Peter Nils Eichenberger aged 54 died at his home the morning of November 25 2010, while reading the paper and drinking a cup of tea. He was looking forward to a morning of writing, and spending Thanksgiving with his family. Peter was born in Cincinnati Ohio on November 27th, 1955. He was the son of Frederick Charles Eichenberger a WWII vet and NCSU School of Design Professor, and Betty Joan Blomgren Eichenberger Adams, professor emeritus at St. Mary’s College in Raleigh.
Peter was an accomplished mechanic, product designer, writer and story teller. He excelled at narrow escapes from both death and the law. His son David Eichenberger noted that Peter was a master of Word Fu when confronted with difficulties. His brother John remembers the time Peter rebuilt the distributor of his police special 440 Fury with a pocket knife. Brother Kurt recalls the time Peter rebuilt the engine of his ‘49 Chevy while suspended over a ditch somewhere in Illinois. Brother Tom recalls the time he was tackled by an NCSU football player while running through the Rose Garden. His brother David recalls when he affixed the trucker girl mud-flap silhouettes to the Time and Light Tower on Capitol Boulevard.
Peter is best known for his writing and opinion pieces for various print and online publications including the Spectator, the Independent, the Downtowner, Metro, and the PetrBlt column in various online incarnations, plus numerous letters to the News and Observer. Much of his work can be found online. Peter wrote in the same high risk style as he lived his life; Intense, opinionated and over the edge.
In 2004 Peter was involved in a near fatal bicycle accident. He emerged from a two week coma with a profoundly changed outlook and point of view.
He was also an accomplished bicycle mechanic. After hurricane Katrina, Peter joined the relief effort, and lived for nine months in the lower ninth ward resurrecting flood damaged bicycles for those in need. He received no compensation for this effort. He continued with his bicycle repair work here in Raleigh until his death.
Peter received a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Product Design from NCSU in 1982. He receive and MFA in creative writing from the University of Florida in Gainsville in 1988.
He is survived by his mother, Betty Joan Eichenberger Adams; stepfather, Allen Adams; son, David Eichenberger; special friend and former wife, Sandy Shultz; brothers, Kurt and wife, Donna, Tom and wife, Christine, David and wife, Jennifer, John and wife, Amy; step siblings, Ann and husband, Bill, Jeff and wife, Dorota and Spencer and wife, Dennise; nieces and nephews, Erin, Carmin, Ethan, Lauren, Kevin, Will, James, Caroline, Stefan, Eva and Morgan.
A remembrance for Peter will be held December 4th, 2010 at a place to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Alliance Medical Clinic located at 101 Donald Ross Lane.