Peter O. Kirchhoff passed away October 1, 2019 at the age of 91 after a period of declining health. Pete is survived by his wife of 67 years, Harriet Heiden Kirchhoff; and two sons, Jeffrey of Northfield, NH, and Bruce (Andrea) of Highlands Ranch, CO. He is also survived by two grandchildren, Andrew of Beijing, China, and Tyler of San Diego, CA. Pete was preceded in death by his sister, Harriet Steele.
Pete was born May 23, 1928 in Milwaukee to Roger C. and Agnes Olson Kirchhoff. He graduated from Madison West High School in 1945, before serving in the United States Navy. After his honorable discharge in 1946, he spent over 20 years in the Navy Reserve.
Pete attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, graduating in 1950 with a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering. He then began his professional career with the Babcock & Wilcox Co. in Beaver Falls, PA, where he held several managerial positions, eventually being appointed Manager of Steel Operations in 1965. Over the next ten years, Pete led programs in process technology for improved performance of bearing quality alloy steels, and optimization of quality and economics of stainless steels. During this period, he also taught several courses at Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA, in industrial management. In 1975, Pete was appointed Plant Manager of Babcock & Wilcox - Tubular Products Division in Milwaukee, WI, and relocated to Brookfield, WI, where he spent 41 years. During 1978-79, Pete directed an $18 million facilities modernization, and ten years later, directed the shut down, environmental clean-up, and closing of B&W's Milwaukee plant. In 1989, Pete began a twenty-year association with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE).
During his career, Pete was a member or officer of several professional organizations, including the Electric Metal Makers Guild, and the American Iron and Steel Institute. He served on the Board of Regents of the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE).
Pete was a member of Living Hope Presbyterian Church, a former member of Merrill Hills Country Club, and enjoyed golf, alpine skiing, and travelling the United States and world-wide with his family and friends.
Services for Peter will take place on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at Living Hope Presbyterian Church (W156 N4881 Pilgrim Rd, Menomonee Falls). A visitation will take place from 2:00pm until time of service at 3:00pm. A private interment will take place the following day at Sheboygan Falls Cemetery in Kohler, WI.
The family wishes to express special thanks to the staff at Dickson Hollow, Case Manager Sylvia Kosidowski RN, and all the care-givers from St. Croix Hospice for their loving care and comfort during Pete's final days.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering Fund, The University of Wisconsin Foundation, 1848 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53726, or the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Development Office, 1025 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
To send flowers to Peter's family, please visit our floral section.