Peter N. Landherr, 36, Walnut Grove

Published 10:37 am Friday, August 31, 2012

Peter N. Landherr, 36, of Glenwood Springs, Colo., and Walnut Grove, Minn., died Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, near Steamboat Springs, Colo., from injuries sustained from a single engine plane crash.

Peter N. Landherr

Peter Nicholas Landherr was born to Nick and Teresa Landherr in Blue Earth, Minn., on the Fourth of July, 1976. He continued to be a firecracker his entire life. He was baptized into the Catholic Church in Blue Earth using the blessed water from the flowing spring on the family acreage.

Pete moved with his parents to Lake City, Minn., where his sister Katie joined the family. From here they moved to Austin, Minn., and finally to Owatonna, Minn., when Pete was 13 years old. He was confirmed at Sacred Heart Catholic Church and graduated from Owatonna Senior High School in 1995. He still holds several track and field records for his pole vaulting activities. At the age of 16, he participated in the Junior Olympics in Los Angeles, Calif., coming in 17th in the nation in his age group. He also pole vaulted for Minnesota State University, Mankato from which he graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree.

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While attending school in Mankato, he met and later married Rachel Fritz of Tracy, Minn. They were married on Oct. 24, 1998, in Currie, Minn., at St. Mary’s Church and were just recently divorced.

Their first child, Fritz Matthew was born in 2000. After college, the family moved to the Walnut Grove area where Pete proudly restored and returned to life Rachel’s ancestral homestead near the banks of Plum Creek. Here, Elsa Marie Autumn, Quinn Peter and Tellef Gregory joined the family.

Peter enveloped himself in his adopted acreage and community. He was a member of the Lucan Lions Club. He started a prairie wild flower seed business to preserve the native habitat and he built the largest an agama style kiln in Minnesota. Minnesota Pubic Radio featured Peter and the kiln in one of their “What’s Happening in Minnesota?” series. Peter was quoted by MPR as saying “…melding his visions into clay is the best part of a day, apart from pushing his kids on the rope swing.” He worked on the wind turbine sites on the SW Minnesota Buffalo Ridge. He was a proponent of using renewable resources to leave the smallest “footprint” possible. He and Rachel raised pasture-fed finished cattle. Peter used the family baby grand piano to teach himself to play by ear. With the kids on percussion, an impromptu family concert was always a joy. The family moved to Grand Lake, Colo., in 2010, where Pete continued to pursue his passions which included becoming a pilot.

Peter is survived by his four children and their mother, all of Walnut Grove; parents, both of Owatonna; sister and brother-in-law, Katie and Brandon Weir of Owatonna; grandmothers Joan Rickerl of Austin, Minn., and Barbara Landherr of Rose Creek, Minn; and also by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, large extended family, the loving Fritz family, and many, many friends.

Pete was taken too soon at the age of 36 as a result of a single engine plane crash. Peter lived each day to the fullest and touched many people through his passion for life. He was a bright star that burned out much too soon. He had such a love of life and his family.

We await the day we can join Pete and all rejoice in the presence of God.

Mass of Christian burial is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 1, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 810 Cedar Ave. S, Owatonna. Friends may greet the family on Friday, Aug. 31, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Brick-Meger Funeral Home, 1603 Austin Road, Owatonna. The visitation will continue l be a one hour before the funeral liturgy on Saturday. Memorials are preferred to the “Landherr Family Memorial” at Profinium Financial, 1080 W Frontage Road in Owatonna, (507-444-0111). For more information or to leave a message, go to