Obituary of Peter Jay Laubenheimer
Peter Jay Laubenheimer was born in Evanston, Illinois, on August 9, 1940 and passed away in Sacramento on December 18, 2018.
He grew up alongside his older brother Norm, and younger sister Beth, in Mt. Prospect, a suburb of Chicago. Pete attended Purdue University where he earned a degree in civil engineering. He spent his career designing water and wastewater treatment plants. In 1973 he transferred to Northern California where he worked for several engineering firms during his long career.
Pete joined Kennedy/Jenks in 1980 and established himself very rapidly as an in-house expert in hydraulics and wastewater treatment.
Throughout the ’80s, he worked on large wastewater treatment plant design projects under the Federal Clean Water Program at Carmel, Reno-Sparks and many others. In the ’90s, Pete led some of their largest and most complex wastewater and water treatment projects throughout the west, as either Project Engineer or Project Manager. In the 2000s, Pete took positions that could most benefit the continued strength and growth of Kennedy/Jenks, taking on staff management, quality control, mentoring, and authoring of technical guide documents that are still in use today.
When Pete retired in 2007, the San Francisco office held “Pete Laubenheimer Day,” to recognize his brilliance, leadership, and mentorship to younger engineers. Although Pete no longer went into the office after that, he still offered guidance and advice on projects until his full retirement in 2010.
Pete will be fondly remembered at Kennedy/Jenks for his patience and kindheartedness, even more than his formidable technical know-how.
Everyone acquainted with Pete knew of his love of trains, both real and model. He traveled to work both in Chicago and on the San Francisco Peninsula by train, playing bridge during the commute.
During his free time he enjoyed geography, poring over maps, model railroads, hiking, photography, travel and learning new things. He loved playing cards and other games with family and friends. Pete found joy in simple, everyday activities such as having a cup of tea
and reading the paper, and he greeted each day with a positive attitude, never saying a bad word about anyone.
Many people throughout his life said Pete was the kindest person they had ever known. He had a sincere interest in others and listened earnestly to all who spoke with him. He was never too busy to help others. His special smile could light up a room.
As family was very important to him, he planned trips to see relatives, and engineered elaborate birthday cakes for many of his grandchildren.
Pete was loved and will be missed by Nancy, his wife of 20 years, daughters L.J. Laubenheimer, Christine Guthrie, and Michelle Reyna, Nancy’s daughters Sara Batchelor and Minda Weldon, 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many friends and family.
A memorial service will be held on February 9th at 1 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 West Main St., Grass Valley, CA, where Pete was an active member. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Pete’s memory to Interfaith Food Ministry or Peace Lutheran Church.
If only more people were like Pete, the world would be a better place.
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