Peter Dean Kjeldgaard
Peter Dean Kjeldgaard
  • April 20, 1928 - May 18, 2017
  • Mesa, Arizona

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Peter Dean Kjeldgaard, of Leisure World, AZ passed away May 18, 2017 at the age of 89. He was born April 20, 1928 in Denver, CO to Holgar Christian and Alice Walsh [Dean] Kjeldgaard. Peter graduated from Stanford University in California, where he was active in the NROTC program. Later, Peter earned two masters degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School. During his freshman year at Stanford, he met Norma Heck, many years later, the two would be married.
Peter proudly served his country in the United States Navy beginning during the Korean War. His career at sea began on the destroyer John R. Craig; continuing on two minesweepers, the Hummer and the Pelican; and concluded with a cruise on the Bennington. His shore career included working as an Engineering Duty Officer at Subic Bay and Hunters Point Shipyards. Every career includes time in DC, Peter had three back- to- back assignments, and then was reassigned to SupShips in San Francisco. After 30 years in the Navy, he retired at the rank of Captain. Following his military career, he went on to work in civilian ship repair.
In the summer of 1977, he was married to Norma Heck Buzzard, who he had met many years earlier in college. The two spent the next 40 years together. He was very active in the Lion's Club through Leisure World for 25 years, participating in can recycling, vision testing in local schools and working the voter booths during the elections. He was also a member of the LW Lapidary Club and the Architectural Control Committee. For 23 years, he worked with a tax program for low income people through AARP. Peter and Norma would spend at least two to four weeks a year on vacations; they had been on more than 25 cruises together, including several times through the Panama Canal. In Leisure World, their home was known as the one with the "orchid greenhouse" having more than 250 plants on their patio.
Peter is survived by his loving wife, Norma; daughters, Christine Havnar and Karen Sellers and her husband, Richard; sons, David Kjeldgaard and his wife Lee Zimmerman and Ned Kjeldgaard and his wife, JoAnna Kamppi; step-son, Tom Buzzard; grandchildren, Charles Havnar and his wife Gretel, Christopher Kjeldgaard, Kathryn Quinlan and her husband Joe, Kimberly Sellers, Michael Sellers, Hailey Kjeldgaard and Caroline Kjeldgaard as well as his great grandchildren, Ernesto Palacios, Nathan Havnar, Sophia Havnar, Jensyn Quinlan and Karston Quinlan. He will be dearly missed.
A celebration of life will be held at 2:00pm, Monday, November 20, 2017 at the Leisure World Recreation I Ballroom