Peter J. Maki

Mancos, Colorado

1948 - 2018


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Peter J. Maki was born on May 16, 1948 in Owen, Wisconsin in the house built by his Finnish immigrant grandparents who had homesteaded the land. Peter grew up milking cows for the family's dairy, raising cattle for 4-H, playing the tuba in the school band and wrestling. After graduating in 1966 from Owen-Withee High School, he enrolled at UW-River Falls where he studied mathematics, joined the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity and met his future wife Cindy Wyatt.

In 1969, a new adventure beckoned him and he joined the Peace Corps, serving two years in Bolivia with a dairy project. He returned home in 1971, married Cindy, and the two of them began life together as a Peace Corps team in El Salvador. Peter maintained life-long friendships with his Peace Corps buddies and loved to tell colorful stories of his years as a volunteer.

Peter's love for adventure and travel led him to become a dairy farmer in Missouri, a park ranger in Maui, a college student in Wisconsin (again!) and a USDA loan officer in California. Whenever opportunity knocked, Peter packed up the family--which eventually included daughter Alison and son Christopher--and dove head-first into his new community. Peter could literally make a home anywhere he put his heart, and he even built two of the family's houses with his own hands.

Peter was also good at building community and wherever he went, he got involved. Some of his most active years were the ones he spent in Oroville, CA, where he was part of the city planning commission, organized a Certified Farmers' Market and spearheaded the Feather River Nature Center. He was also part of the effort to create the Veterans' Memorial in downtown Oroville, a lasting tribute to courage.

Peter spent most of his retirement years in Houston, MO, where he was active in environmental stewardship groups like Missouri Stream Team and Fuels for Schools. He also enjoyed horseback riding with Cindy, and as always, grew a wonderful garden. He always had a project and brought incredible energy to his home and community!

Peter's physical vitality diminished during his 2-year struggle with cancer but he remained strong spiritually. A member of both the United Methodist Church and the Self-Realization Fellowship, Peter connected with God in both communal worship and private meditation. Near the end, it was clear that Peter was ready to say goodbye to those he loved and be united with the One who loved him. He entered the eternal embrace on September 9, 2018, in Mancos, CO.

Peter was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Ilene Maki; brothers Timmy and Roger; and two infant children. He is survived by his wife Cindy; daughter Alison (Chris Christofferson); son Chris (Tina); granddaughters Goldie, Taylor and Kate; siblings David Maki (Roberta), Kathy Jahnke (Bruce), and Marilyn Folz (Merlin); and many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Private celebrations of life will be held with family and close friends in California and Wisconsin. Donations in Peter's name can be made to the Mancos UMC, 470 W. Ave., Mancos CO 81328 or to Hospice of Montezuma, 512 N. Broadway, Cortez CO 81321.

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I truly apologize for this very late note. I just discovered this site. I met Pete in Bolivia in the early 70s. We struck up an unlikely friendship he was a peace corps volunteer -I too was a volunteer - in the marine corps working at the US Embassy La Paz.. I visited him in Los Yungas Bolivia where he ran a dairy co-op. Later we traveled to Rio for carnival. He was a great friend. Alfredo.

Pete was a true friend to me in our high school years. We also worked on summer road construction together after high school. I came to appreciate his sincerity and honesty. We only touched base at class reunions after the 1960's but my appreciation of this man continued. His soul is in a good place now!

Peter was a unique and truly good man, God will welcome him into his fold.

Dennis G Maki, MD
1st Cousin
Madison, Wisconsin

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. May the "God of all comfort" support you and your family during this difficult time. (2 Cor. 1:3)

Psalm 90:10 says that the days of our years are 70 years, And if because of special mightiness they are 80 years. May the memories of the wonderful times you shared together bring a smile and joy in your heart.

My sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. May you find comfort knowing that those who die, God keeps in his memory because they are precious in his eyes.
- Psalm 116:15

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Peter, but grateful for his service to our nation with the Peace Corps in Bolivia and El Salvador.

Our Condolences,
The National Peace Corps Association