Peter Herman Weyl

PORTLAND – Peter died peacefully at home on May 27, 2024 in a sunny room hearing birds chirping, leaves rustling and the voices of those he loved saying their farewells.

Beloved Peter was the eldest son of Michael and Margareta Granstrom Weyl, born in July, 1945.

Peter was a cherished husband, brother, father, friend and colleague.

His childhood began at the home of his grandparents in Princeton, N.J. where he was immersed in Swedish, German, and English. He would later add Danish and French to his repertoire. He always enjoyed any opportunity to engage in conversation by switching into them.

In the spring of 1946, Peter and his mother, Margareta, were passengers on the first U.S. Army ship of dependents headed to Europe to join Michael who had trained at Camp Ritchie in Maryland and was posted in Stuttgart. In celebration of his second birthday, his mother invited German children in the neighborhood to a party to afford them treats. This spirit of generosity and thoughtfulness was a legacy that Peter carried throughout his life.

Peter’s subsequent childhood years were spent in Copenhagen, Berlin, and Brussels with intervals in Washington D.C. as a result of his father’s serving in the foreign service as cultural attaché for USIS. He had many memories and stories of all the postings and trans-Atlantic crossings on ocean liners He commemorated many of them in drawings and cartoons.

Peter’s childhood from ages 5 to 10 in Copenhagen filled him with joyful memories of castles, play, and fresh rolls delivered to the door every morning. The Weyl household was imbued with art and music and often included dinners with interesting guests. Peter’s favorite was Walt Kelley, author and illustrator of Pogo, who cheerfully autographed Peter’s collection. Berlin featured a backdrop of tanks and intrigue to feed his adolescent imagination. Assigned next to Brussels, Peter and his brother, Tom, spent the summer with a family of 12 boys and by the end of August were fluent in French. Peter joined the Belgian Boy Scouts and relished learning navigational skills and how to follow someone in the city undetected.. He flourished at The International School of Brussels which he attended until his senior year. The family then returned to Washington D.C. and Peter graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School.

Peter attended Princeton University majoring in French Literature. While there, he hosted a show on WPRB, saw Bob Dylan perform and made lifelong Tiger friendships. His next stint in academia was at University of Colorado for a masters in comparative literature. He submitted his thesis on Black Humor and Surrealism both in accepted form and as a comic book

The latter was not accepted and Peter was accused of a surrealist attack on academia which delighted him. On a break from grad school, he traveled to San Francisco, Calif. where he wrote and illustrated “The Spiro T Agnew Coloring Book”. In lieu of remuneration, the publisher gave him a 100 copies that he hawked on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, Calif.

Upon his return to Boulder. Colo. to finish his thesis, he espied and wooed his shy, future wife, Terry, with the same infectious charm and enthusiasm with which he coaxed his Swedish grandmother, Magda, to read all of “Pippi Longstocking” aloud in one sitting. He serenaded Terry with Davy Crockett in Danish and informed her she had the most impractical footwear he’d ever seen. It worked! They were married in August 1971 and flew to Germany to teach in public schools for four years. Peter and Terry were afforded an extended honeymoon in the flat landscape of Lower Saxony enhanced with gearless bikes, generous vacations, and night trains to points of interest.

Peter’s penchant for the news business began in Washington, a student panelist on WTOPs show, “Youth Wants to Know”. In his later career in radio and television, Peter was an instinctive interviewer and his tactfulness made tough questions possible. He hopped to Maine in 1981 after stints on radio and television in upstate New York. He relished the banter, pace and urgency of the newsroom. Mentoring young writers and photojournalists was something most appreciated by his fellow journalists. Peter was a polymath, except for math, they could rely on for background and erudition.

It must be mentioned that Peter equally enjoyed being a host and a guest as he relished good conversation and conviviality. He had an encyclopedic film library in his head and for a time reviewed movies. “The Wild Bunch” was a cinematic favorite of his.

Peter’s greatest love was for his family most notably his daughters Isabelle and Tilly, who considered him to be their fearless leader, wordsmith extraordinaire, and the pinnacle of hipness. He passed onto them his love of art, music, and way of living with aplomb. They spent many Saturdays with adventures in-town for movies and bookstores and a stop at Videoport. Sundays were reserved for pancakes, walks with glimpses of the ocean, and reading poetry and stories aloud. He introduced them to his favorites; KrazyKat, Buster Keaton and The Marx Brothers among others. They learned to embrace new ideas and become critical thinkers with open minds and hearty senses of humor.

Peter leaves behind his wife; daughters; brothers Tom Weyl (Deborah Lawrence), Andy Weyl, son-in-law Mike Egan; and one granddaughter.

Peter is irreplaceable but will live on in our hearts and thoughts because of the way he enhanced and embraced the world. He was and will always be our guiding star.

Comments are no longer available on this story