Obituary: Peter Grimes Hershberger
January 24, 1969 – January 2, 2022
Peter Grimes Hershberger passed away unexpectedly at his home in Snowmass Village, Colorado, on Sunday, January 2rd due to complications of diabetes. He passed away peacefully in his sleep.
Peter was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on January 24, 1969 to Dr. Philip G. Hershberger (1922-2000) and Nancy A. Hershberger (1932-1997) the youngest of four brothers. He was an active boy, playing tennis, soccer, and basketball, swimming, riding motorbikes, and making mischief. Winter and summer vacations throughout his childhood were family station wagon trips to the family home in Aspen, Colorado. He attended and graduated from Canterbury High School, where he was a central part of the small school community – both Student Council President and chief prankster. He also fell in love with aviation, earning his Private Pilot’s License in his teens. Summer weekends he spent with family and friends at Lake Wawasee water skiing, sailing, jet-skiing, surrounded by family and friends in a household where there was always room for another chair at the table and always a spare bed.
Diagnosed with Type I Diabetes his senior year in high school, Peter changed his plans from Air Force Academy to pursue a Liberal Arts education at Hanover College, where he was roommates with his high school friend Peter Waanders. He was Resident Advisor for his dormitory as well as pursuing an off-campus study program on “Utopian Societies” and a semester in Chile hiking and learning about the culture. When his father needed a heart transplant Peter returned to Fort Wayne to be close to his parents. Peter transferred to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne to be close to his mother during her final years. He enrolled in an undergraduate nursing program and eventually earned his Master’s in Nursing from St. Francis University. Working as a nurse at McCray Memorial Hospital and Parkview Hospital, and as a health educator for McMillen Center for Health Education, spending summers at Camp Joslin, associated with Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, as a counselor and eventually Camp Director, Peter touched the lives of hundreds of kids and carried these relationships throughout his life. He also coached tennis, soccer, and enjoyed mentoring kids with diabetes to live active and fulfilled lives.
As a much younger brother to Phil, Greg and Mark, Peter was always there to support and provide love to the older brothers in their life’s journeys. Peter always had a close relationship with his nieces and nephews and he frequently traveled to various locations in the country to spend as much time with them as possible. He had a beloved habit of traveling hundreds of miles to see brothers and families showing up unannounced and creating many great memories. He is deeply loved by them all, he and his wonderful smile will be forever in their memories.
After his father passed away in 2000, Peter relocated to Aspen, Colorado, to live with his lifelong friend, Peter Waanders, who had been introduced to the area on Hershberger family vacations. Peter Hershberger immediately took up his vocation as a nurse, working for Aspen Orthopedic and Aspen Valley Hospital. Peter soon transferred his love of lake sports to the valley, leading evening waterskiing outings on Ruedi Reservoir and joining the Aspen Yacht Club where he kept a sailboat. Peter developed a very close relationship with Judy and Logan Garrison, referring to Logan as his son and attending Logan’s school events, competitions, and traveling together as a family.
Peter’s deep compassion and empathy made him the friend to nearly everyone he met, no matter what challenges or the struggles they faced. The conversation was never about Pete – his gift as a patient listener. As a balance to his outgoing nature and love of others was a meaningful and quiet personal life. He loved his dogs, first Nixon and then Addie, taking long walks daily while listening to comedy talk shows and podcasts. He loved reading, history, science, and biographies…but his favorite book was The Confederacy of Dunces. “You will know true genius by this sign: There will be a confederacy of dunces aligned against him.” Peter’s home was filled with photos and notes from family and friends that brought him great joy and happiness.
Peter Grimes Hershberger is survived by his brothers Philip W Hershberger (New Hampshire), Mark & Bonny Hershberger (Jackson Hole, WY), and Greg & Molly Hershberger (Indianapolis, IN) and nephews and nieces, Philip K Hershberger, Andrew B. Hershberger, Thomas Hershberger, Grace Hershberger Fugate (Alec), Anna Hershberger, and Sarah Hershberger, Lara Kate Hershberger, Jacob Hershberger and close friends Peter, Jen, Gracie and Kai Waanders and Judy and Logan Garrison. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Philip and Nancy Hershberger, and sister-in-law Jeanie Hershberger. He leaves a long legacy of friends, colleagues, and community members across the country.
Service are planned for May 28th at Lake Wawasee, Indiana and on September 24th in Snowmass Village, Colorado. For information or to send a message please write to PeterHershbergerFamily@gmail.com. To view photos or share memories please visit https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/iiE7ebjE. In lieu of flowers, please support the “Peter Grimes Hershberger Memorial Fund“ at Aspen Community Foundation. https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/acf
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