after the John Hutchings Museum opened in its present location, the Bolles’ served as docents. Then from 2002 to 2004, Dean served as director of the museum until leaving to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Recife, Brazil.

When Dean took the position of director, there was no museum inventory available. Therefore, compiling an inventory became one of Dean’s first priorities. “Dean, Nelson Bullock and I spent countless evening hours compiling a photographic inventory of more than 1,000 photos of all museum artifacts,” said Noortje.

For the museum, Dean obtained a new computer and printer, received several grants, arranged for an Indian rain cape to be donated, provided protection for several ancient Indian baskets and a large bottle collection and had two cabinets made to display the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers collection.

An art display about pioneer women by artist Linda Mott of Pleasant Grove was brought to the museum for temporary display, and Dean worked with the city to purchase the Mary Judd Johnson paintings of homes and buildings in Lehi to be housed at the museum.

Noortje was on the museum board from 1997 to 2004, and again, after their mission, from 2006 to 2013. However, soon after they returned, John Haws, founder of the Lehi Historical Society and Archives, asked Noortje to serve on his board. So Noortje moved to the Archives, where she still serves and specializes in the Lehi Homes Collection. She works to track all the homes and their owners, past and present, in the oldest neighborhoods of Lehi.

“Noortje takes a lot of pride in what she does,” says Rhea Lewis, founding member of the Lehi Historical Society and Archives. “She’s done a lot of work on our Women of Lehi room, she volunteers twice a week and she’s dependable. It’s also fun to listen to her Dutch accent.” She also volunteers at Greenwood Elementary in their resource department.

Dean and Noortje have been married for 53 years. They have seven children, 24 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Both were raised in the San Francisco Bay area. Both graduated from BYU, Dean with a master’s degree in Public Administration and Noortje with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education.

The couple has lived in California, Virginia, and Utah. The major part of Dean’s employment has been with the U.S. Postal Service, where he retired after 30 years as the Washington, D.C., headquarters budget and cost analyst senior.

After all the children were in school, Noortje worked as a school aide and volunteered in the PTA.

Currently, Noortje works as a recording specialist while Dean serves as a sealer at the Mt. Timpanogos Temple.

 

J. Knollin, Deanna and Shirley Haws

John Knollin Haws has led an impressive life of service along with two outstanding women. A student of Lehi High School, Knollin was 17 when he convinced his mother to let him sign up for the National Guard. “I always had an interest in serving,” said Knollin, “but I never thought I would have spent my entire career there.”

But that is how it turned out. “I spent 42 years 11 months and 17 days in the National Guard,” he said. “I was in there from the time I joined as a junior in high school until my 60th birthday.”

After his senior year and before leaving for the military, Knollin married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Jeanne Messersmith, in the Salt Lake City Temple on Apr. 8, 1953. They were married 44 years before she died in 1997. They are the parents of six children.

Their lives were filled with service. Shirley was beloved for the many years she headed up the Lehi Roundup Parade and for the appreciation of Lehi she instilled in those around her while Knollin played the violin in the Lehi Community Orchestra and was intensely involved in local scouting, receiving the John Hutchings Scouting Award and the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award in scouting.

He was the Lehi District Boy Scout Chairman, District Boy Scout Committee Chairman, Utah National Parks National Representative to Boy Scouts of America, National Jamboree Committee Chairman and Utah National Parks Council Vice President (Area) to name a few.

Knollin served on the Lehi City Council, acted as mayor pro tem for a year and was a member of the Lehi Fire Department, the Utah County Fair board, the Lehi Coordinating Council and the Central Utah Chapter of the American Red Cross among others. In 1997, he received the Lehi City Community Service Award.

All this he did while also serving in the military. “I felt like some of my greatest achievements in my career were,” said Knollin, “when I completed and graduated from Command and General Staff College and the Nuclear Weapons Employment and Target Analysis Officer Course in 1974.”

While in the military, Knollin received a slew of awards, including: Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak-leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal with three Oak-leaf clusters and the Outstanding First Sergeant in the Utah National Guard in 1962. He also served in the Gulf War. In January 1995, he retired a Deputy Commander Colonel grade 06.

On Aug. 29, 1998, Knollin married Deanna Eggli Shuman in the LDS Mount Timpanogos Temple. She has four children.

They have functioned together in the Orem Utah College 1st Ward, served as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand, and Deanna assisted Knollin as he served on the staff of the LDS Church’s Philmont Training Center in New Mexico from 1998 to 2001.

Today, the two are happy snowbirds, spending their winters in Washington City, Utah.

 

Jerry and Annette Harris

Jerry and Annette Harris moved from northern California to Lehi, Utah in 1971. In 1972, after 100 years, the Union Pacific R.R. decided to tear down the 1872 historic Southern Pacific R.R. depot on State Street. After a bid to purchase the antique building, the Harris’s won the depot. The warehouse part of the depot was torn down to make it easier to move across the road to the Harris’s property, between State Street and the Freeway. The Lehi R.R. Depot was the oldest railroad building still standing west of the Mississippi.

In 1995, Lehi Historian, Richard Van Wagoner, received a special grant to purchase the building, and Jefferson Eastmond donated the property to move the depot back to its original location on State Street. The Harris’s are very grateful that the building was beautifully restored to a transportation museum and upstairs offices. They encourage Lehi citizens to take advantage of visiting this rare and beautifully preserved part of Lehi’s history.

On June 4, 1976, Jerry and Annette opened the “Purple Pig Pizza Palace”, using Lehi High School’s “purple” to be a part of the community. Laurelle Dalton designed the original “Miss Purple Pig” logo. The original location was a building built behind the Harris home next to the R.R. depot. The roof trusses were used from the R.R. warehouse. A beautiful antique bar with oak swivel chairs was the interior focal point. Pizza and Snelgrove ice cream were the menu.

Annette created her home-made pizza sauce on the kitchen stove in a small sauce pan. The business grew slightly, but the difficult location was a great disadvantage. A few years later, they purchased the building at 189 E. State Street in Lehi from Ron and Kenneth Peck. Soon the pizza business thrived, and Purple Pig Pizza served the residents of Lehi and surrounding cities for 27 years.

They sponsored fund-raisers for Lehi High students and other organizations. The original thick crust, home-made sauce, made in a five-gallon bucket, and a special cheese from Oregon made the pizza a favorite of many residents. It was always a delight for the Harris’s to give a free pizza for many friends’ special occasions. The ten Harris children, John Jay, Sharilee, Michelle, David, Corina, Shannon, Jaylyn, Adam, Brandon and Nathan all took their turns helping to run the wonderful family business,

Jerry served as Bishop of the Lehi Second Ward and on the Lehi Stake High Council. He also had a successful antique bottle business and traveled to many of the Western States selling to antique dealers. Annette was serving as the Lehi Second Ward Relief Society President at the time Jerry became Bishop, and was therefore released. She worked part-time for Alpine School District, was Council PTA President for two years, and oversaw organizing the Lehi City float and Miss Lehi Royalty each summer for five years.

Their son, John Jay, drove the float from under the massive decorations in City parades from Spanish Fork to Salt Lake Days of 47. In 1999, the youngest son, Nathan, left to serve an LDS Mission. Jerry and Annette followed soon after to serve their first of three missions. Eventually the Family retired from the pizza business.

To this day, locals still pine to have another taste of Purple Pig Pizza.

 

Dee Orlo and Geraldine Hitchcock Brems

Dee Orlo and Geraldine (Jeri) Hitchcock Brems have made no small contribution to Lehi.

Orlo was the first director of the Lehi Family History Center, where Lehi citizens could effectively research their ancestors. During his 12-year tenure, he obtained and established the location in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Lehi Stake Center at 200 N. Center St., acquired state-of-the-art research equipment and provided supervision and training for staff and patrons.

Avid genealogists, Orlo and Jeri researched and documented many family historical records for themselves and others as well as compiled priceless family histories that preserve the legacies of their ancestors.

A significant highlight of their lives was a month-long trip to Europe in 1982 where Orlo used his self-taught German to acquire records about his family history from several parishes and churches.

For many years, Orlo was an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America. He successfully helped the scouts organize fundraisers, including bottle collections and annual Christmas tree sales for which he often allowed the use of his yard.

One such fundraising effort was to help the scouts pay for and build fiberglass kayaks. Afterward, he happily helped the scouts navigate the Green River below Flaming Gorge Dam in those kayaks.

Orlo also served on the Lehi Round-Up Rodeo Committee for many years as well as the Lehi City Committee. 

Jeri was a homemaker most of her married life. She was a charter member of the Lehi Letitian Club, where she helped with community projects, including the building of many floats for the historic Lehi Miniature Parade. She was proud of having received the Golden Gleaner Award, which was awarded to women of the LDS Church between 1928 and 1972 who achieved spiritual, cultural, homemaking and service goals. She served in many callings in her church and was thrilled to be named a finalist in the Great Quilts of America competition for a quilt she made for the 50th wedding anniversary of Orlo’s parents. Jeri also worked at the Lehi Hospital, Dr. Boyd J. Larsen’s office, Kings’ Greenhouse and at the former Premoco station on State Street.

The couple served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the American Fork and St. George tabernacles in the member locator offices.

Lifelong residents of Lehi, Orlo and Jeri were born in Lehi and graduated from Lehi High School as sweethearts with the class of 1948. They married in 1949 in the LDS Salt Lake City Temple and have six children, 16 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.

They are an important link of seven Lehi generations that began when Orlo’s great-grandparents, Franz and Christina Lautensack Brems emigrated from Germany to Lehi in 1878.

Jeri passed away on July 3, 2017, just before her 87th birthday and about a month after the couple celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. Orlo graduated from Utah Technical College in Provo and worked at United States Steel Corporation’s Geneva Works for 39 years.

 

Marlin and Darlene Peterson

If you look back at the top toys of the 1960s, you will see that many of these toys help describe the lives of Marlin Peterson and Margaret (Darlene) Norris.

Grab your Viewmaster, and let’s take a look back to see how these two kids from Lehi began their lives together—dedicated to each other, their family, their community, their religion and their country.

The daughter of Winn and Eva Hall, Darlene was a Chatty Cathy at Lehi High School as she participated in the Pep Club and was a class officer. Marlin, the son of longtime Lehi residents Carlton and Alta Peterson, was that handsome Ken Doll who played sports. They decided to put that Easy Bake Oven to good use and were married on July 19, 1962. They were later sealed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Salt Lake City Temple.

Darlene quickly became a Suzy Homemaker taking care of their children. She was employed at various times for Speery, Inc., Estate of Planning and Pioneer Party.

If you ever wanted to see a Lite Brite in Darlene’s eyes, all you had to do was ask about her involvement in Lehi Round-Up Days. Darlene held the calling for her ward’s float for many years. She could make parade float pom poms in her sleep. If you were visiting her, she would teach you how to make them, and then you could talk! No one was to plan anything during Round-Up Week because she was always so heavily involved. She passed away on Sept. 23, 2014

Marlin was a member of the Planning and Zoning Committee and the Lehi City Board of Adjustments. With three Rock’Em Sock’Em Robot-type boys, Marlin dedicated many hours to youth community sports programs. He coached all three of his boys in baseball and basketball. A true Pioneer Booster, he attended all the LHS football games from 1979-1986. Over the years, he took many boys under his wings and taught them teamwork, determination, humility and leadership.

Next to his love for community, Marlin had a strong love for country. In 1957, he became a real life G.I. Joe and joined the U.S. Navy. He joined the National Guard in 1978 and served until he retired in 1997. He retired as an electrician for the Timpanogos Special Service District. He also owned Peterson Electronics in Lehi.

In 1987, Marlin and Darlene opened MD Pennys, a local variety store. Many people stopped by to grab a wedding gift, get the Candy Land game for a birthday present or buy a sympathy card for a friend. They would always hear, “You just saved me!” The community benefited greatly from their store. They sold it in 1997.

Just like the game of Mouse Trap has evolved over the years so have the lives of Marlin and Darlene. They are truly proud to be a part of this community, and their lives serve as an example for others to follow.

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