Pete was born on Aug. 4, 1928 in Holland, Michigan to Beatrice and Peter Van Domelen Jr. He and his younger sister Lucille were raised in Holland, where Pete developed a lifetime love for the outdoors spending hours hunting, fishing and sailing. He attended Holland High School and then the University of Michigan, where he earned both an engineering and law degree. Upon graduation, he enlisted, and was a commissioned officer in the United States Navy, serving on the USS Columbus with a tour of duty in the Mediterranean. Upon his discharge, he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and joined the law firm of Warner, Norcross and Judd, where he eventually became a partner.
As a young lawyer he met his future wife, Nancy Vogelsang, a teacher, in Grand Rapids. On their first date, she “whipped” him in a game of ping-pong and the rest was, as they say, history. They were married on Sept. 28, 1957. In 1973, Pete and Nancy decided to relocate their family (four children, a cat, and a dog) to Aspen, Colorado, where he hung out a shingle and built a successful private law practice.
He served on several boards of directors and as president of the Aspen Rotary. In his spare time he taught the kids to ski, fly fish, hike, drive Jeeps on mountain roads, and play golf, tennis and squash. The move to Aspen was a precursor to he and Nancy’s lifelong sense of adventure.
After retirement, Pete and Nancy spent several years in Moab and were active in the Moab Bridge Club, played golf, explored the area and made many friends. They later relocated to: Creststone, Longmont, Pinewood Springs, Lyons, and Boulder, Colorado. Pete was a devoted family man, delighting in attending his children’s and then grandchildren’s various games, recitals and plays.
His parents, sister, and his son, Daniel, predeceased him. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Nancy; his son, Peter IV (Robin); daughters, Julie Van Domelen (Joseph Lekarczyk) and Jane Reagan (Mike); as well as eight grandchildren – Peter V, Colter (Brittany), and Travis (Olivia) Van Domelen, Jacob, Kailey, Sara and Conner Reagan, and Maya Lekarczyk; and two great-grandsons James and Oliver Van Domelen.
There will be a celebration of life in February in Aspen. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to make donations in his name to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org.