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Peter Allen Lekisch

Peter Allen Lekisch

This Guest Book will remain online until 2/4/2015 courtesy of Peter's circuit training friends.
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October 24, 2014
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October 24, 2014
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May 19, 2014
I knew Pete in college. He was a warm,supportive, lovely guy-always the perfect gentleman. Everyone who knew him respected and loved him.
January 30, 2014
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.
January 27, 2014
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.
January 26, 2014
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,
January 24, 2014
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.
January 24, 2014
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.
January 24, 2014
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.
January 23, 2014
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.
January 21, 2014
Peter was a credit to our Midland High School Class of 1959!
January 17, 2014
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

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Peter in Austin Tx , November 2013
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