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Millard (Pete) Petersky ’63

February 1, 2020, in Seattle, Washington.

Born in Seattle, Washington, Pete graduated from Garfield High School and then studied at the University of Washington, where he received bachelor’s degrees in both art and education.

After earning his first degree, he married and then served in the military police at Camp Drum in Watertown, New York. On discharge, he and Ruth, his wife, traveled briefly to Europe before returning to Seattle, where Pete began a 33-year career in teaching and counseling at both Mercer Island and Bellevue High Schools.

At the same time, Pete enjoyed a parallel career in art, working as an assistant to the curator at the Henry Art Gallery at UW and showing his abstract expressionist work in New York and at local galleries and exhibitions.

At what he called “an excellent time in my life and career,” Pete came to Reed and earned an MA in teaching and behavioral sciences. He appreciated the intellectual atmosphere and said, “I received an excellent philosophical and theoretical base, and the next year went on to clinical training. I am continually working on ideas that I discovered at Reed. Reed encouraged me to want to learn.”

Being with students and helping them achieve their best was Pete’s greatest wish. After retiring, he enjoyed more than 20 years participating in the UW Access program, where he and Ruth spent hours in student classes, listening and learning. He read three or four books at a time, and had a passion for music, theater, and ballet that led to years of volunteer service for cultural events. As an outdoorsman, he enjoyed camping, mushroom foraging, hiking, cycling, fishing, and cross-country skiing with his two children, Paul and Claire. For the last seven years, Pete was an independent resident of Merrill Gardens at the University, where he celebrated his 91st birthday and 68 years of marriage

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2020

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