The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Peter Frances Ryskewecz

 

October 23, 2018

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Peter Frances Ryskewecz, 75, died unexpectedly on June 7, 2018, at his home in Fort Lauderdale. Peter, the oldest son of Roman and Iris (Richards) Ryskewecz, was born on April 15, 1943, in Ironwood, Mich.

Peter is survived by a sister, Susan (Ryskewecz) Buck, and three brothers: Gary (Karen) and Jon "Chuck" of Ironwood, and Michael, of Hurley, Wis .; a nephew, Steven (Char) Buck and nieces Tina and Lisa Ryskewecz, and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his lifelong partner Lance Klinge, in 2006; and sister-in-law Linda Ryskewecz, in 2017.

Peter graduated with honors from Luther L. Wright High School, class of 1961. He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee until 1964, when he transferred to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo from which he graduated in 1965, with a bachelor's degree in education, with majors in French and English. He continued there to a master's degree in French, graduating in 1969. Peter taught high school French and English for 30 years at South Haven and Port Huron, retiring in 1995, when he moved to Fort Lauderdale with his partner.

While teaching, Peter loved to travel and worked devotedly to organize and lead his student/parent trips to Europe for many years. In addition, Peter and Lance traveled extensively through Europe to search for his family roots. Later, he and Lance traveled to Egypt, Buenos Aries (with his sister Susan), and on to the Far East: China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Cambodia.

Peter was a consummate scholar, continuing his post graduate studies, attending sessions at the University of Grenoble, France (1966), U.S. Government Institute at Purdue University (1967), and other studies at Wayne State University, University of Michigan, and Michigan State University, finishing his education specialist studies in 1977.

While in his late 40s, he started another career goal: A teaching minor in Spanish, planning ahead to continue to work in foreign language teaching in Florida.

Another avocation and devotion for Peter was restoring houses. His first attempt was a 100-year-old clapboard house which he gutted and redid with the help of his brother, Mike, back in the early '70s. Peter also had a great eye for interior design, which he loved. His next endeavor was a beautiful Spanish/Tudor mansion in Port Huron, Mich., overlooking the St. Clair River. He spent 16 years working this 1926 beauty into a showpiece. Finally, he culminated his interest by redoing a waterfront house in Fort Lauderdale during the last 22 years. His home was always open to entertain his Northern family and friends.

In addition, a great love of Peter's involved antique cars, an interest accredited to his father, who was a very gifted auto body man, who restored cars for customers in Ironwood for more than 40 years. He always said he loved driving his Dad's customers' 1950s cars when they would drop them off and he would take them home. Peter's "children," as he called them, were a 1947 Dodge and a 1963 Thunderbird (restored with the help of brother Chuck), several four-door Thunderbirds from 1968-'71, and lastly four Cadillac Fleetwood Broughams from 1988-'90.

Funeral arrangements were handled by the McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home in Ironwood, with a private graveside burial in the Hillside Cemetery, Iron Belt, Wis., where many of his family relatives lie. For more information and to express condolences, visit mckevittpatrickfuneralhome.com.

 
 

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