I knew Pete in college. He was a warm,supportive, lovely guy-always the perfect gentleman. Everyone who knew him respected and loved him.
On Feb 22, 2004, I noted in my Address Book that my wife, Judy, and I had dinner at the Lekischs' last night. It must have been shortly before that when I first met him on a bicycle ride here in the Hill Country of Texas. He quickly became one of my best friends as we shared interests in cycling, photography and Dragon Naturally Speaking (a speech to text software program) among other things. I greatly admired him for his many accomplishments as I learned more and more about him over the years. I rode with him many times, we talked a lot about photography and he set up a photo safari two years ago with me and my son here in the Hill Country. I wanted Mike to have an opportunity to meet him and benefit from some of his mastery of the subject. He greatly enjoyed coming to our ranch and taking pictures of our animals. Walking through the front door of our guest house, one immediately sees a large picture of one of our longhorns which he presented to us. Peter was not satisfied with his typing skills so I introduced him to Dragon software which he worked very hard to master so he could speed up his responses to e-mails. Peter graciously accepted my invitation to take pictures for Judy and me at our 50th wedding anniversary party on Nov 2 of last year. Within a few days we had 244 images which make the party even more memorable. I miss Peter.
Pete was dedicated business partner and a pleasure to work with. More important, he was one of the finest people I have known. He will be missed by many.
Peter was a compassionate man and great athlete His career could have been predicted at Ohio Wesleyan University.
I was very fortunate to have him as friend,
Peter was my godfather and gave me more perspective on what was important in life than just about anyone I've ever known. I will always remember my times visiting and the phone calls from Pete and my dad from the cabin when I could not join them. That great Texas drawl saying "little Abe, we sure wish you could be here with us" I suppose it's my turn now. Pete, I sure wish you could be here with us.
I didn't know Peter well, but we were part of the same training group in the 1990s and early 2000s, and I've enjoyed participating in the Fireweed bike race, which he helped start. I remember him as a kind and generous person with good ideas that he worked to put into action. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the Lekisch family.
Peter was a generous, caring, and competitive man.
Like many of us, I met Peter through the Arctic Bicycle Club, where he regularly appeared at races and was a major supporter of the Club and all its efforts. When he spent the winter of 2000-2001 training for the Race Across America, images of long training days in Texas and nights in a high-altitude tent became part of our imagination. Reports from the race reflected a team of drivers, doctors, masseurs, mechanics, and cooks surrounding Peter. Through it all, he maintained the singular focus that we all know well and became the first person over 60 to complete the race.
Two years later, his vision for a long-distance race across Alaska became reality with the Fireweed 400. His vision included bringing many parts of the community together to put the race on. And as the race grew with more events and participants, the volunteers and sponsors who made the race possible increased to meet the demand. In the midst of all of the racers and volunteers, Peter remained at the center, focused on safety and connected to all of the disparate parts of the event. The Fireweed is now recognized as much for its success raising money for local athletics organizations as for the race, itself. In 2003, Alex Bryner and I would have doubted anyone who predicted that we would race in every Fireweed, but this summer we will proudly ride in our 12th consecutive Fireweed.
On a more personal note, in 2009, Peter rented mall space to my political campaign. Others in the community--perhaps even some in his family--were supporting other candidates. When asked to explain his choice, Peter responded simply, eloquently: "He is my friend." A candidate cannot ask for a finer endorsement.
Peter was an indefatigable photographer. We often saw him at summer bike races (bicycle safe at home) with camera in hand to take our pictures while we rode. His interest in nature photography took him around the world. Last May, Peter, Ellen, and I enjoyed a "triathlon" of events that reflected Peter's passions. It started with a time trial on the Seward Highway, continued with a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center to photograph birds and bison, and finished with barbecue at the Turnagain Armpit. We talked of on-line photography contests and upcoming photography journeys around the world. He explained that his favorite memories were not so much the images, but the people he shared the journey with.
This past November, I had the good fortune to accept Peter's invitation to visit Fredericksburg. It was Veteran's Day, just days before he met Ellen in Minnesota. We enjoyed a sunny afternoon ride through the Texas Hill Country, and there seemed to be more bicycles on the backroads than cars and trucks. Peter knew all of the riders, and they all knew him. We returned to the house for a recovery shot of chocolate milk and then went into town for dinner, where we shared stories of family and friends. It was quintessentially a Peter Lekisch kind of day.
Over these years, I have come to know and admire Peter Lekisch, the man behind the legend. His actions speak volumes: he leaves us with glowing examples of a life well-lived. The competitive legend is impressive and inspiring. The generous, caring person behind the legend is even finer.
Peter helped me to buy my first house in Alaska in the early 1980s. I fondly remember skiing and biking behind him. He intensely excelled at so many sports, while choosing to let his accomplishments speak for themselves. He was gracious and unassuming about his talent.
Peter led people through action, gently leaving room for others to develop consensus. He inspired generations of community leaders, as reflected in their testimonials. All agree that Alaska is better for his life.
Peter was a credit to our Midland High School Class of 1959!
Ciao caro Peter,un abbraccio alla famiglia dal Mauro from Italy.Grazie x la gioia che ci hai dato in fireweed 2009.riposa in pace
What does one say to honor a man who meant so much to so many? Peter was our lawyer, and became our friend. He was a fine man. Peter was kind, caring, honest, hard-working, diligent. We have never met anyone quite like Peter, and it was an honor to know him. Our hearts are heavy at the news of his passing, and we wish peace, love and comfort to Ellen and Jennifer.
Peter was an absolutely amazing man. I met him through the many Arctic Bicycle Club races in which we both participated. He was 13 years older than me, so I really looked up to him as a fitness example. Just 5 months ago he astounded me in the August 3rd Point MacKenzie 25K Time Trial. Even though due to his heart issues, he had to continually monitor his heart rate to keep it at 140bpm or less, he finished the Men's age 55+ race in a very decisive 2nd place. I doubt that anyone in that category was within 10 years of his age....and bicycle racing was only one aspect of his life! Peter was an incredible guy, with a myriad of achievements. He will be sorely missed!
Peter raced RAAM when Lon and I were race directors. We were at the finish line to congratulate him when he set the over 60 record! His athletic accomplishments, his contributions to his community and his love of family marks him as a great man!
Suzanne and I were saddened to learn of Peter's untimely passing. I remember how much I enjoyed practicing law with Peter at Robison and McCaskey. He was a good lawyer and a true gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Suzanne and Leroy Barker
Peter purchased one of my early art creations and gave me confidence in myself to be creative. Enjoy heaven Peter!
I had met Pete and Ellen briefly when my wife and I did the 50 mile Fireweed in 2012. Not being especially built for bike racing I still loved it and decided in 2013 to come back BUT this time my wife had decided she wanted to do the 100. She trained hard....I simply trained some as I had for the 50. Well, come the race, some bright sun, somewhat warm and I struggle all the way to the 75 mile checkpoint and being DEAD LAST looking for any excuse to stop the pain. Pete says to me you look rough simply saying I could wrap it up but left it up to me to go if I wanted.....and gave me chocolate, bananas and water with such genuine concern I thought I might quit at that point...but ultimately between Pete, Ellen and my wife I decided to press on...my wife had doubled back for me too. Point here is that Pete, Ellen and my wife shepherded me all the way to the finish and I just barely made it in time. BUT I made it thanks to you all. The kindness, compassion and caring was simply beyond anything I had ever experienced. My deepest sympathy to Pete from a fellow former Texan (Nolan County) and twenty year Alaskan. My wife and I are both shocked and deeply saddened by his passing...please accept our sincere condolences.
I only just met Peter at last year's Fireweed, but will always remember his and Ellen's kindness in supporting my husband and me. I was looking forward to seeing him this year. I am so sorry for your loss, Ellen.
We are so sorry for your loss. In this time of heartache remember the words at Acts 5:28,29. Your family will be in our prayers.
Joan Rubin already said it all for the Lehman/Rubin family. At the November wedding, Peter and I found ourselves deep in conversations on cycling, training and in particular photography. He liked that i admired (and interrogated him about) several specific photos he had on his website, which were also some of his own favorites among the constellations of his photography universe. we had plans to get to Bosque Del Apache New Mexico in 2015, to shoot the sandhill crane migration. They START their journey in Alaska and wind up overwintering in NM. it would have been an adventure and privilege being there with Peter, who had so brilliantly photographed that migration before. he and i actually had some similar photos of birds in flight silhouetted against a fiery red sunset background. but his pix were always better. i would have learned so much from him, knowledge and know-how which he would have so energetically shared.
I first met Peter around 1986-1987 while he and Andrew were flipping pancakes in a weekend-long Arctic Bicycle Club race. I was so struck by his quiet leadership that I subsequently joined the Arctic Bicycle Club Board in order to try and give back, as Peter routinely did. I also knew Peter as a fellow attorney. Throughout my many years of knowing Peter, Peter exemplified what we should all be: selfless human beings that make the world a better place. My thoughts and prayers go out to Ellen and Jennifer.
Peter Was A true friend when few others were. He was truly an Alaskan. I shared some fly fishing with him a few times and always learned something about life and the law. Alaska has lost one of it' best. May the Lord welcome him with open arms!!!
Peter was a good friend for many years. We worked together on many projects, the founding of the Anchorage Junior Nordic League, The Anchorage Organizing Committee for the Olympics, the construction of the Lekisch trail, and the Fireweed Bike Race to name a few.
Through all my experience with Peter I was always learning and growing with his steady influence. The three characteristics of Peter I will alway remember and try to emulate, humbleness, humor, and contribution to community.
Ellen and Jennifer: So sorry for your loss. It was just a few months ago that Pete saw me out walking and drove ahead and stopped to meet me at Inlet View school so we could talk and get caught up on things. We ended up chatting for an hour in a real heartfelt conversation, and I am so glad that I have this wonderful recollection of our last encounter. There are so many memories of our time together playing football and tennis on the park strip, skiing at Arctic Valley and Alyeska and our many years of basketball with some colorful characters. We enjoyed the excitement and camaraderie of starting our legal careers with other good friends, and there is just a bond with Pete that will never be broken. I will be travelling during Pete's memorial, but I will pause on that day to reflect on our friendship. Best of wishes to you, Jesse Bell
I was so saddened to learn that Peter had passed away. I worked with him for many years at the Hoge & Lekisch law firm. He was a great guy, and he will be missed by all.
My sympathy to the family. Peter was a wonderful person to work for. I was his secretary at one time. Blessings, Patricia Chappel, Tionesta, PA
I always admired and respected Mr.. Lekisch when I worked for Mr. Hoge at Hoge & Lekisch back in the late 70's and early 80's. Fond memories of my time spent there and that was due in part to Mr. Lekisch. RIP.
Life is a Journey! We are thankful that Peter and Ellen's journey intersected with our journey here in Fredericksburg TX. Thank you GOD for the GIFT of knowing Peter Lekisch. Steve and Carol
I worked with Peter peripherally at the inception of the Fireweed 400 bike race. His enthusiasm was amazing and unwavering. He was a wonderful addition to the cycling community in Alaska and will be missed.
My deeoest condolences to the family. Mr. Lekisch was one of the wamrest human being I have ever met. What a loss to all of us. I am sure he is happy with Andy now.
I'm very sad. Peter was the best of men, and the ultimate athlete. He was responsible for lots of fabulous opportunities for athletes in Alaska. He will be sorely missed.
I worked with Peter from mid-1971 to 1982. He was the most wonderful and kindest employer I ever had. Our condolences to Ellen and Jennifer.
Sam (Shirley) Schmit (husband Randy Schmit)
I am in shock, definitely in denial. This was the last thing I exp ected to see this morning! Pete, you are the best! You are a selfless, wonderful human being! My deepest condolences to all of us who know Peter, especially to Jennifer.
Peter was such an exceptional human being! What a loss to all who had the honor of sharing time with him. Our condolences to the family and friends of this special man.
I met Peter soon after he moved to Alaska in 1967. We played basketball, tennis,and fished together. He was my lawyer, fellow investor, and most of all, friend. Throughout his life Peter exemplified courage, strength, graciousness, kindness, and capacity for friendship surpassed by none that I have ever known. When you have known someone for 46 years, spending much time together, and enjoyed every moment, you have been truly blessed. Peace to you Ellen and Jennifer,
I knew Peter through skiing and I appreciated his friendship on the trail. I loved his laid-back Texas accent and his sense of humor. His was a very bright light, and I shall miss his beacon.
Peter will be missed. He was one of the kindest most encouraging people I ever met.
My family and I have volunteered for the Clean Air Challenge for many years in Willow. Peter & George were such a welcome sight taking pics and making us laugh with their ongoing camaraderie humor. He will be most missed and we're incredibly sorry for your loss and the loss of his presence for all.
Peter was a teacher whose lessons were delivered through example. Be thoughtful, be kind, be generous with your time. Don't do it for recognition but for the joy it brings others. Actively listen. Be there when you're needed. Teach someone how to fish. Then give fish to him/her when they don't catch anything. Work hard. Be a good person.
There wasn't a better human being. My life is better for knowing him.
I met Peter when he represented 76th Avenue Warehouse Condominiums against me. From what I understand of his background and accomplishments, this was probably the only activity from which he resigned, saying in open court, "Your honor, I quit," after being confronted with the proof (by my architect, and bicyclist, Jon Kumin,) that his client had not given him a truthful case to represent. I always respected his sense of fair play and his integrity. That action impressed me greatly, putting character before money. I am very sorry for his loss. I will never forget him, and Jon Kumin, for that matter, both very decent men.
There are no words. I love you, Pete.
Peter added to my life by his inspiration, strength of character, mind set, and perseverance. I did more because he was my friend. I miss him. I always will.
I met Peter during the tour of the Kenai bicycle race when he stopped to help me fix a flat and then we worked hard together to bridge back up to the pack. That was 35 years ago, and I have been honored to be his friend since. The world has lost a true gentleman and he will be greatly missed. Hup hup Peter
To the Lekisch Family. I first worked with Peter when we were both members of the board of the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage. Peter later helped me with legal advice and with being a role model in cycling well at a later stage in life. He was always friendly and strong. With Andrew's death, I could muster only a few words of sympathy to Peter, but I knew he appreciated that I had attempted. The legacy of Peter in Anchorage will continue.
Peter is one of the most gracious persons I've ever met. He will be missed much both in the legal and biking communities.
Peter and I were friends in Midland, going to the same schools from first through tenth grades. I always saw him as a wonderful, positive, generous person. We were Cub Scouts together and his mother was our first den mother. We also had wonderful times at Hidden Valley Boys Camp in Colorado. I spoke with Peter on the phone in June of 2009, before our 50th high school reunion, and was hoping to get to see him again. I was so sorry to hear of his passing, and I send my sincere condolences to his family.
The Lehman family and the Lekisch family have over a 100 year history of friendship in common. Our grandmothers were best friends back in Germany. I am best friends with Peter's sister, Barbara. Peter and my brother shared a common love of nature photography as well as great talent. Only two months ago, he was at our daughter's wedding and we had the honor of talking with him, seeing his latest photographs, and taking most likely the very last photo of him . His loss is tragic. He will live on in the amazing images he shared with the world on his photography website. Peter was gentle, kind, generous and handsome, the creme de la creme. We will cherish his memory always.
--the Lehman and Rubin families--
Peter and Ellen, I first knew the name Lekisch rolling by the entrance to the Andrew Lekisch Trial at Kincaid in wonderment of the beautiful flowers and presence of the laboring gardener, whom I learned to be Ellen, and you were there so often! I was new to UAA and didn't know Andrew, but later understood he had this Lekisch Spirit of Lore as I met and respected Peter in the coming years. You have touched my heart for years...I lost my mom as a kid and I felt and honor your love for family! I confess I sadly didn't know Peters FULL history presented in his Obituary...but heard his name often in Alaskan sport, and was privileged to know you! Every time I run, bike, and ski the Lekisch I'm like, 'whoever built this trail, is my kind'. It's a trail that puts you in a thoughtful place, a place of Peace,yearning for strength, and testing your will for Life. I shall always think of you at the lookout Peter and Ellen. God speed und Ski~Heil!
Peter was a fine and thoughtful person to all. He was esteemed as a lawyer, a landlord (by me and others), and a person who gave generously to the community. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
You were truly one of the most decent people I have ever met. It was a honor being your friend.
Such an honor to know Peter and his family. He will be remembered and missed.
Just last week we were privileged to see Peter's slide show on the Galapagos. But none of us knew why he hadn't shown or responded to emails. I am so saddened to learn of his passing. He was a real gentleman and a wonderful photographer, and I know he will be missed by all of us in Der Fotoklub of Fredericksburg. Bye, Peter
Knowing Peter has been useful, informative, a source of beauty, a joy, a privilege, an inspiration and certainly an honor. If I followed him in circuit, I'd have to lower the weight. If I caught a fish, it was because he rowed me to the right spot. If I stayed up on my skis, he had shown me the way to lean. Thanks, Peter, you are missed.
My sympathy to Pete's family. I grew up with Pete in Midland. He was a wonderful guy and it is great he got to live and exciting and full life. The Lekish family was well thought of in Midland. Alaska received a special blessing when Pete moved there to open his law practice. I'm sad for Pete's sudden passing. Peace and love to his family.
It was my honor to know and work with Peter at his kaw firm in Anchorage. He accomplished everything he did with a humble passion. May you rest in eternal peace with our Lord. I pray the peace of God over the Lekisch family.
It was an honor to know Peter, jeff sheedy
I always wondered where Peter landed. He was an early friend of many in Midland. I still remember visiting him in the home across from Mayfair apartments where another friend, Mike Dunagan lived. What a loss. His Dad was a Doctor, I think.