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Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Pete Weldon would agree that he was truly extraordinary. Although he was a private person who primarily kept to himself, the love he had for his family was a genuine constant in their lives. Pete was very gifted, and he used his intellectual talent to share insights and wisdom with the world around him. With faith as a cornerstone, he was passionate about helping those in need in ways both great and small. Although Pete will be deeply missed, he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
The 1950s were exciting years in America. Civil rights began to gain momentum when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama bus, and the space race between the United States and Russia began in the late-fifties as they launched Sputnik in 1957. This was also the decade in which we became a nation of 50 states with the additions of both Alaska and Hawaii. Just as in the world around them, there was great excitement in the lives of William “Pete” and Barbara (Herrmann) Weldon as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the calendar turned to welcome in December of 1957. Their wait was over just a few days before Christmas as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Peter J. He joined his older sister, Kate, in the family, and with the births of two younger sisters, Anne and Laura, their family of six was complete. To support their family, Pete’s father was a CPA while his mother focused her time and attention at home.
Raised in the family home on the northeast side of Grand Rapids, Pete experienced an upbringing that was fairly typical for the youth of his generation. He enjoyed playing with other neighborhood kids from dawn to dusk. A typical brother, Pete was known for setting up Army figurines in the yard to use as targets for his darts. He and his sisters had fun outside in the winter, too. They made a skating rink in their backyard, went sledding, and played other outdoor games with neighborhood kids. The weekend was something everyone looked forward to in the Weldon family as Friday night was always fish fry, Saturday night was hamburgers, and Sunday was a large meat and potato dinner. Sunday night was the day Pete and his sisters could have soda pop, (Towne Club) popcorn, and watch Walt Disney on television.
Pete was very intellectually gifted. As a student he attended Saint Alphonsus Elementary and graduated from West Catholic High School in 1976. From there Pete went to Michigan Technological University and earned two engineering degrees (chemical and mechanical). A mischief maker at times, Pete pulled the fire alarm in high school or mixed chemicals in the basement and was severely reprimanded. With an appreciation for winter Pete enjoyed the campus winter fest in college and took part in marking ice sculptures. Pete had an IQ of 152 and was a proud member of MENSA International, which only a select few with aIQ score of the top 2% of the population are able to be a part of. He was also a writer and the publisher of the MENSA’s quarterly NOVA newsletter.
Family was a treasured gift in Pete’s life. Some of their favorite memories were made camping at PJ Hoffmaster State Park and Yellowstone during the summer. They started out in a tent and later progressed to a travel trailer. Pete was notorious for creating campfires that were so large that he was reprimanded by the park rangers. The family always played cards and board games while at home or on vacation. His favorite taunt when winning at games was “huss”. Holidays were special, too, the holidays were spent with extended family at their home every year. With family being a cornerstone of his life, his best friends were his nephew Shawn and his cousin Scott.
Pete was the designated holiday meat carver. Christmas Eve was always spent at Aunt Rose's house. The family had an endearing German tradition of “hiding the pickle” in the Christmas tree. Pete traveled to Florida with his parents when they were retired, and he also traveled to Las Vegas, Israel, and took a Mediterranean Cruise. His family were staunch Catholics who went to St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and School. No one in the family ever missed a Sunday service, and Peter remained a church member throughout his adult life.
Throughout his life Pete was a man of many interests. He liked keeping up with current events, politics, and religion. Pete was into coin collecting, bowled on various league teams, played chess and video games, brewed beer, and played online poker and Buzztime Trivia. Pete and his local trivia buddy’s (Joe and Mike) were ranked #1 in Michigan and #5 in North America through Woody’s Press Box location. He never really had traditional employment as he preferred work that allowed him both independence and freedom; especially when it allowed him to walk and be outside. Since he was very smart, Pete was able to win a lot of money gambling as his brilliance allowed him to beat the odds. He very generously donated money and was involved with fundraisers with the Knights of Columbus. Pete delivered ‘meals on wheels’ to the needy on Thanksgiving. He loved reading anything about history, mathematics, sports, and journals, and he even read the encyclopedia front to back. Pete was a fan of both the Tigers and the Lions, and when it came to music he enjoyed classic rock. He liked grilling steaks, made great spaghetti, and Brann’s Restaurant was his favorite place to eat out. Hot and spicy food was especially a favorite.
Dependable, trustworthy, honest, and private, Pete Weldon lived a life of purpose while holding his loved ones near. He didn’t shy away from doing things his own way, and he loved his independence. Although he could be passionate, Pete was always there for his loved ones and friends, and his generous spirit reached many in the community he called home throughout his life. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.