- A very community-oriented couple is Neil and Vicki Peterson. Neil was born in Salem, on the kitchen table. He was delivered by Dr. Neil, so his mother named him Neil. His parents were Elmer and Tena Peterson. They now live two houses north of the home he grew up in. He has three brothers and one sister and is second to the oldest. Vicki is from Spanish Fork. She was born in the Hughes Memorial Hospital. Her parents were Von and Maxine Hill. She has three sisters and two brothers and is second to the youngest. Neil is 75 years old and Vicki is 70.
Neil and Vicki had been married for 51 years. They were introduced by a mutual friend while dragging Main Street in Spanish Fork. They both graduated from Spanish Fork High school. They are the parents of five children, two boys and three girls: Angie Stewart who lives in the home Vicki grew up in on 200 West and 200 North in Spanish Fork; Diana Olson, Salem; Jana Nielson, Salem; Scott Peterson, Salem; and Michael Peterson, Spanish Fork but will soon be moving to Salem. They have 19 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Neil served in the Coast Guard, the Coast Guard Reserves, and the Utah National Guard Reserves for 12 years. He worked as a sheet metal journeyman for 22 years and then was in the car business for 15 years. Vicki was a secretary to Congressman Gunn McKay for four years in the Provo-Orem Congessional Office. She then worked at Payson City Hospital as a secreatary in the lab for 11 years, and for the past 21 years she has owned Sweetbriar Cove working there with her daughters.
Vicki served as a Councilwoman for Salem City for four years. She served on the Salem Days Pageant Committee several times and the Miss Salem Pageant. Neil also helped with numerous Salem Days. He was President of the Salem Lion's Club twice. Some of the things they did during this time were the Easter Egg Hunt, had Santa Claus come to town, and provided the first street signts in Salem. In 2006 they were the Salem Family of the Year.
Neil served as Bishop of the Salem L.D.S. 10th Ward for six years. They served an L.D.S. mission to Western Africa, serving in Nigeria, and also in Liberia for seven months. They learned to love the people. They said there is a difference in the wealth of the people between these two areas. Vicki is currently the Salem West Stake Relief Society President and Neil is the Stake Assistant Executive Secretary. They love their service in the Church.
They couldn't think of a food they don't like (except they couldn't explain some of the food they had in West Africa). Vicki says she loves anything chocolate, desserts or anything sweet. Neil loves horseradish and jalapeno peppers. He makes his own horseradish.
Vicki likes to quilt, sew, do floral arrangements and they both love indexing for the Church. Neil does carpentry. In fact, he built the building that Sweetbriar Cove is in. He does upholstery, stain glass, gardening and raises birds. He had ostriches for 15 years.
When asked what they like about Salem, they said the people--how they love each other and do whatever they can for reach other, how they help their neighbors. Everybody wants to be good to everybody. They know everybody, and will call if they think something is wrong. It is a family community.
Vicki, may the April showers bring more May flowers for you.
Senior Spotlight, Salem City Newsletter, May 2015, page 3