September 4, 1962 - December 15, 2020

 

 

On December 15, 2020 Peter Lawrence Ampe, age 58 of Paynesville, MN passed away after a battle with Covid-19. He was surrounded by family at the time of his death. A Public visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Daniel-Anderson Funeral Home in Paynesville. A Private Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, December 22, 2020 at 11:00 a m. at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville. Burial will take place in the parish cemetery. A celebration of life will be planned for a future date. Donations in memorial can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation or to Protect Our Winters.

The timing of his death is fitting, considering he always “hated” the holiday season, as his friends (and all the other “morons”) from his 30+ years at FedEx know well. Any other time of the year wouldn’t have worked for him, as it would have interfered with boating, fishing, snowboarding, sailing, golfing, and his favorite past-time - drinking. Everyone agrees that he made the best margaritas (don’t even ask, the recipe is a family secret), and he always made sure everyone’s glasses remained full.

Pete was a fun-loving guy, so full of life and energy, and whose smile and humor were infectious. Everywhere he went, and every life he touched, are forever brighter because of his presence. He was an amazing father, a loving husband, a devout son, a courageous brother, a caring friend, and a selfless caretaker. Pete was always the life of the party, and continuously renewed everyone’s sense of adventure. He was humble and kind, and most of all, he always put everyone else’s needs above his own.

His knowledge seemed limitless. On every topic, from construction to fine wine, sailing knots to lawn care, snowboarding to automotive repairs, Pete knew something about everything. Pete was an excellent cook, and loved fine French cuisine, and taught us how to make Creme Brulee. He also taught us how to get away with a little mischief, and he always told the most inappropriate jokes. If I repeat any here, the newspaper likely wouldn’t print this.

Perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from Pete’s life is that happiness is a choice. Everyone is faced with choices every day, and in Pete’s case, he always chose happiness above all else. That is why he chose to move to Colorado, to enjoy the mountains, instead of career progression. He chose to move back to Minnesota, to raise his family close to home. He chose to retire early, to spend more time with his wife, even though he could have made a lot more money had he worked for a few more years. He faced adversity, and carried more weight than one man should, and every day he made the conscious decision to not let that weight bring him down, and to smile and laugh through it all. He’s the strongest person we’ve ever known.

Pete always told us that he would live to be 100, but only made it to 58. Pete was often the most youthful person in the room, even at a child’s birthday party. Friends and family remember him jumping in inflatable bouncy houses for kids, dressing up as a cheerleader for Halloween, eating at the kids table, and always playing and giggling with everyone. Our youngest family member says he will miss “tickling Pete’s forehead,” because Pete always told children he was ticklish on his forehead so they wouldn’t actually tickle his feet. Although he wanted to be 100, it’s hard to imagine Pete ever becoming an “old man.”

Pete is missed by his loving wife, Janet; his three adoring sons, Peter, Preston, and Will; his daughter-in-law, Hannah; his proud parents, Pete and Donna; his sister and brother, Suzanne (Tony) and Patrick; and his two faithful dogs, Bella and Rosie. We’re pretty sure that stray cat (Kitty) who sleeps in the garage misses him too.

Pete was young and fit and had no underlying conditions when he lost his battle with Covid-19. He walked his dogs five miles a day, and the doctors continually praised his impressive health and strength, saying he appeared as healthy as any man ten years younger than him. Please wear your masks, stay home, keep distance, and get vaccinated. We join over 300,000 other families in the country whose grief and pain are immeasurable.