Eichman, Peter L.
GREEN VALLEY, Ariz. - Dr. Peter L. Eichman, 95, went peacefully home to our Lord, from heart failure, with his family by his side.
He was born on Nov. 18, 1925, in Philadelphia, Pa., to Edward Eichman, a physician, and Frances (Liebert) Eichman. He graduated from St. Joseph's College and, in 1949, from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. In 1950-51, he was a resident at Walter Reed Army Hospital, specializing in hepatic diseases and, for a time, conducting research in Germany. In 1952, he trained in neuropsychiatry and internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
In 1954, he joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, in Madison, Wis., as a professor of neurology, a position he held for nearly 50 years. In 1965, he was appointed dean of the Medical School-the youngest dean in the university's history--and was instrumental in the creation of the university's vast new medical center. While on leave in the early 1970s, he served at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., as director of the Bureau of Health Manpower. In the 1980's and 90's, Peter was an active participant in Rotary International's campaign to eradicate polio worldwide.
He married Phyllis Kettelhon, from Columbus, Wis., in 1959 and is survived by his wife and five children: Susan Uccellini(Louis) (Columbia, Md.); Erich (New York City); Philip (Madison, Wis.); and Mary Schmidt and Liz Donahue, both residents of Green Valley. He has nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Peter and Phyllis lived full time in Arizona for the past 20 years. In his retirement, he was active in his church, attending classes, giving lectures and taking video courses in everything from quantum physics to music appreciation. His faith and his family were at the very center of his life.
Our dad could provide calmness just by his presence, and warmth with his smile. He was gentle, kind, non-judgmental and oh so wise. We miss him terribly. As he neared the end and was so weak, he was still trying to help others. We want to continue his final mission. He was concerned about older people living in isolation during the pandemic and was calling around to friends and acquaintances, urging them to check in on their neighbors--especially people who were living alone--and offer to chat, run errands or cook a meal. In short, to let them know that they were not alone at all.
Peter's ashes were blessed with a family service and will be interred at Resurrection Cemetery in Madison.