Lynn “Nard” Daniel Peterson died unexpectedly on October 19, 2023. He was 51 years old. Lynn was born on June 13th, 1972 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and right from the beginning, he had a mischievous spirit and a gentle heart. He was number five of seven brothers born to Gerald and Christa Peterson. As a child, he lived for family vacations - camping, yearly trips to Stinson Beach, to be with cousins and to go surfing, and tagging along with Gerry on his Education Week tours. Even as a young child, he had the ability to connect with people and make them feel heard, included and enjoyed. On family trips to Flaming Gorge, as soon as the family pulled into Green Lakes campground, Lynn (maybe 5 or 6 years old) would disappear, returning later with new friends that simply had to be invited to dinner.
Upon entering junior high and high school, he quickly gained a reputation as an entertainer and creative, his playfulness and bright laughter a welcome respite for friends. His haunting artwork and perfectly curated taste in music were aspirational for most his age. He found a home in theatre, and pursued the interest all through high school and college, often cast as the villain, or at least a troublemaker. It was through his involvement in the Actor Training Program at the University of Utah that he met many of his dearest friends and his future wife, Shauna Scott. They had what can only be described as a romance worthy of film, inexorably drawn to one another from the moment they met, first becoming friends, but quickly realizing it was more than that. They committed it to paper on September 13th, 1995. Lynn lovingly cared for Shauna’s two older kids, Justin and Madison, and was overjoyed to welcome a son of their own, Gage Peterson. He was a loving and attentive father, always ready with new tools and toys to teach and entertain.
Somewhere along the line, Lynn decided that his place in entertainment was behind the lens instead of in front of it. He got a job as a camera man at ABC4 News, where he shared his raucous sense of humor and made connections that would support his later work. He developed incredible skills in filming, interviewing and especially editing. Beginning with his brainchild Profiles in Caring, he poured his creativity into producing television that helped support the work of hundreds of nonprofits and won a handful of Emmys in the process. In all his travels, he found the most joy if he was connecting with people. Foregoing tourist traps, he would discover culture wherever he traveled. Subsequently, he used multi-cultural experiences to challenge his biases. Lynn truly brought humanity to the forefront of any experience. He always cared for the underdog, the outcast, and the downtrodden. He was never afraid of public perception and aligned himself with those who needed help. Most recently, he worked for Greater Good, still making a global difference for charity with his videos. In his free time, he loved to go fishing and never missed a Utes or Jazz game if he could help it. Lately, he spent as much time as he could devoted to caring for his grandson Cash. After his son Gage and family decided to up-stakes to Bremerton, Washington, Lynn and Shauna followed, fulfilling a lifelong dream of living closer to the ocean.
If you could say one thing for Lynn Peterson, you could say that he was a gift giver. Lynn gave spontaneous gifts; a trip to the pharmacy often produced a new toy for the grandkids, or a new CD he thought his wife would enjoy. He gave opportunities: instruments and video games (so many video games), computers and sometimes jobs. He gave the gift of knowledge, offering insight and advice when he thought it might help, teaching new skills and involving the people around him in his work. Lynn gave the gift of adventure, whether it was dragging friends into teenage shenanigans or bringing someone new along as he travelled the world. He gave the gift of home: to a never-ending list of dogs, cats, rodents and birds, and occasionally friends of his or a friend of his kids. He gave the gift of comfort, most obvious in his knack for helping upset babies to fall asleep. He gave the gift of awareness, shining international light on nonprofits through his work. He never left for a trip to Africa without a giant bag of candy in his suitcase, ready to fill his pockets and give it away to local kids as he worked. Lynn moved through the world with an ease and empathy that’s beyond most of us, and in the truest sense, left the world a better place in his wake.
Lynn was preceded in death by his stepson Justin Scott in 2016. He leaves behind his wife Shauna Scott, his son Gage and wife Jasmine, grandson Cassius, stepdaughter Madison and husband Gabriel, granddaughters Rosemary and Adelaide, daughter-in-law Cherisse and grandchildren Julian, Asher, Lillith, Kara, Hunter, and Verity. He also leaves behind bonus son Brandon Sargent and bonus grandchildren Tessa, Tevin, and Liam. If Lynn left this world with any regrets, it’s that he never had a chance to meet the newest members of the family. A gathering in Lynn’s honor will be held at Memorial Mountain View Mortuary at 3115 E. 7800 S. in Cottonwood Heights, Utah on November 19th from 4:00pm to 8:00pm, with services conducted from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Refreshments will be served afterwards. For those unable to attend, the service will be livestreamed. Visit this page on the day of the service to view the service.