Peter Joseph McNamara, M.D., 84

After an 84 year life of accomplishment, caring, and adventure, Peter Joseph McNamara, M.D., peacefully passed away Monday, April 22, 2013.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Matthew and Mary (nee O'Malley); his beloved wife of 42 years, Dorothy (nee Gober); and his first born grandson, Peter Carver.

He is survived by his adoring son, Peter McNamara Jr. of Madison; loving daughters, Karen McNamara Carver of Durango, Colo., and Beth McNamara of Port Washington; sister, Barbara O'Toole; grandchildren, Colin and Claire Carver; as well as numerous relatives, associates, friends and patients.

The doctor was born in New York City of Irish immigrant parents, graduated from Xavier Academy, Fordham University and New York Medical College. He completed his internship and residency at Kings County Hospital in New York City where he met his wife. He received post-graduate training in gastroenterology from the Lahey Clinic in Boston and moved to Milwaukee in 1958.

The doctor developed a large private practice, being among the first interventional gastroenterologists in the city. His career spanned dramatic changes in medicine and as a board certified internist; he treated patients at many Milwaukee hospitals, Aurora Advanced Healthcare Clinics, the VA Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin. His professional service was with compassion, care and sage advice, which was recognized by his peers.

He retired from medicine the age of 79, but remained an active member of the Milwaukee Gastroenterological Society and followed advances in medicine until his death. Outside of medicine, he enjoyed music and plays and was a lifelong supporter of the performing arts. With Beth, he was a fixture at performances by the Florentine Opera, Milwaukee Symphony and Ballet, the Repertory Theater, Concordia University, Melody Top and various schools, temples and churches. He enjoyed exhibits and lectures on a wide variety of subjects.

Peter was also a longtime supporter of the Milwaukee Public, Art, and Discovery museums, the Schlitz Audubon Center, Riveredge, and the State Historical Society. He was interested in astronomy and a member of the Milwaukee Astronomical Society. Young Peter was an avid sports car enthusiast, racing Porsches, BMWs, and other exotics with Harold Z i m d a r . Throughout his life, he was active in outdoor sports.

He was a ski devotee, long time member of Heiliger Huegel Ski Club, National Ski Patrol, coach for Special Olympics Winter Games, and he left the legacy of skiing children and grandchildren. Peter was active in river sports as a kayaker, champion canoeist, and as a member of the Milwaukee Rowing Club, a sculler. Starting in spring until fall, he was often on the Milwaukee River and introduced many friends into these sports. He was an avid dingy sailor and racer out of the Pike Lake Yacht Club.

The doctor was a founding member and lifelong member of the Rite-Hite YMCA in Brown Deer, WI. Peter was an environmentalist leading by example, planting thousands of trees on his property, recycling and reusing, and commuting by bike from Mequon to work in downtown Milwaukee. Peter will be remembered by all those who he touch by his humility, humanity and mentoring. He inspired personal integrity, life-long learning and a “can-do” attitude. He led a great life and will be profoundly missed.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at his church, Lumen Christi Catholic Church, 2700 W. Mequon Road, Mequon, on Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. His family will greet relatives and friends on Saturday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass. A reception will be held in the church hall immediately following the Mass, featuring his beloved Irish music. Private Entombment will be at Resurrection Cemetery in Mequon.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Special Olympics Wisconsin, 2310 Crossroads Dr., Suite 1000, Madison, WI 53718.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at
The Schramka-Densow Funeral Home is assisting the family.