PETER ROBERT STREICHER
Friends and family gathered and celebrated Peter's generous, creative, irreverent, and extraordinary life on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at the Lussier Heritage Family Center. The event was titled Celebrating A Life Poetic: The Adventures of Peter Streicher (with hats). And yes, hat wearing was mandatory. Visit Peter's Facebook memorial page to learn more.
Peter delighted and inspired everyone who met him. Many people loved him. We are struggling terribly to understand the why of his death when he had so many blessings and such a proliferation of amazing talents. We may never be able to know more than that he had a lifelong struggle with depression and he lost his struggle. He strove for perfection and withheld his deepest pain from even the closest people in his life. This may be the lesson for those of us who survive and grieve: be gentle with yourself, and reach out to others. They may not always say what you want to hear, but they have great compassion for you and they need you, too, to lean on and share in all the beauty, joy, wonder, peace, suffering, injustice, strife, and tragedy of this incredible life.
Peter made several references to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in his final letter. “Maybe ‘the answer to life, the universe and everything’ really is 42”. What did he mean? Is it a mystery? A joke? A cop out? Instead of trying to answer that, we’d like to leave you with 42 things about Peter Streicher. May he rest in peace.
- Peter was born April 22, 1969. Earth Day was established the following year on April 22, 1970.
- He was a cranky baby and cried incessantly.
- Peter learned to control his baby rage and refocused that energy into doing devilish things to upset his mother.
- Moving beyond his mother, Peter began cultivating his lifelong gift of charming women. His blond hair, soulful eyes, and long eyelashes didn’t hurt him in this quest.
- As a child, Peter was fascinated by TV and memorized the nightly program schedule. His first favorite TV show was Star Trek and he adored Mr. Spock. He also loved The Six Million Dollar Man and had a major crush on Lindsay Wagner (the Bionic Woman).
- Peter was a huge Star Wars fan and memorized the LP story soundtrack.
- Peter got scared to death by the movie Jaws (he was probably a little young to see it in the theater) and his brother could always get a rise out of him by humming the theme song when they went swimming together.
- Peter learned to play hockey with Oregon Hockey Association as it was newly formed in the late 70s.
- Peter has always been fascinated with outer space and liked to build and launch model rockets.
- Peter loved the Streicher family cabin and property near Summit Lake between Antigo and Rhinelander.
- On weekend trips to the cabin with his father and brother, Peter would often worry about running out of gas.
- Peter’s first long term girlfriend was Nicole Michaelis, now Nicole Rosenthal. Their bond endured and they stayed in touch through the years.
- Steve Goetz was one of his dearest and oldest friends.
- Peter attended the UW–Madison from 1988 to 1992, where he majored in art education and studied creative writing.
- Peter played guitar and wrote songs in band called Blue Ruin which he formed with his brother Todd and friends Steve Goetz, Jason Goetz, and Eric Johnson. Blue Ruin put out an album called Blue Ruin s/t. You can listen to it here or here.
- Peter and his brother Todd formed a satirical newspaper called the Rock ‘N’ Roll Probe in 1993. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Probe made fun of the music industry and tirelessly promoted local Madison bands, shows, and music. Publishing the Rock ‘N’ Roll Probe was a group endeavor and many lasting friendships were formed during the long nights of brainstorming, writing and preparing the paper for press. Physical copies are available at the Mills Music Library Wisconsin Music Archives.
- Peter traveled extensively throughout his life, with pilgrimages to Europe and across the United States. He met many people, but the most important fellow traveler in Peter’s life was Caroline Chantefort. They shared a lifelong connection and she meant the world to him.
- During his European travels, Peter worked with an artist in Turkey named Ilhami Atalay.
- Peter was married from 1995 to 2005, to Jenny Green. They had a dog together, Lucy, who Peter deeply loved. They were business partners at shu shu design from 2002 to 2006, and always remained close friends.
- Peter worked as a graphic designer for several local companies, including Sleepless Nights recording studios (creating logos, artwork and packaging for artists and their recordings), American Girl (designing catalogs and sets for photo shoots), and Sonic Foundry, where he designed packaging for their sound and video products and before becoming their user interface designer. He created many of the graphics and icons still found in their software products today—which are now owned by Sony.
- Peter founded the Madison Arts Office (MAO) with Scott Pauli and Kevin O’Malley. They produced a performance art exhibit entitled Wonderbread, which ran at the Commonwealth Gallery on Baldwin Street.
- Peter was a prolific writer, from his early poetry (he self published several volumes in his twenties) to articles for the Probe to short fiction and screenplays. He had a constant stream of story, film, and skit ideas that filled stacks of journals.
- Peter loved movies, from highbrow art film to lowbrow horror and schlock. He rated over 1,200 titles. Two of his favorite directors were Stanley Kubrick and Werner Herzog.
- Peter became interested in making his own films and you can see a few of his short videos on YouTube. (http://www.youtube.com/user/peterstreicher/videos)
- Peter wrote and directed a movie called S.C.A.R.E. INTERNATIONAL with his friend Scott Pauli. (https://vimeo.com/10911613) (Filmed in the fall of 2008)
- Footage from S.C.A.R.E. INTERNATIONAL was used to produce a music video for the band Cougar for the song Stay Famous (http://vimeo.com/5637724).
- Peter volunteered at Agrace Hospice from 2009 to 2010.
- Peter founded the MediaWorks program and ran it at the Goodman Center from 2009 to 2011 to help young people learn about video and sound production (http://www.youtube.com/goodmanmediaworks).
- Peter was Director of Marketing and Creative for 5NINES from 2010. He substantially developed and improved their brand and market awareness (http://5nines.com).
- Peter was gifted with an eye for beauty and truth. He shot tens of thousands of photographs during his travels and throughout his life (alwaysland.com).
- Peter was a skilled wood worker and designed and built several pieces of furniture. He also designed and built numerous home improvement projects—from remodeling rooms in his homes to building the most solid deck ever constructed. He installed carpet and tile, hung drywall, installed windows and doors, ran electrical wiring. He could also work on plumbing but it always made him very angry.
- Peter was a talented painter and many of his artworks will be on display at his remembrance celebration.
- Peter often designed alternative lighting in his spare time. We are not sure where he found any spare time.
- Peter knew how to make people laugh.
- Peter knew how to make people cry.
- Peter was a sensual man and he loved expensive sheets, beautiful clothes and fine shoes.
- Peter loved watching the Packers play football and usually did so with his family.
- Peter was a good cook, but he was very particular. He was fanatic about making pizza. He knew the “right” way to prepare things and would tell you quite plainly if you were doing it wrong.
- Peter thoroughly enjoyed good food, good coffee, good wine. He also loved peanut butter. He was a huge fan of the Underground Food Collective (http://undergroundfoodcollective.org.)
- Peter has a sponsored child through Plan USA. His name is Idrissa Sawadogo and he lives in Africa.
- Peter loved playing hockey was particularly passionate about playing with and helping the Madison Gay Hockey Association and promotion of the annual Blades Against Aids fundraiser.
- Peter liked to read Kurt Vonnegut.
You are welcome to read Farewell My Sweet Juggernaut- a fond farewell from Peter Streicher- his last work of art given to his family and friends. (Farewell My Sweet Juggernaut)
Contributions made to the Streicher family after Peter's funeral were donated to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Going foward, we invite you to join us each October when we walk for the NAMI Dane County - https://www.facebook.com/PetersPipersNAMI/