Gales Ferry - Loving father and husband, Cmdr. Peter Stuart Schilke, USN retired, of Gales Ferry, passed away suddenly on May 19, 2018, surrounded by his wife and children.
Peter was born to Donald Schilke and Margaret Chernals Schilke, Sept. 20, 1960, in Oak Park, Ill. He was raised in the Chicago suburb until age 17, when he attended the U.S. Naval Academy. Following commissioning, he attended the USN nuclear power school in Orlando, Fla., and later served on submarines. In 1989, Peter began his career at Electric Boat, at one time leaving to work at Millstone Nuclear Power Plant for five years before returning to work at Electric Boat until May of 2018. Peter also served in the Naval Reserves from 1988 to 2004. In 1998, he received a master's in mechanical engineering from Yale University. He continued his education, studying naval architecture, submarine weapons, and acoustics at MIT.
Peter's greatest passion was sailing. He was on the Naval Academy sailing team, where he excelled on the foredeck, setting and dousing the spinnaker. He met his wife, Laura Izard Schilke, while competing in the Storm Trysail regatta on Block Island. They quickly fell in love and were married on Sept. 17, 1983.
Pete and Laurie settled down in Gales Ferry, where they raised their daughter and three sons, Sarah, Peter Thomas, Erik and Jonathan. Peter loved running. As a State of Illinois track relay champion, he passed on his tenacious spirit to his children by frequently running with them early in their lives. This tenacious spirit permeated all activities he shared with his wife and children. He was known for being the loudest one cheering at his children's sporting events, and enthusiastically rooting for all team members.
Pete's family was most important to him. He was a one-of-a-kind dad, always making his family laugh while supporting them in the best ways possible. He could fix anything around the house and he loved working on his sailboats, The Captain Crunch and My Wawie. He had a way of enhancing everyday tasks by putting his own comedic spin on them. His humor has left his family and friends with endless stories to laugh about. Every day began and ended with his two dogs, Missy and Wolfman Jack, who always put a smile on his face.
Peter is survived by his wife and his four children, his father Donald Schilke and Don's wife Linda Schilke, his siblings Carole Schilke and Paul Schilke and his wife Marta, and his mother and father-in-law Margery Izard of Glastonbury and Dr. Mark Izard of Avon.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on June 9, in the Wethersfield Congregational Church, 250 Main St., Wethersfield. A reception will take place afterwards down the block at the Keeney Memorial Cultural Center at 200 Main St. in Wethersfield. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Ledyard Congregational Church, where Peter and his family have been members for many years.
Published in The Day on Jun. 5, 2018.