Family and friends are remembering Peter Angle, and sharing his story with the community:
Peter Angle passed away Tuesday, September 29, at the Puget Sound VA due to complications from sepsis. Peter was born to Jack and Trudy Angle in Chicago May 7, 1938. He was the oldest of four brothers growing up in the steel town of Gary, Indiana, on the shores of Lake Michigan. The sand dunes were a constant backdrop of his childhood. Upon graduating high school, the family moved to Pittsburgh, where Pete attended Lehigh University and University of Pittsburgh, earning a Bachelor of Arts.
In 1961 Pete enlisted in the USMC, as he put it, to have a choice in the matter rather than be drafted. He earned his aviator wings at Pensacola and flew two tours in the Vietnam War. His second tour in country, he flew helicopter medevacs. In 1968, he was awarded the Silver Star for piloting the extraction of a recon team under heavy fire: Flying a CH-46, he used a high-speed maneuver, the helicopter equivalent of a skid-out, to perch a single landing gear on the steep slope of the “rock pile,” holding steady while the recon team piled in over the half-open ramp, the crew and aircraft taking rounds, including in the forward transmission. With oil leaking into the cockpit, he flew the mile to safety, black smoke billowing behind, having landed just before the oil ran out and the engine seized. Recounting the event in a letter to his future wife, he said he spent the next several days “taught as a bowstring.”
Pete married Diane Weaver, a teacher, in 1969 in Florida. The newly wed couple were stationed in Quantico, where Peter joined HMX-1, the presidential detail, flying President Nixon in Marine One. Pete and Diane traveled abroad during leave, including a memorable trip to Spain and Portugal. Their first son, Geoff, was born in 1973, followed by Greg, born in 1975. Peter’s aviation career continued as he commanded squadrons in New River, NC, and Futenma, Okinawa. Peter retired from his 28-year Marine Corps career as a colonel.
Their children grown, having grown apart, Pete and Diane divorced. Free of the roles of being an officer and raising a family, he sought to know himself, and be himself, more fully, and he moved to a commune in India. After a couple years in Pune, Pete settled in the Bay Area and took up a massage-therapy practice, with which he earned his living for the next decade-plus, until his health took a downturn in 2012. From then on, he hitched his wagon to his son Greg’s family in California, which ultimately brought him north to West Seattle. He got out daily into the neighborhood using his walker, always ready for a good meal and good conversation.
Pete was not the type to wave a flag, but he was proud of his service. He was a foodie before being a foodie was a thing. He terrified his family with his enthusiasm watching the NFL. He did a pretty good Donald Duck impression for the grandkids. His two sons were always impressed by the size of his calves he got from running on the shore of Lake Michigan. He was a very physical, athletic person. He wasn’t afraid to take risks, whether flying medevacs in Vietnam or, later in life, in going against the grain of who he was raised to be. Pete dated well into his seventies; connecting with other people was central to his character. And as his body declined, his sense of humor gave him the ability to deal with it gracefully.
He is survived by his three younger brothers: Tony, Jeff, and Burr, and their families; also his sons Geoff and Greg, and his grandchildren North, Marin, Parrish, Caper, Archie, Osage, and Maple (Geoff and Megan’s family), Boyce and Fletcher (Greg and Robin’s family).
Peter will be interred at Quantico National Cemetery, November 10, 2020 with full military honors.
(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org)
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