Peter Albert Pfaffenroth, 79, of Chester, New Jersey, died Oct. 24, 2020, in Potomac, Maryland. The son of Albert and Genevieve (nee Anderson) Pfaffenroth, Peter was born in 1941 and raised in Ridgewood, N.J., where he was a Merit Scholar and an accomplished marksman. He graduated from Princeton University in 1963 with a B.S. in Engineering and a certificate in European Civilization, followed by a J.D. in 1966 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Also in 1966, he married Sara Ann Beekey, with whom he had three children.
Despite having cerebral palsy from birth, with courage and determination, Peter overcame his disability with ongoing achievements throughout his life. He had a decades-long career practicing law in New Jersey, and with his life-long love of learning, went on to earn three advanced LL.M. law degrees from New York University. A keen traveler who was always curious about other cultures and languages, Peter visited more than 75 countries, and with Sara, hosted 25 international exchange students over three decades. He was accomplished in his hobbies, obtaining a pilot’s license and multiple licenses in construction. He also was deeply interested in early American furniture, fine wine and food, theology, and his Swedish and Volga German heritage. Being fluent in German, he worked in West Germany for Daimler-Benz for a summer during college and was on the board of the German Language School of Morris County when his children took classes there.
Peter was a resident of Chester for more than 45 years and was a longstanding member of Grace Lutheran Church in Mendham. He recently had also been spending time closer to his children and grandchildren in the Washington, D.C. area.
Peter is survived by a daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Pfaffenroth (Jonathan Searight), grandson, Drake, and granddaughter, Katherine, of Hyattsville, Maryland; a son, Peter Pfaffenroth (Sonia), grandsons, William and Andrew, and granddaughter, Emma, of Washington, D.C.; a daughter, Catherine Pfaffenroth (David Higgs), and grandson, Samuel, of Washington, D.C.; and a sister, Judith Di Domenico (Charles), of Skillman, New Jersey. He was preceded in death by his wife, Sara Beekey Pfaffenroth, who died in 2009.
A private funeral will be held at Grose Funeral Home in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, with interment following at Mt. Hope Cemetery. A later memorial service is being planned. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in his memory be made to the Concordia Language Villages Passport Fund for German Language, www.concordialanguagevillages.org/giving; the County College of Morris Foundation’s Sara B. Pfaffenroth International Studies Scholarship, www.ccm.edu/foundation/; and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation,www.yourcpf.org.