ELM GROVE, PALM CITY, Fla.
Janet Zurheide Peter
March 19, 1924 - July 4, 2011
Janet Zurheide Peter passed away Monday, July 4, 2011, after a five-month battle to recover from double heart valve replacement surgery. She lives now eternally in the truth and blessed redemption provided freely by her savior Jesus Christ.
Janet was born in Milwaukee on March 19, 1924, the second child of Dr. Harry O. Zurheide and Beulah M. Zurheide. For the past 25 years, she shared time between homes in Elm Grove and Palm City, Fla.
Janet was raised in Milwaukee, attending Washington High School and later received her Bachelor of Science degree in occupational therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She often recalled fond memories of the Zurheide family home on Sherman Boulevard and her summertimes spent on the Paulsen and Brue family farms in southwestern Wisconsin.
Janet was an independent intellectual. Her first full-time jobs after college included retail sales in Houston, traveling the country producing home talent shows and as assistant and head producer positions in the early days of television in Minneapolis; a job which included anything from selling advertising time to writing copy to managing live productions.
She met her husband to be, Carl Wehr Peter of Milwaukee, at a Young Republicans meeting in 1953. They were married in August 1954. Several years later, they moved with their sons, Eric and Carl Jr., to a 5-acre hill top home they named Schön Hugel, surrounded by a dairy farm, two miles west of Waukesha. While in Waukesha, their daughter Heidi was born. Subsequently, Janet became more interested in the education system. In 1962, she enrolled her two sons in a new, startup, independent school in Brookfield called The Academy of Basic Education, now known as Brookfield Academy. She later taught mathematics and composition at the school for several years. Janet and her family lived afterward in Elm Grove and Wauwatosa.
Janet was an insatiable truth seeker. She continued to research trends in education and was an early prognosticator of the pitfalls of a march toward social sciences, sociology and secular humanism. For 10 years, she wrote a weekly column, "Truth In Education" for the Wisconsin Report, and served as the education editor for that publication. Much to her chagrin, nearly all the sad consequences she had predicted of those educational policies have come to pass. One of her biggest regrets was that she was not able to fix it before her time was up.
Janet enjoyed time with her family, doing research, playing golf and writing. She authored several books under her pen name Erica Carle. The books included "The Hate Factory" and "Give Us the Young and Why Things Are the Way They Are." She also worked on her website, www.ericacarle.com.
Janet was most at home debating her views with anyone who showed a curiosity in her interests and expertise. She loved to challenge and be challenged, and would often follow up her conversations with references and articles.
Janet is survived by her husband, Carl; her children, Heidi (Scott) Ball of Wauwatosa, Dr. Carl W. (Michele) Peter of Columbia, S.C., and Eric J. (Gina) Peter of Elm Grove; and her sister, Lois (George) Stoeckmann of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Gramet will be greatly missed by her grandchildren, Kyle and Kurt Peter, Lukas and Samantha Ball, and Tori, Carl III (Trey), Michael and Sarah Peter. She was a dear cousin, aunt and friend to many others who will also miss her greatly. Janet was preceded in death by her parents; her older brother, Dr. Harry J. Zurheide; and her first grandchild, Lauren Ball. She will be missed by all of her friends, including those at Bluemound Golf and Country Club and The Evergreen Club in Palm City.
Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 9, at the Becker Ritter Funeral Home, 14075 W. North Ave., Brookfield, with a brief memorial service followed by a gathering at Bluemound Golf and Country Club.
Memorials in Janetís memory may be given to Brookfield Academy.
Becker Ritter Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 782-5330 or visit online at www.beckerritter.com.