'Dedicated public servant': Utah leaders mourn passing of former state Sen. Peter Knudson

Sen. Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, speaks in the Gold room of the state Capitol on Jan. 9, 2013. Knudson died on June 5 at the age of 86.

Sen. Peter Knudson, R-Brigham City, speaks in the Gold room of the state Capitol on Jan. 9, 2013. Knudson died on June 5 at the age of 86. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)


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BRIGHAM CITY — Peter Knudson, a former Brigham City mayor and Republican state senator who served for nearly two decades, died on June 5 at the age of 86.

The Brigham City native "passed away peacefully" last week, according to an online obituary. Knudson served on Brigham City's City Council for several years before serving as mayor from 1978 to 1990. He was later elected to the Utah House of Representatives, then to the state Senate where he served from 1999 until Jan. 1, 2019.

"I'm deeply saddened to hear of Sen. Knudson's passing," said Stuart Adams, the president of the state Senate. "He was one of the best individuals, and his kindness and humor were unmatched. Our country is blessed by his service as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, along with his contributions to Utah as a city councilman, mayor, representative and senator have left an invaluable mark that will never be forgotten. It was my honor to serve with him in the Utah State Senate. May his loved ones find comfort and strength in the memories of his remarkable life."

Knudson was the sponsor of a 2016 bill that created a special license plate for combat veterans and helped create Vietnam War Memorial Day in Utah on March 29.

He was a graduate of the University of Utah and Utah State University, and earned a dental degree from the University of the Pacific in San Francisco and master's and orthodontics degrees at Loyola University Chicago.

He helped create the School of Dentistry at the University of Utah and was an adjunct faculty member at the school.

"Abby and I send our sincere condolences to the family of former Utah Sen. Peter Knudson," Gov. Spencer Cox said in a post, referring to his wife, first lady Abby Cox. "As a mayor, city councilman, and state senator, Sen. Knudson was a dedicated public servant whose passion for the people of our great state and local government will not be forgotten. He was a good friend."

Services for Knudson will be held Saturday, June 22, at 2 p.m. at the Brigham City South Stake Center, 865 S. 300 West. Instead of flowers, people are encouraged to consider donating to the Oral Health Assistance Program at the U.'s School of Dentistry.

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Bridger Beal-Cvetko covers Utah politics, Salt Lake County communities and breaking news for KSL.com. He is a graduate of Utah Valley University.

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