Ivo Peterson, judge and
leader in Pageant dies at 66
By Suzanne Dean
EPHRAIM—Funeral services for Ivo Peterson, a key figure in the Mormon Miracle Pageant for 23 years, a former justice court judge in eight cities in Sanpete County, and a professor at Snow College for 21 years, were held Wednesday in Ephraim.
Peterson, 66, died last Saturday, Feb. 28 of complications from ankylosing spondolitis, a rare form of arthritis that required repeated surgeries.
Peterson grew up on a farm in Richfield and graduated from Richfield High School. He received bachelor and master of fine arts degrees from the University of Utah.
In 1991, he returned to Central Utah as a vocational rehabilitation counselor in the Manti office of the Utah State Office of Rehabilitation Services.
In 1996, he joined Snow College as director of a program called School to Careers. A few years later, he became head of services to disabled students at the college.
At the same time he was heading up disability services, he joined the Theater Department as a faculty member.
In 2006, he switched from the Theater Department to the Communication Department, where he taught public speaking and interpersonal communication.
In 2000, while at the college, he was appointed judge of the Manti City Justice Court. One by one, he was appointed to preside over municipal courts not just in Manti but also in Mt. Pleasant, Moroni, Spring City, Fairview, Fountain Green, Gunnison and Ephraim.
But his most visible role in the county was with the Mormon Miracle Pageant.
His first year with the pageant was 1993, when he played George Washington. In 1995, he was called to the pageant presidency, and from 1998 to 2004, he was pageant director.
After stepping down as director, he played Christ in the scene in three pageants. From 2008 to 2016, the 50th anniversary of the pageant, and Peterson’s last pageant, his main role was costume designer