Peter Spoehr
Peter Spoehr

Obituary of Peter Adams Spoehr

Peter Adams Spoehr, age 94, passed away peacefully on June 15, 2024. Pete was the son of Mildred A. Affleck and Victor Augustus Spoehr. He was born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago and was the younger brother of Thomas and David Spoehr. Pete attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and graduated from Hamilton College, in New York. He was a talented athlete, playing football, tennis, soccer, boxing, hockey and baseball. Pete served in the U.S. Navy Reserve for eight years.

In 1956, he married Sally Ann Rambeau and they had two children, Tom and Barb. His long and successful career as an executive in the construction machinery business took him and his family to Illinois, Wisconsin and to Virginia.

Throughout his life, Pete was a gifted storyteller, humorist, and host, always entertaining the neighborhood kids by juggling balls, performing magic tricks and balancing lawn mowers and extension ladders on his chin. He cherished his friends and was always ready to share a joke and an “Old Milwaukee” beer.

Early on, Pete developed a love of canoeing beginning with a trip in college which took him and his life-long friend Don Bergman and two others on a 6-week paddling trip from Ely, Minnesota, to Hudson Bay. In later years, he paddled innumerable rivers in the U.S. and Canada. Pete especially enjoyed his trips through the Quetico and Wabakimi Provincial Parks in Canada and numerous remote paddling adventures into the Arctic Circle. Sally would occasionally join a few of the more civilized canoe trips. Pete thrived in the adversity that he and his friends encountered in the wilderness, such as freezing temperatures, unrelenting rain, dangerous rapids, strong headwinds and merciless bugs, and was known for being able to start a fire in the middle of a torrential downpour. Together with his paddling buddies, Peter was an Illinois state canoe racing champion, repeat first-place winner of the 22-mile Midwest Canoe Marathon, and numerous other races.

In retirement, Pete and Sally moved to St. Augustine, Florida, where they enjoyed 23 good retirement years. They made cherished friends and enjoyed gathering over food and drink for conversation. In retirement, Pete was more active than some men decades younger, playing tennis, golf and participating as a founding member of both the Marsh Creek Kayakers and the R.C. Sailing Club. Pete was proud of his German heritage and took special pride in the fact that he had lived longer than any other Spoehr (Spöhr) man in his line of the family tree.

Pete loved his wife Sally of 67 years, his son, Tom Spoehr, a retired three-star Army general (Cynthia), his daughter, Barb Schlaefer a communications professional (Paul), his four grandchildren: Catherine Baker, Peter Spoehr, Annie Schlaefer, and Ellie Schlaefer, and his five great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Peter
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota
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