Peter Henry Piper was born August 13, 1932, in Chicago, Illinois, the only child of Henry and Dorothy Piper. He passed away March 23, 2020, in Flagstaff. He died at the Olivia White Hospice Home where he spent nearly 6 months due to complications of diabetes.
Pete leaves behind two daughters, Vicki Piper and Carol Tullis (Robert) who he loved and was devoted to for 60 years; a step-daughter, Michelle Calzeretta (Steve) who he loved greatly; and four grandchildren, Ramzy Kaloti, Suad Kaloti, Karim Kaloti, and Summer Kaloti who Pete cherished deeply and greatly enjoyed. They will forever miss their “Gabbado.” Pete was also proud of his ten adorable great-grandchildren. Pete will also miss his dear friends at Trinity Heights UMC and Church of the Resurrection where he was a member and generous contributor as well as FaithWorks Christians in Mission where he volunteered for the last 20 years. Pete is survived by three ex-wives, Ruth Piper Chiarelli, Patricia Matthews, and Kathy Hooper Piper, and four cousins.
Pete spent most of his life in the Chicago area. He was a 1950 graduate of Lane Tech High School in Chicago and a 1954 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh earning a B.A. degree in Business Administration. In 1955 he joined the U.S. Army serving one year in Ludwigsburg, Germany. From 1957 until his retirement he worked in Chicago in the Tool and Die Industry, first under his uncle, and then later as part owner of Precision Machine Components (PMC).
Pete’s deep passions were music, acting, baseball, football, and our Lord God Almighty and Jesus Christ. Peter was an avid musician. He played piano throughout his life. During his school years, he played tuba, baritone, trombone, and trumpet. He played tuba in his high school marching band. He also studied music in college at University of Pittsburgh and much later at Elmhurst College. He also had and exceptional singing voice. Pete always joined church choirs. And, from the early 60’s to the mid 90’s, Pete was a member of various community theatre groups such as Best Off Broadway, Music on Stage, The Des Plaines Theatre Guild, and the Village Theatre of Palatine. Some of his favorite roles were Daddy Warbucks in Annie, Billy in Anything Goes, and Max in The Sound of Music. He also took great pride and joy in his productions of Rumpelstiltskin and Puss ‘n Boots performed for the children at the old Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.
When it came to sports Pete was a fourth generation Chicago Cubs fan. He was so happy and proud to cheer the Cubs to their World Series win in 2016. For the last twenty years he was also true-blue to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cardinals. As far as participating in sports, he enjoyed swimming, hiking, golf and tennis (but he spent more time playing piano).
In 2001 Pete relocated to Flagstaff. He was always very spiritual, so he became involved in Trinity Heights UMC and later Church of the Resurrection. He particularly enjoyed the holiday season when the church choirs performed their cantatas. With FaithWorks, he went on a mission or two, one to Espanola, NM where he helped with setting-up and organizing their office. For so many years, since its beginning, Pete devoted himself to FaithWorks, helping and giving where needed. Pete loved "going to work" there - a place he truly believed in and where he was very much loved and appreciated.
A couple of little tidbits about Pete for historical purposes. Pete was born “Henry Brice Piper” but everyone called him “little Pete” after his great-grandfather. At age ten, he had his name changed to Peter Henry. Also, Pete’s grandfather was the late Adolph Henry Piper, owner of the Piper’s Bakery of the renowned “Piper’s Alley” in Old Town Chicago. In more recent years, Pete admitted that one of his biggest regrets was not carrying on with the family business.
Pete was such a gracious and generous human being. He will be sorely missed for his thoughtfulness, his encouraging ways, his constant giving (of himself and his resources), but maybe mostly for his entertaining personality, always making sure everyone had a good time.
After the pandemic, family and friends will be invited to celebrations of his life in Chicago and Flagstaff. Donations can be made in memory of Pete to FaithWorks in Flagstaff. Pete’s cremains will be scattered in Flagstaff, Pittsburgh, and Ludwigsburg, Germany. Please, feel free when signing the condolence book to share a favorite memory of Pete.
Dear God, bless Pete Piper, and thank You so very much for him.
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