Colleen Petersen

Colleen Petersen

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There will be live stream of the service on Wednesday August 12, 2020 starting at 10:00 a.m. Just go to the main page of If you can't watch it live it will be on Colleen's obituary page so you can watch whenever you can.
We require anyone who attends these services to wear a mask and please practice social distancing

Mary Colleen O’Barr Petersen, age 82, passed away in her home at The Seville in Orem, Utah on August 7, 2020. Born in Mesa, Ariz, on April 9th, 1938, to Edith DePriest and Augustus Barto O’Barr, Colleen loved her parents and brother, Gerald, deeply and often reflected on her early years. “I had a wonderful childhood,” she said. “We were poor but we didn’t know it!”

Colleen was a natural curly-haired redhead and her mother loved to dress her up like a doll, which did not stop her from finding mud puddles to play in whenever she had the chance. As a child, Colleen loved spending time with friends and extended family in Mesa, and spent many of her summers with family in Colorado.

She loved beautiful and colorful clothing, which she began sewing for herself when she was very young. According to her mother, “Colleen was very particular with everything, her hair and clothing and her living quarters, she kept her room so neat.” She was a beautiful woman her whole life, and often was complimented by others on her youthful appearance, even into her 80s.

In 1957 she married Nolan Petersen, and together they had five daughters. As a military family they moved often, and Colleen told many stories of their oversea adventures. She especially loved her time living and raising her family in Okinawa, Japan and Stuttgart, Germany.

A lifetime member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Colleen was a Relief Society President in three countries: Japan, Germany and the United States. She also served as a Young Women’s president in four states.

The happiness of her younger years unfortunately did not last forever, and she and Nolan divorced in 1994 amid complex heartache that she carried with her until she died. She was supported by friends and family members, but experienced numerous painful health conditions over the years that ultimately led to her passing. In the end, she found great comfort and peace in her unfailing belief in the Atonement and looked forward to reuniting with loved ones, including her daughter, Lori, who preceded her in death in 2012, her parents, and her brother, Gerald, who passed away last year. Her greatest loves in life were her children, her many close friends and the Savior.

Always generous, Colleen loved giving gifts to others, and would plan her Christmas presents to friends and loved ones months in advance. One of her last acts of kindness was riding home from a doctor’s appointment the week before she died; she asked to pull over so she could give a homeless vet a $10 bill out her window. She gave all she could in this life, and will be missed dearly by those whose lives she touched.

There will be a viewing at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 800 North in Orem, Wednesday, August 12 from 9-9:30am, with graveside service following at 10am at the Orem City Cemetery. Condolences may be offered to the family and a live broadcast of services may be watched at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 | 9:00am - 9:30am
    Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 9:00am - 9:30am
    Walker Sanderson Funeral Home
    646 East 800 North
    Orem, UT 84097
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 | 10:00am
    Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 10:00am
    Orem City Cemetery
    1520 North 800 East
    Orem, Utah 84097
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Lani Petersen Reynolds

Posted at 03:46pm
I have been in the process of looking for my Aunt Colleen for the last 5 years. I was so close but was told she was now living in Arizona. I wanted to see her again and thank her for being so kind to me. She was such a genuinely kind person and inclusive to those around her.
She is a lovely lady and her daughters whom I would also like to see are just as lovely. I hope I can see them again in the future.
I can almost hear Aunt Colleen laugh, now that she is free from the pain of this world. I loved her smile and her laugh !
My love to you Aunt Colleen.
Lani Petersen Reynolds

Grant Gunnell

Posted at 11:27am
Colleen is my sister-in-law and one of the elite ladies of our day. Her red hair is a trade mark and her beautiful spirit captivates those who know her well. She will be missed here in mortality...however the spirit world is celebrating this day to welcome her among the elite of the faithful to the Spirit World. God bless you Colleen and know of the love our family has for you!

Grant Gunnell Family

Randall Cornish, Encinitas, CA

Posted at 06:20pm
Colleen was a lovely person and my beloved wife Carolyn OBarr who passed away in 2017 loved her Aunt Colleen very much!
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