Peter McNiven Fillerup was born in Cody, Wyo., on Sept. 4, 1953, to Melvin McDonald Fillerup and Ruth May McNiven Fillerup. Peter grew up in Cody, spending summers at the family ranch up the North Fork, riding horses and venturing in the hills with his six adventurous siblings.
He attended Ricks College (BYU Idaho) and later Brigham Young University on an art scholarship. He later apprenticed with renowned sculptor Avard Fairbanks accompanying him to Italy to study marble carving.
Peter was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. At 19, he served a mission for the LDS Church in Sacramento, Calif., where he met many lifelong friends. On Aug. 12, 1977, he married Lisa Ottesen in the Los Angeles Temple. It seemed a providential match as their fathers had served as missionary companions 25 years earlier in Ireland.
After their marriage, Peter and Lisa moved to the family ranch house in Wapiti, Wyo., where Peter built a foundry and jumped wholeheartedly into the art business. During Peter’s 39-year sculpting career he was the recipient of numerous art awards and sculpted 38 heroic sized monuments. His creative energy lives on in his work and is evidence of his love for history, heritage and the freedom of the West.
Peter’s talents broadened as he ventured into architectural lighting design creating beautiful custom lighting for homes and businesses. He was especially privileged to be involved in creating lighting for over 20 LDS temples from Lima, Peru to Payson, Utah.
In 2015 he was honored by Governor Herbert for his artistic contributions to the state of Utah. Most recently, one culminating event of his career was being chosen to cast the Priesthood Statues of Avard Fairbanks, his beloved mentor, for the newly restored Priesthood Restoration site in Harmony, Pa.
Of all his creations, Peter valued his family the most. Peter and Lisa were blessed with six children. Five daughters and one son. He cherished his family, creating many happy memories horseback riding, snowshoeing, skiing, golfing and hiking. He loved being “Papa” to his twelve grandchildren who all believe he is the real “Peter Pan.”
Peter is survived by his wife Lisa and children Sarah (Ben) Thornal, Aubrey (Ben) Walker, Heidi (Dan) Goodrich, Maren McNiven Fillerup, Rebecca Ruth Fillerup and James Peter Fillerup. He also leaves behind six siblings: Selvoy (Kristen) Fillerup, Melvin (Judy) Fillerup, James (Diane) Fillerup, Karen (Dan) Flores, Sharon Fillerup, and Marybeth (Dane) Robertson.
He was preceded in death by his parents Melvin and Ruth Fillerup and grandson Benjamin Campbell Thornal V.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, in Heber, Utah, at the Heber East Stake Center 2395 South Mill Road. A viewing will be held at the same location Aug. 23 from 6-8 p.m. and also the morning of the service from 9 a.m. -10:15 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the LDS missionary department.
We will miss the mischievous sparkle in his eye, his dry sense of humor and his enthusiasm for living “Hard and fast all the way.”
Condolences may be shared online at www.probstfamilyfunerals.com