Peter A. Smith, 70, of Rhinelander passed away on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
He was born Jan. 25, 1952, to Leslie and Doris Smith. Peter and his family moved around frequently in his youth, because his father managed Sears stores around the Midwest, until they finally settled in Rhinelander. Peter graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1970 and then he went on to join the United States Air Force. Peter spent 22 years in the Air Force, and for much of that time he was stationed overseas in Europe. He attained the rank of Master Sergeant. He served a tour of duty in the Gulf War's Operation Desert Storm and was stationed in Kuwait and Egypt. During his time in the military, he traveled extensively and took many beautiful photographs and saw many musicals and plays. In 1978, he married Marye Ann. Together they had two children, a son Patrick and a daughter Melanie, who became the focus of his life. Peter shared his passion for classic literature, musical theater, sports, and math with his children. He encouraged academic excellence and the pursuit of higher learning. He earned a Masters Degree in Business, as well as two bachelor's degrees, while he was in the service.
Upon his retirement from the Air Force, he moved back to Rhinelander. You may remember him as the owner of the "Collectible Card Connection" Card Shop on Brown Street, in the mid to late 1990s. It was there that he discovered another one of his favorite activities, Magic the Gathering. Peter found the strategic nature of the card game as well as the social aspects of playing it very engaging.
Peter used his love of numbers when playing strategy games, but also when working as an accountant for Kerber, Rose, and Associates until his retirement last year. While working there he made many lifelong friends. In his later years Peter found great joy in sharing his hobbies with his grandchildren. Peter especially loved seeing his grandchildren perform in plays and musical concerts.
Peter is survived by Marye Ann, his daughter Melanie and son-in-law Chad, his son Patrick and his partner Rachel, his grandchildren Aidan, Anastasia, Blue, and Vera.
He is also survived by his sister Julie, his sister Mary Barbara and her husband Bob, brothers Steven and Leslie "Dennis", as well as a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and many wonderful friends.
The visitation for Peter will be held on Thursday, June 9, 2022, at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church located at 125 E. King Street, Rhinelander from 10:30 a.m. until the 12 p.m. (noon) Mass of Christian Burial. Fr. Chris Kemp will be officiating.
Committal Services will take place on Saturday, June 11, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery located at the corner of Driscoll and Lincoln Streets. Please meet at the cemetery at 1:15 p.m. At the conclusion of the committal service, military honors will be conducted by the Ray Rousseau V.F.W. Post 3143 Rhinelander and representatives from the United States Air Force.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at www.hildebrandrussfh.com.
The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC 232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361
Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121 Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce