Cleone Emily Peterson Eccles

March 9, 1935  ~  April 5, 2013

Cleone Emily Peterson Eccles, devoted wife, mother and granny, passed away peacefully on April 5, 2013, surrounded by her loving family after a courageous battle with cancer. An inspirational role model to her family and countless others, Cleone lived a life exemplified by warmth, elegance, intelligence and a genuine concern for others. A true lady in every sense, she was widely admired for her graciousness to all, quiet strength and grounded values.

Born March 9, 1935, to Lionel L. and Clista Lasson Peterson in Fairview, Utah, she grew up helping on the family’s sheep ranch, at the local “Merc,” and at the Sanpete Valley Bank, where her father was president and a director. After graduation from North Sanpete High School in 1953, she went on to the University of Utah where she was active in campus life before graduating in 1957 with her degree in Elementary Education. She then taught second grade in Rose Park for a year.

Cleone loved her student days at the U! Living with her sorority sisters at the Pi Beta Phi house, she not only made lifelong friends, but also met her lifelong love, Spencer Fox Eccles, a member of the U’s Ski Team from Ogden who lived at the nearby Beta Theta Pi house. After four years of courtship, they married on July 21, 1958, at the Salt Lake Country Club, and spent two years in New York City before moving to Boise, Idaho, where Spence pursued his career at First Security Bank. They treasured their 10 years in Boise, actively participating in the community as they began raising their young family and developing friendships that would last a lifetime. Returning to Salt Lake in 1970, Cleone and Spence quickly became integral to the life of their community and state. They were partners in all their endeavors–family, banking, and philanthropic–and Spence relied heavily on Cleone as his most valued sounding board. This joyous partnership flourished for more than 54 years.

Active in the community and with her alma mater, Cleone served for two decades on the University of Utah Board of Trustees and also the Alumni Association Board, where she was vice president. She also served at the U on the boards of Red Butte Garden, KUED and the College of Nursing. Cleone was a longtime member of Town Club and a committed board member of Neighborhood House. She also served on the boards of Ballet West, the Utah Symphony Guild and the Junior Leagues of Boise and Salt Lake. In 2001, she was honored by the Junior League with its Legacy of Excellence Award. The University of Utah honored Cleone with its Distinguished Alumna Award in 1995, and with an Honorary Doctorate in 2005. Together, she and Spence received Utah’s 2010 Philanthropic Leadership Award and were named the 2012 Humanitarians of the Year by Catholic Community Services.

Throughout her life, Cleone was active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, particularly enjoying her service in the Primary and Relief Society.

Cleone’s greatest happiness came from being with her family. She delighted in her children and grandchildren, encouraging them in every pursuit. She enjoyed traveling near and far, from frequent visits to her hometown, and to Sun Valley, Palm Springs, their Idaho ranch and Hawaii, to adventures with her family exploring the world. She loved to garden, ski, play golf, host parties at home, and–arm-in-arm with Spence since their student days–outfit the entire family in Crimson Red to cheer on their beloved Utes with unwavering loyalty and enthusiasm!

Cleone’s positive influence will continue to be reflected in public places and programs throughout Utah, but her real and lasting legacy lives on through the lives of her children and grandchildren, in whom she has quietly fostered a love of giving to others.

She will be greatly missed and remembered by those surviving her, including her husband, Spencer F. Eccles, and their four children and families: C. Hope Eccles (Randal K. Quarles) of Washington, DC; Lisa Eccles; Katie Eccles (David J. Burnett); and Spencer P. Eccles (Kristine Lifferth), all of Salt Lake City; and ten grandchildren: Eliza, Marie, Grace and David E. Burnett; Clara, Mary and Spencer L. Eccles; and Randy, Spencer and Hopie Quarles. She is also survived by her devoted sisters, Miriam Mason, Brigham City, and Cathy Bryan (Jack), SLC; her sister-in-law, Betty Jo Peterson, SLC; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and brothers, Dr. Lewis A. Peterson, and Albert L. Peterson.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, April 10, at 12:00 noon at Olympus Cove Ward, 3832 Oakview Drive. Friends may call prior to the funeral from 10-11:30 a.m. or the preceding evening from 5:30-7:30 at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple.

Cleone’s family extends warm thanks to all who participated in her excellent care at the University of Utah Hospital, the Huntsman Cancer Institute and Rocky Mountain Hospice. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts are suggested to Neighborhood House, 1050 West 500 South, SLC, UT 84104, or The Cleone Peterson Eccles Center for Breast Health at the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, c/o UofU Development Office, 540 Arapeen, #250, SLC, Utah 84108.

Larkin Mortuary

July 22, 2014, 2:08 am-

Condolemces to the family. May God Bless her and the family. May she rest in Peace and God's Eternal Light Shine upon her.

Kathy Kim

- Kathy Kim

April 10, 2013, 10:01 am-

Dear Eccles family, I have been among the many fortunate people who have admired your wife, mother, and grandmother. She was always gracious,thoughtful, and kind to everyone. I have considered it an honor to have known her at all. She will be missed by the entire community. My heart is with you during this tragic time.
sincerely, David Anthony Sargeant

- David Anthony Sargeant

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