Pete was a graduate of DeVry Institute and worked at ITT Courier developing both hardware and software for computer terminals for much of his career. In 1998 he left Courier to devote his efforts to the restoration and repair of player pianos. That lead to an interest in pipe organs and membership in the Valley of the Sun Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society where he served in various capacities on the Board of Directors, most recently as Statutory Agent. He purchased a vintage Aeolian residential pipe organ and installed it in a spare bedroom in his home in Tempe. He added MIDI recording and playback capabilities to the organ using electronics of his own design. In addition to the organ, he also had a reproducing grand piano and literally hundreds of piano rolls.
Pete began assisting the late Tom Fizzell in the maintenance of the chapter's Wurlitzer theatre organ in the Orpheum Theatre, and the massive Organ Stop Pizza organ in Mesa and assumed Tom's roles at those venues with Tom's passing. In addition to his maintenance role at Organ Stop, Pete assisted in the recent upgrade of the LED lighting system there and designed circuitry to illuminate individual pipes as they were being played. At the time of his passing, he was working on upgrading the Organ Stop's MIDI record and playback system again using circuitry of his own design.
An avid outdoorsman, Pete enjoyed river running, hiking, and camping in his spare time. In 2012 he attended the Burning Man event in Black Rock City, Nevada, and became an enthusiastic member of the local Burning Man community, bringing a player piano and over one hundred piano roles to the remote locations of the annual big burn in Nevada, and the regional Saguaro Man event in northern Arizona for the past several years. At last year's event in Nevada, he purchased a Calliope that he was in the process of restoring. His ready smile and good natured laugh earned him the Burning Man name of "Smiley Pete."
Pete never married and is survived by his sister and nieces.
A Celebration of Pete's life will held at Organ Stop Pizza April 27th.