Cover photo for Peter John Dirkmaat's Obituary
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1943 Peter 2015

Peter John Dirkmaat

March 19, 1943 — February 9, 2015

Peter John Dirkmaat passed away suddenly on February 9, 2015 at his home in Shelley Idaho, after a courageous fight against cancer.

Pete was born March 19, 1943, in Nazi-occupied Netherlands. He was the oldest child and only son of Peter Hendrick Dirkmaat and Alida Emo.

In 1948 the family immigrated to the United States settling in Salt Lake City, Utah. Pete’s mother suffered an untimely death in 1957 which had a profound effect on him and his three sisters. Later his family moved to Southern Utah and Pete attended Kanab High School and then graduated from Page, Arizona High School in 1961. He worked on the Glen Canyon Dam project then under construction.

A month after his high school graduation he married Toni Blackburn of Orderville, UT; they later divorced in 1974.

Pete attended the University of Utah in 1963-64 then transferred to Long Beach State where he received his Electrical Engineering degree in 1968. He joined the Atomic Energy Commission in Germantown, Maryland in 1968 working in the Nuclear Safety Division. He began his nuclear training by attending night school at the University of Maryland. In 1969-70 the government sponsored his Master’s program in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. After this training, Pete began a 33-year career in Idaho working for the Department of Energy, retiring in 2003.  He subsequently worked for several other nuclear firms until he retired fully in 2008.

On Valentine’s Day 1975, Pete married Renee Hale. They were married for time and eternity in the Idaho Falls temple a year later. The next year (1976) Pete began building the new family home. Other than the concrete work, Pete and the family built the entire house without contractor assistance.

Renee and Pete served a full time mission in Suriname, South America. Suriname is the only Dutch-speaking country in South America. They were the only senior couple in Suriname. They had a marvelous 18 months in Suriname and appreciate all the members and young missionaries they with whom they worked.

Pete enjoyed all his LDS Church assignments over the years. He particularly loved coaching the young men in basketball. He also coached the Shelley Grid Kids in football for ten years. He also served as Elders Quorum President and High Priest Group Leader in the Shelley Second Ward, and also in the Stake High Council for 8 years.

Pete is preceded in death by his father and mother and two stepmothers. He is survived by his three sisters: Tina Penn (Bill) of Fairfield Glade, Tennessee; Sietske Johnstone of Page, AZ; and, Cathy Judd (Walt) of Ridgecrest, CA.

All of Pete’s children survive: Garn (LeeAnn) of Ammon, ID; Jennifer (Merlin) Smith of Blackfoot; Nathan of Pasco, WA; Dallan (Heather) of Brighton, CO; Gerrit (Angela) of Spanish Fork, UT; David of Pocatello, ID; and Bryant (Kymberlee) of Layton, UT.

Pete was extremely proud of all his children and their accomplishments.

Funeral services will be held 1:00 P.M. Saturday February 14 at the Shelley Stake Center (325 East Locust) with Bishop Terrell Hoskins, Conducting. There will be a viewing at the church building Friday evening February 13 from 6:00 till 8:00 P.M. and Saturday from 11:30 till 12:40. Both viewings will be at the Church. Interment will be in the Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Nalder Funeral Home in Shelley.

Pete and his family express great appreciation for the care provided by the Teton Cancer Institute, Dr. Brad Adams and others that provided for his care.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Peter John Dirkmaat, please visit our flower store.

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