Peter Wickenheiser, 95, Fargo, was welcomed into the arms of the Lord on Monday, October 1, 2012 at his home under the care of his loving family and Hospice of the Red River Valley. 

 Peter Wickenheiser was born October 21, 1916 in Strasburg, ND the son of Peter P. and Margaret (Lacher) Wickenheiser. Peter was the oldest of 4 children:  Phyl (Wickenheiser) Boschee, Clara (Wickenheiser) Schmidt, Eva Wickenheiser. 

Peter attended St. Benedicts grade school, Strasburg. The family moved to Zeeland, ND in 1929 where he finished grade and high school.  He graduated from Zeeland High School in 1935.  While going to school, he worked part time with his dad for Beaver Oil Company.  He attended Aberdeen Business College and graduated in 1936.  He went on to work for Robert County National Bank in Sisseton, SD for a short time.  He moved from Sisseton to Minneapolis, MN to work for Sterling Oil Company in the accounting office.

While in Minneapolis Peter married Doris Hiles on January 6, 1940 and to this union a son, James was born on February 2, 1941.  He also worked part time at the Sterling Oil Company branch in Aberdeen, SD. 

In 1946, Peter went to work for Halvorson Sales Company in Minneapolis as an office manager.  He was employed there until his wife, Doris, passed away on November 11, 1947. 

Peter and James moved to Bismarck, ND where he was employed by Northwest Beverage Company as the office manager.  While in Bismarck, Peter married Helen Reis on June 9, 1948 in St. Boniface Catholic Church, rural Kintyre, ND and to this union 9 children were born – 3 boys and 6 girls:  Marguerite Ann, Mary Louise, Richard Alan, Michael John, Charles Lynn, Teresa Kay, Janet Marie, Barbara Jean, Julie Ann.

In 1972 he was transferred to the main office in Fargo, ND where he worked until he retired in 1985. 

Peter and Helen enjoyed spending time with family at their lake cottage on Lake Ida for 20 years.  This past summer Peter enjoyed spending time with family on Loon Lake in their home gifted to them by their children. In July, Peter’s children, grand-children and great grand-children united for a Celebration of Life on Loon Lake. They attended Holy Spirit Catholic Church where Peter was an altar server until the age of 91.  Peter was an honorary member of the Knights of Columbus, 3rd and 4th degrees.  He was also a past member of the Eagles Club from Bismarck.

Peter is survived by his wife, Helen; children, Marguerite (Tim) Felchle, Natchitoches, LA; Mary (William) Kelsch, Bismarck, ND; Richard (Sharon) Wickenheiser, Red Bluff, CA; Michael (Janet) Wickenheiser, Centennial, CO; Charles (Theresa) Wickenheiser, Fargo, ND; Teresa (Bruce) Dodds, Hempstead, Texas; Janet (Jeff) Slaven, Lenexa, KS; Barbara (Terry) Magnuson, Vergas, MN; Julie (John) Heinze, Moorhead, MN; 19 grand-children; Kristen and John (Felchle) Evans, Jessica and Tony (Felchle) Peluso, Erika and Dudley (Felchle) Cedars, Michael and Angela Kelsch, Christopher and Qiana Kelsch, Sarah Kelsch, Jeremy Wickenhesier, Peter Wickenheiser, Michael Wickenheiser, Trevor and Adrienne Wickenheiser, Leah Wickenheiser, Chad Dodds, Amy and Logan Wiedenfeld, Haley Slaven, Abigail Slaven, Ben Magnuson, Taylor Magnuson, Justin Heinze, and Ashley Heinze, and 12 great grand-children, Aiden Evans, Addison Evans, Avery Evans, Madelyn Peluso, Isabella Peluso, Anna Peluso, Winn Cedars, Holt Cedars, Maxwell Kelsch, Will Kelsch, Alexis Wickenheiser, and Cormac Wiedenfeld.

Peter was preceded in death by his parents, sisters, Eva, Clara and Phyl, his first wife, Doris, son, James and great grand-child, Andrew Evans.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Amy of Sanford Health and the staff of Hospice of the Red River Valley, especially Dr. Langlois, Shaun and Von.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given to Hospice of the Red River Valley or The Holy Spirit Altar Server Fund.

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  1. KansasDear Grandpa Pete,
    It has been a little over a week since your suffering ended and you joined God in heaven. I’m sure the pearly gates don’t have a spot on them and that you are cutting the cards “thin to win” with your friends up there. We are all happy that you are not suffering anymore, but being selfish means that we cry because we miss you. I can’t explain how much of an inspiration you are to me of acting out your faith and using words when necessary.
    There is a quote that says “the best dads get promoted to grandpa.” For me this describes you perfectly because you brought 9 amazing children into this world and taught them by example to be the best that they can be. And in turn they promoted you to not only being the grandpa of 19 wonderful people but also 12 awesome great grandchildren (and counting). I am so proud to call you MY grandpa and I love you so much! Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you and another memory of the time we spent together. I will cherish those memories and live my life by your example. Now you have a bird’s eye view to watch over all of us and make sure we are not making a mess or cheating in cards. Also don’t worry about grandma she is in good hands and we will take care of her just they way you would want. I love and miss you more then I can ever put into words!

    “God broke our hearts to prove, He only takes the best.” ~Ashley Heinze

  2. Hempstead TXOh how I miss my Dad. He wasn’t a man of many words, but he made each of us kids feel special and loved by the way he lived his life.
    I am so glad he was able to spend the entire summer on Loon Lake with all of the Wickenheiser relatives. He even got to go and see his favorite MN
    Twins play baseball.
    Five great grand babies were born in 2012 Dad was able to hold and cuddle with four of them. Baby Max brought many smiles to Dad’s face during his last days and Baby Will met his Great Gpa Pete via skype the evening before he passed away.
    Dad made sure he visited with each of us before he went to be with all his friends and family in Heaven. I’m sure his card playing buddies, along with any fellow Knights of Columbus brothers, were waiting with open arms.
    Let’s hope that the pearly gates were sparkling – If they weren’t, I’m sure Dad got out the paper towels and got the job done right!
    Thanks to each of you who have signed Dad’s guest book Your kind words and the memories you’ve shared help ease the sadness in our hearts.
    Teresa Wickenheiser Dodds

  3. Bismarck, ND
    Helen and family,
    We wish to express our sincere sympathy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

    Pete was one of the most dedicated Knight of Columbus in North Dakota
    . We cherish the memories of the many KC functions and trips that we were able to share together over the many years.

    Pete will be missed, not only by his family, but by all whose lives he touched in his own unique way.

    May he rest in peace in the arms of our loving Lord.

  4. Phoenix AZ
    Marguerite and Mary and all your family – it was so special seeing you in Bismarck this summer and especially wonderful to know that all of your family were getting an opportunity to celebrate your Dad’s life with him. I will always remember coming to your home in Bismarck as a teenager and how your family always treated me like one of their own – those are special families! May you keep sharing your memories forever. Frank & Marlene Willson

  5. Overland Park KansasDear Janet, Jeff, Haley and Abby,

    You are in our thoughts and prayers. We are so sorry for your loss. We know you will always have great memories to cherish of your Dad and Grandfather. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.

    Love, Dan, Linda, Samuel, Isaac, and Elsie

  6. I have such fond memories of Uncle Pete and all the Wickenheiser cousins! My deepest sympathy and love goes out to Auntie Helen and all of my cousins. Celebrate all the wonderful years with your dad and I will certainly smile as I think of all the special times we spent together.

    Love you all,


  7. Moorhead MN
    Barb, Terry and Family, Our condolences to you and your family. We are very fortunate to be a tiny part of the Lake Ida memories and we will be sure to carry them on. Our thoughts & prayers are with you and your family.

    Georgia & Lee Beaudry

  8. Overland Park KSJust want each of you to know how much you are loved by all of us here in Overland Park, Kansas! Wish we could be there to show our support, but please know we are praying for you and thinking of you each day. As Fr. Storey always says at funerals here at Holy Spirit in Overland Park, “The love you shared with your husband/father/grandfather/friend remains with him and the love he shared with you remains with each of you.” On Saturday you will bury Peter Wickenheiser, but you can never bury love! Love never fails. (1Cor 13:8)

  9. Napoleon North Dakota
    Helen and family, We are so sorry to hear of your loss of Pete. Even though we only knew him for a few years, we enjoyed visiting with him at the lake. Please accept our deepest and heartfelt sympathy.

  10. Bismarck ND
    Dear Helen and family,
    My love and support to you Pete’s family at the time of his death. Pete was a great person and he did super well in life. I am grateful to know all of you and always happy to see you.
    Carry on the good works and know you are loved. My love, support, prayers.
    Sister ivo Schoch

  11. Bismarck ND
    Helen and family,
    I am so very sorry to learn of Peter passing away. My father Adam Eberle used to be friends and neighbors with you. I loved to hear dad’s stories about what great neighbors he had. He loved the baked goods that Helen would share with him. Especially the pumpkin wrapped goodies possibly called Blachinda. I would always look for Peter when we came back for Memorial Services at the cemetary. Thank you for all of the wonderful years of memories. May you find peace and comfort in knowing what a wonderful man Peter was and Helen is. God Bless! Kam

  12. Fargo ND

    Pete was an old and treasured friend.We played many, many games
    of pinochle with John Pavek, Martin Blankendaal, Pete and myself. OH – we had such good times (wonderful memory). The wives would fix us some goodies and our afternoons went by so fast. Deacon Jim Perius was our 5th man in case we needed someone to fill in.

    I vividly remember Pete as an alter server at daily Mass. He did such a good job. He and I grew up in the same era and had much in commen.

    He was a good man, honest and church going and will be missed by many of us old timers.

    God Bless Pete and sign up for some pinochle in Heaven.

    Henry LaBore
    225 30th Ave. N.
    Fargp. ND

  13. Bismarck ND
    Dear Mary, Bill and Family:

    Sorry to read about the death of your Father, Father-in-Law and Grandfather. May the many memories that you have of Pete help get you through the difficult days ahead.
    Our prayers and thoughts are with all of you.

    Dennis and Mary Bartsch and Family

  14. Mesa AZ
    Darlene & I extend our sympathy to Helen and family. We have been blessed to know Pete & Helen. Pete was a true KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS member always giving of his time for his church and community. Presently we are in our winter home in AZ
    . Our prayers, love and peace.
    Mike & Darlene Wolf

  15. Pierre SDMy sincere Sympathy to the family of Pete. As a child growing up on a farm near Zeeland, his father, Peter Wickenheiser delivered gasoline to our farm for the tractors. Us kids would run over to where he was pumping the gas into a storage tank and he would always have a stick of gum for us. That is back in the 40’s. What a great gentleman he was. as was his son, your Husband and Dad. Sincerely, Matt Schatz

  16. Overland Park Kansas I feel so blessed that I was able to spend sometime at Loon Lake with my good friend Janet and her cousin Linda. We got to share some wonderful memories and moments at her parent’s lake home. I will always remember us all sitting together at the cafe having pie and coffee. You guys were blesses to have such a wonderful father. I hope the knowledge that Pete is now in Heaven with God with help get you all through this difficult time and I hope Helen knows that when God feels it is her time to leave this earth, she too will be reunited with her husband in Heaven. God Bless.

  17. Gilbert AZ
    Thinking of all of you during this time. I know how special Pete and Helen were to my parents (Martin and Nel).

    Mary Kay

  18. Coushatta LASometimes we just don’t feel like doing things that we should do. But we must rejoice that he will see his Heavenly Father and will be in pain no more. We shall cry for ourselves because we will miss what GOD has so graciously shared with us. What an amazing Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather to all. May your memories fill you hearts with happiness to have had him in your life.

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