Peter William Wielhouwer was born September 11, 1941 to Gysbrecht (Bert) and Aagje (Aggie) Wielhouwer, in Boston, Mass. He had one older brother, Johan (John), and two older sisters, Agnes and Anna.
Peter grew up in Dorchester, Mass. He attended Patrick T. Campbell elementary school, Boston Latin junior high, Boston Technical High School, and Boston University, graduating in 1963 with a B.S. in Aeronautical Technology. He attended Bethany Baptist Church in Dorchester and met Christ there after a missions speaker offered the opportunity. Four days after graduating from BU he married Jane Walker Anderson of Quincy, Mass. They had met and dated in the youth group of Wollaston Baptist Church after Peter’s family moved to Quincy.
Also after graduation, to quote his daughter-in-law Valarie, “Pete literally changed the trajectory” of all our lives by choosing an Air Force career. Not knowing that, of course, Peter and Jane spent four months at Officer’s Training School at Medina Air Station (San Antonio, TX), earning his “butter bars” and the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. They then moved to Chanute AFB (Rantoul, IL) for further training, spent two years at Otis AFB (Falmouth, MA), and two years at Beale AFB (in northern California). He joined the design and test team for the SR‑71 “Blackbird” aircraft. It was at Beale where Pete and Jane added a son, Peter Warren, to their family, in December 1965.
After separation from active duty in October 1967, the family moved back east, settling in East Windsor, Connecticut, with Pete working at Hamilton Standard Corp. in the Apollo lunar space program. When the program ended after July 1969, Pete found himself out of work (along with 35,000 other engineers who had been working on related programs) but wanted to stay in Connecticut. He quickly found work at Colt Firearms, and then landed a job with Combustion Engineering’s nuclear division, where he worked for the next 23 years. He also joined the CT Air National Guard, retiring in 1986 at the rank of Lt. Colonel.
During this time, Pete and Jane had a second son, Philip Walker, in September 1968, and adopted a daughter, Wendy Eileen (previously Park Jung-Im), who had been born in Seoul, South Korea in 1966. Sadly, Wendy passed away in August 1996. In 1983 Peter Warren went off to Heidelberg College and the University of Georgia for college and graduate school, graduating in 1994, and becoming a political science professor. He married Deborah Trumble of Enfield, Connecticut in 1990, a nurse and graduate of St. Joseph College, and they have six children. Philip was appointed to the US Air Force Academy in 1986, graduated in 1990, and became a B‑1 and A‑10 pilot. He married Kimberly Harmon of Andover, Kansas in 1991; Kim also was USAFA graduate and pilot. She died in a tragic C-130 plane crash in 1996. In 2001 Phil married Valarie Van Bussum of Eagle River, Wisconsin, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, social worker, and USAF veteran, and they have four children.
Pete retired at age 63 and he and Jane began a new life as empty-nesters and grandparents. They traveled well and often for many years, relocating to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2013. They are members of Berean Baptist Church and have been involved in several ministries in their years there.
Pete was a kind, gentle, and loving man, who cared deeply about others. He sought out and befriended people on the fringes of groups and had a passion for equipping Christian men to grow in their faith and relationship with Jesus.
Diagnosed with renal cancer in 2018, he died peacefully at home on May 10, 2023, with Jane, Phil, Peter and Deb by his side. He now lives eternally at the feet of his savior, Jesus Christ.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jane, sons Peter and Philip, sister Anna Saltmarsh, ten nieces and nephews, and ten grandchildren: through Peter and Deb: Jonathan (Kelsey), Matthew, Andrew, Lydia (Yeager) Coss, Elizabeth, and Anna; through Phil and Val: Jacob, Brett, Madison, and Ryan.
A visitation will be held at Berean Baptist Church, 7813 S. 12th Street Portage, MI, beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 20th, and a memorial service will begin at 11 a.m. Flowers may be sent to Peter Wielhouwer, c/o Langeland Funeral Home, 622 S. Burdick St., Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Gifts in lieu of flowers may be made in Pete’s name to Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries, Iron Sharpens Iron, or Berean Baptist Church; links can be found at https://www.langelands.com/obituary/Peter-Wielhouwer.
Berean Baptist Church
7813 South 12th Street, Portage MI 49024
Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries
448 N. Burdick Street, Kalamazoo MI 49007
Iron Sharpens Iron
41 Crossroads Plaza, West Hartford CT 06117