Peter Voll Passed away surrounded by his family on Dec. 14 at the age of 69. Born July 3, 1943 in Imperial, CA., Peter, a proud fourth generation Californian, grew up in the town of Coalinga in the San Joaquin Valley. In high school, he was a gifted athlete and student leader. In1962, Peter moved to Palo Alto, CA to attend Stanford University. Graduating in 1965 he was involved as a campaign consultant in both congressional and senate races. Peter joined the Stanford Alumni Association in 1972 where he eventually became director of the Association's fledgling Travel/Study Program. He spent the next 18 years developing it into one of the premier alumni travel programs in the United States.
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Peter's professional vision was to open roads to understanding different societies and cultures through tourism. In 1992 he left Stanford and devoted his attention to Peter Voll Associates (PVA), running educational tours. During his career, Peter designed and implemented more than 200 tours worldwide. He launched a number of travel industry firsts including destinations to the People's Republic of China, Burma, and Saudi Arabia. Peter was dedicated to his field and his community and had deep sentiment for his family and roots. He served as a member of the Advisory Council of the Educational Travel Conference, the Travel Committee of the Commonwealth Club, and was a devoted member of the Palo Alto University Rotary Club.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Suzanne Hardt Voll, mother Alva Staniford, stepmother Nona Voll, daughters Vicki Voll of Capitola and Sara Voll of Hawaii, stepson Jay Backstrand of Palo Alto, stepdaughter Kendall Nash of Mill Valley, grandchildren Ian, Kaylor, Jay, Alden, William, Dylan, and O'rian; and by brothers, John Voll, Bob Staniford, Tom Staniford, and David Staniford, and stepsister Lynne Chase.
A memorial service will be held to celebrate his life on Jan. 22 at 3:00 p.m. at Stanford Memorial Church.
Contributions may be made in Peter's memory to the Foundation for a College Education, East Palo Alto; The Rotary Foundation, Rotary Centers for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Palo Alto University Rotary; or The Stanford Historical Society.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on January 3, 2013