Dr. Peter Valentine Teal

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Service Information
Oasis Cremation & Funeral Care
1687 W Prince Rd #101
Tucson, AZ

TEAL, Dr. Peter Valentine

The world lost a truly exceptional man when Dr. Peter Valentine Teal died peacefully in hospice on Saturday, February 8, 2020 just six days shy of his 87th birthday. Everyone who met Peter knew he was an uncommonly skillful and considerate man. He was an accomplished orthopedic surgeon, who helped countless patients through his decades of work at St. Vincent's Hospital (where he was twice Chief of Staff) in Billings, MT, the Shriners Hospitals for Children, the Indian Health Service in Crow Agency, and the Veterans Administration. Peter also served with in Vietnam in 1994. He is remembered with gratitude and great affection by the many patients whose lives he saved or changed for the better.

He was deeply loved and is now deeply mourned by his entire extended family. He was a kind, loving brother and son; a patient, generous father and stepfather; and an adored grandfather. His marriage of 31 years to Annie (Braafladt) Teal was full of love and laughter and travel and delicious food and wine. He will be missed and remembered by too many people to count.

Peter Valentine Teal was born in Omaha, Nebraska on February 14, 1933 (his mother's 31st birthday), to Valentine Moline Teal, a writer of children's books and countless short stories for women's magazines, and Clarence William Teal, an electrical engineer with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. Peter grew up in Omaha, and he spent his summers in northern Minnesota where his Swedish relatives lived, and that is where he learned to love the outdoors. As a teenager, he worked as a canoe guide in the Boundary Waters area of Minnesota and Ontario. Peter loved sailing, skiing, canoeing, fishing, tennis, hiking, and golf throughout his life.

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1955, and went on to Harvard Medical School. He continued his medical training in Denver and Minneapolis, where he did his residency in orthopedic surgery. Peter moved to Billings, MT in 1967 to practice orthopedics with Dr. Perry Berg at Orthopedic Surgeons PSC (now known as Ortho Montana). Dr. Berg was his mentor for many years.

In 1970, Peter and Dr. Robert Volz co-founded the Western Trauma Association, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. He retired from surgery practice in 1998, and went on to work for the Veterans Administration part-time for several years. He spent his retirement between Billings and Tucson, AZ, as well as spending time in France for many years. He loved woodworking and golfing and eternally learning to speak French. Peter became a tireless amateur artist after retirement, taking classes in watercolor painting and drawing. Everywhere Peter went, his sketchbook and a sunglasses case full of pencils and brushes came with him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his son, Christopher Teal. He is survived by his beloved wife, Annie (Braafladt) Teal; by two brothers and a sister, John Teal of Rochester, MA, Thomas Teal of Boston, MA and Alison Teal Brown of Aspen, CO and Key West, FL; by four children, Pete Teal, Cynthia Crist, Mallory Gilbertson, and Emmily Denney; and by three stepchildren, Seth Brown, Mijanou Fortney, and Theo Brown, whom he raised and loved as his own. He is also survived by dozens of nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom adored him.

To know Peter was to love him, and those who did are thankful to have known him and spent time with him. It can be incredibly difficult to be a human being, but Peter made the burden lighter with his consistent humanity, thoughtfulness, and empathy.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to or Orthopedics Overseas. A Memorial will be held in Billings later in the spring. Arrangements by OASIS CREMATION AND FUNERAL CARE.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Feb. 16, 2020
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