Peter E. Biegel
Oct. 4, 1934-Nov. 7, 2015
Peter Eugene Biegel, 81, died from cancer at his Soldotna home with his family by his side on Nov. 7, 2015.
He was born Oct. 4, 1934, in Wisconsin to Nell (Mohr) and Raymond Biegel. With eight of his brothers and sisters, they moved to Arizona when he was 9. There he attended high school at St. Mary’s in Phoenix.
Peter started college at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, Calif., but left to work for IBM after attending one year. He was drafted and served in the U.S. Army two years until 1960. During his Army service he met JoAnn Loretta Brenner. They married on June 18, 1960, in Moscow, Idaho, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Following his military service, Peter returned to work for IBM. With IBM, the family moved from Los Angeles to Juneau in 1963. Moves to Ketchikan, and finally Anchorage, followed. Peter completed 37 years of service with IBM as a systems engineer while living in Anchorage. He then was employed by AT&T for eight years in the same position. He graduated from University of Alaska Anchorage in 1979 (after 23 years of night school) with a degree in mathematics. Peter and JoAnn moved to Soldotna in 1999 to enjoy retirement in a house they built on the Kenai River.
Peter is survived by his best friend and wife of 55 years, JoAnn, and their nine children and 33 grandchildren who will miss their grandpa: Denise (Dennis) Linnell and children Daniel and Dawn; David (Shelley) Biegel and children Molly, Hannah, David, Sophie, and Nancy; Bryan Biegel and children Zachary and Beth; Mark Biegel and children Katie, Jenna and Mason; Glen (Christina) Biegel and children Mara, Reagan, Karina, Juliana, Thomas, Elena, Gregory, Matthew and Cara; Andrea (Robert) Hart and children Ann Marie, Joseph, Clare, Peter and Luke; Miriam (Mike) Fisher and children Audrey, Andrew, John, Teresa, Maggie and James; Alex Biegel, and Joshua (Linda) Biegel and child Morrigan; and his brother, Phillip (Margie) Biegel.
Peter passed along his passion for reading by opening many Western novels and reading out loud to the kids in the evening. He could fix anything and built an aluminum boat with lots of help from the boys. The boys remember hiking the Chilkoot Trail, floating 600 miles on the Yukon River with a hand-drawn map and his exceptional dedication at work.
“His humor and love of jokes will be greatly missed. He was the best husband, dad, grandfather, sometime bush pilot and Alaska adventurer,” his family said.
A funeral Mass will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Soldotna, with a reception to follow at the church hall. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Catholic Social Services would be most appreciated. A Memorial Mass will be held in Anchorage on Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, at 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church at 2901 E. Huffman Road with a reception to follow in the Miki Center.