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Namesake to get a plaque at Pete’s Rock
First Published Jan 08 2013 05:32 pm • Last Updated Jan 08 2013 05:32 pm

You may have hiked past it on your way up Mount Olympus, or you may have driven past it on Wasatch Boulevard in Holladay.

But that rock isn’t just any rock. It’s Pete’s Rock.

At a glance

Petersen’s paid obituary

Published Oct. 5, 2001, in The Salt Lake Tribune

Christian O’Dell Petersen (Pete), age 90, died peacefully October 3, 2001 after a brief illness. O’Dell was born September 4, 1911 in Fairview, Utah to Christian Marinus Petersen and Ida Petersen. He married Edith Christensen on April 11, 1939.

Beginning with their courtship, they became known as Pete and Pinky to many family members and friends.

As a shoe repairman and West Side businessman for 65 years, O’Dell served thousands of Salt Lake’s residents with his craftsmanship and generosity. He repaired shoes free of charge for the disabled and donated many refurbished shoes to the needy. His shoe shop filled the needs of his customers and countless hikers and skiers who loved the Wasatch Mountains. Pete was the oldest living member of the Wasatch Mountain Club at his death. He joined the Club in 1928 and actively served for over 50 years as a director, trip leader, and trip registrar. Hikers and rock climbers still follow routes marked by Pete and his friends on Pete’s Rock on Wasatch Boulevard and elsewhere along the Wasatch Range.

O’Dell was well-read and shared his quick wit and trademark generosity with his family and all he met. He was an avid movie-goer, walking for seven decades from his home to downtown theaters. O’Dell treasured his family, God’s creations, and his movie memories, and he inspired his family to do the same. He was an Elder in the LDS Church and lovingly supported his sons and extended family in missions and Church assignments. We have lost a generous man who will always be remembered.

Pete is survived by his wife, Edith, and their children, Ronald O’Dell (Leslie) of Parma, OH, Thyce Owen (Harriet) of Chandler, AZ, and Linda (Ray) Connors of Bountiful, UT; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; a cousin, Grace Storer, and many loved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his siblings and their spouses, Irene (Elmer) Sainsbury, twin brother Rodell (Maxine), Wendell (Shirley), Eugene (Phyllis), Gerald and Royal.

A private graveside service will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, 2001. Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service that afternoon at 4 p.m. at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple. Friends may visit with the family 30 minutes prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Salvation Army.

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It’s named for O’Dell "Pete" Petersen. He and his wife, Edith Christensen, used to give climbing lessons on that rock. At 9 a.m. Saturday, the Wasatch Mountain Club is placing a plaque at the base of the rock in his honor.

Click on the Wasatch Mountain Club’s calendar entry for more details. Petersen died in 2001. (See his obituary in the box to the left.) But some of his family are expected to attend the ceremony.

After the dedication, the club is planning a hike up the Mount Olympus trail to the new section of the Bonneville Shoreline trail that heads north toward Neff’s Canyon.

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @UtahHikes




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