Jay Dell Peterson
August 5, 1926 – December 25, 2019
On August 5th 1926 on a farm in Lund Idaho, Jay Dell Peterson was born. He was one of 5 children in his family, 3 sisters, himself and his brother Max. Life on a farm meant a lot of hard work including opening the water canal which supplied their land with their allotted amount of water. The times were divided up between the land owners .... the Peterson's property came at 2 am everyday. Jay and his brother Max were responsible for this along with other chores and going to school. At age 18 he joined the Navy and served as a gunner on two transport ships, the USS US Grant and the USS Stokes. After serving his country he returned home where one evening after having gone out for dinner with his brother Max, he announced that Idaho was too cold. Jay at that moment proceeded to get on a bus and headed for California. He got a job at a drug store where he met and fell in love with Zelpha Mae Galbraith. In time he proposed to her which resulted in a marriage that lasted 70 years. Jay started out dipping ice cream at that drug store. He worked hard, always did above and beyond what was asked of him and wound up becoming Vice President of the chain of drug stores known as Sav-on Drugs. The most important decision of Jay's life was when he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. This was an amazing change in his life. In 1972 at the age of 45 he retired and moved to Arkansas to live out his dream of becoming a "Cowboy." He and Zelpha built a home and tended to 100 head of Black Angus cattle. Unfortunately, after 4 years the price of beef fell drastically which made for good timing for the call he would receive from Sav-on Drugs. They asked him to come to Houston to help 5 of their stores that were
failing. After finishing that task it was the perfect time to retire again and move back to California, which they did in 1980. After a few years they wanted something they could do together and discovered a hobby called Eggery - the designing of Faberge type eggs. They began making, showing and selling these eggs which turned into a business; The Good Egg. With Jay's imagination and brilliant mind, he became well known for his creations of art incorporated with mechanical engineering. Another thing that brought him great joy was working in his yard and visiting with people that walked by. His yard was always filled with flowers and beautiful.
In 2013, Jay and Zelpha moved back to Arkansas to be close to family where he lived out his years. On Dec. 25th 2019 around 7:00 am Christmas morning, Jay passed on to be with his Lord, Savior and dearest Friend - Jesus. Jay's wife said through her tears "Jesus came into the world today and Jay left our world today."
Jay was preceded in death by his son Terry. Jay is survived by his wife, Zelpha Peterson of Rogers; two daughters, Cindy Gates and her husband, John of Fountain Valley, California and Sheila Thurman of Rogers; their daughter in-law, Kristi Rickert Peterson; grandsons Landon Thurman and wife, Rachel, Derek Thurman and wife, Stephanie, and Ashton Thurman all of Rogers, and Aaron and wife, Hadassah of Santee, California; granddaughters, Sarah Peterson of Ramona, California, Meagan Peterson of San Diego, California, Heather Equitz and husband, Kevin of Spring Hill, Tennessee, and April Ahlo and husband, Joey of Huntington Beach, California; 14 great grandchildren; Bridget, Charli, Kaden, Easton, Parker, Baylee, Connor, Rachel, Isaiah, Hannah, Joseph, Daniel, Hosea and Rebekah.
A memorial celebration of life will be at Rollins Funeral Home Chapel on Monday, January 6, 2020 at 11am with inurnment to follow at 1pm in Fayetteville National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Cancer Society, www.cancer.org or Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org.
- Zelpha Peterson, Wife
- Sheila Thurman, Daughter
- Cindy Gates (John), Daughter
- Kristi Peterson, Daughter-in-law
- He also leaves his grandsons, Landon Thurman and wife, Rachel, Derek Thurman and wife, Stephanie, and Ashton Thurman all of Rogers, and Aaron and wife, Hadassah of Santee, California; granddaughters, Sarah Peterson of Ramona, California, Meagan Peterson of San Diego, California, Heather Equitz and husband, Kevin of Spring Hill, Tennessee, and April Ahlo and husband, Joey of Huntington Beach, California; and 14 great grandchildren, Bridget, Charli, Kaden, Easton, Parker, Baylee, Connor, Rachel, Isaiah, Hannah, Joseph, Daniel, Hosea and Rebekah.
- Celebration of His Life Monday, January 6, 2020