In Loving Memory of Peter Joel Verdugo, March 22, 1991 - May 15, 2023
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our beloved, Peter Joel Verdugo, a beloved son, musician, mentor, and faithful servant of God. Peter's journey on this earthly realm came to an end on March 15, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of love, laughter, and a deep devotion to his family, friends, and the pursuit of music.
Peter was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 22, 1991, to his loving parents, Peter Verdugo and Yadira Verdugo. Peter was raised in Guadalupe, Arizona. From the moment he came into this world, his infectious laughter and joyful spirit illuminated the lives of all those around him. Peter's love for his family and community was evident in every interaction, and he always had a special way of brightening the lives of those he encountered.
Peter's educational journey was marked by his dedication to his studies and his passion for music. He graduated from Marcos De Niza in 2009, where he formed lasting friendships and his ability to bring a smile to anyone's face. His musical talents were showcased at Mesa Community College, where he excelled as a trumpet player, earning the esteemed positions of first and second chair in the Big Band.
The pursuit of his musical dreams continued at Arizona State University, where Peter proudly marched with the university's renowned marching band. In 2016, he furthered his education at Grand Canyon University, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Education with an emphasis in Music. As a member of the Grand Canyon University Pep Band, Peter's melodies filled the air, spreading joy and camaraderie throughout the university community.
Peter's musical talents extended far beyond the academic realm. He was an active participant in professional groups such as the Sonic Brass and Sonoran Swing, showcasing his exceptional skills and passion for music. Peter generously shared his knowledge and expertise as a mentor at the Tempe Center of the Arts, inspiring and guiding young musicians as they pursued their own artistic passions.
A dedicated music teacher in the Tempe Elementary School District for five years, Peter's impact extended beyond the classroom. His love for music and his compassionate nature allowed him to nurture and inspire countless students, igniting a lifelong passion for the arts. During his studies, Peter's leadership and musical guidance led the Tempe Union student band to achieve State Championships, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of his students.
In addition to his teaching and mentoring roles, Peter offered private music lessons, sharing his love for music with individuals eager to learn. He was a talented composer, pouring his heart and soul into creating beautiful melodies that touched the hearts of all who heard them.
Peter's life exemplified the teachings of Christ, as he embodied compassion, love, and a servant's heart. He was an active member of God's Grace Church and served on their praise team. Understanding that his talents were not solely for his own enjoyment but were gifts to be shared with the world. Peter's dedication to his faith extended to the Jesus Church praise team, where his musical talents were used to inspire and uplift congregants.
Peter's love for his hometown of Guadalupe was unwavering. He frequently played at community events, using his talents to bring joy to his neighbors and friends. He was a multi-instrumentalist, playing the bass, guitar, piano, keyboard, and any other instrument that came his way. However, his principal instrument, the trumpet, allowed him to create melodies that echoed through the hearts of all who listened.
Peter's love for music knew no boundaries, but his passion for jazz was particularly evident. He embraced the rich harmonies, improvisational spirit, and soulful rhythms of jazz, allowing its melodies to flow through.
Peter Joel Verdugo will be remembered as a radiant soul who touched countless lives with his kindness, talent, and unyielding faith. His departure leaves a void in our hearts, but we take comfort in knowing that he has found eternal peace in the loving embrace of our Savior.
During this time of mourning, let us remember Peter's infectious laughter, his unwavering spirit, and his dedication to his faith. May we find comfort in the knowledge that he is now in the presence of his Heavenly Father, where he will forever be embraced by an everlasting symphony of love and grace.
Peter, we will carry your memory in our hearts, and your legacy will live on through the lives you touched. Though we grieve your loss, we find hope in the promise of the resurrection and the certainty of eternal life in the presence of our Lord.
Until we meet again in God's heavenly kingdom, rest in peace, dear Peter Joel Verdugo.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight." - 2 Corinthians 5:7