Emma Helen Peterson McNiven

March 20, 1923 – Dec. 31, 2019

Emma Helen Peterson McNiven, 96, died on Dec. 31, 2019, in her home in Burlington. She was born March 20, 1923, in Emblem to Harry Verner and Edith Simmons Peterson. She was the fifth of six children. 

She grew up on the family farm and attended elementary school at the East Emblem one room school house and then attended high school in Greybull and graduated in 1943.


Emma married Walter Jay McNiven in the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 6, 1944. They settled in Burlington, where they farmed and raised their four children. 

Emma worked very hard alongside her husband to make their farm successful and was always busy with boundless energy. Emma always got up very early and worked very hard in her garden and yard. Her cellar was full of jars of home canned goods, her yard was full of beautiful flowers and shrubs, and her home was immaculate. She embroidered pillowcases and dish towels. She painted beautiful paintings and made many delightful ceramic pieces. 

She served as a Relief Society counselor and president and taught many children in primary as well as doing name extraction for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She organized many church bazaars and dinners. She loved to quietly and anonymously give gifts to others in need. She especially had great love and compassion for children, and she took flowers to the weary and sick in the hospitals.

She was devoted to her children and grandchildren as they came along and gave each and every one of them her complete, unconditional love and attention. Her home was always a safe haven for her family. They were taught love and loyalty and a strong work ethic. Family get-togethers with the aunts and uncles and cousins were frequent and are cherished memories. Her children and their cousins were always close and best friends, and the legacy of that love and friendship has passed on to the next generation of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

Emma was preceded in death by her parents and siblings Viola Reilly, Clyde Peterson, Harry Peterson, Madeline Olsen and Raymond Jay Peterson; husband, Walter Jay McNiven; and son Harry Robert McNiven.

Emma is survived by her children and spouses, Rodney Jay (Kathryn) McNiven of Burlington,  Darlene (Brent) Moncur of Lovell, Pamela McNiven of Burlington and Leonard  Don (Delsa) McNiven of Burlington; 23 grandchildren; and 106 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Burlington on Jan. 3, 2020, and burial was in the Burlington Cemetery.