The Obit For Pete Breysse

Peter A. Breysse

Published in The Seattle Times on May 14, 2010

Peter A. Breysse, 87, passed away on May 10, 2010. Pete was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on December 12, 1922.

The older of two children, Pete served as a private in the army in WWII. He was stationed mostly in the U.S., but served in France shortly before the end of the war as a tank chassis repairman.

After the war, he attended the University of Idaho, earning a bachelor degree in civil engineering.

He then received a master's degree in sanitary engineering from Washington State University, where he met Winifred McCartan. Pete and Winnie married on June 26, 1954.

Pete then took his young family back east where he received a second master's degree in occupational health from the University of Pittsburgh.

In 1957, Pete began his long career at the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Washington, where he was a professor for over 40 years.

He was a tireless advocate for public health and was a globally recognized expert in health hazards including air pollution and formaldehyde.

Pete, along with a group of public health professionals, was one of the first contingencies of private citizens to travel to China in the early 1980s.

He was chair of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists in 1991. He was a mentor to many industrial hygiene students who serve as lasting legacy to his professional efforts.

Pete was an athlete and an artist. As a young man, Pete was a talented pitcher, playing minor league baseball for the Cleveland Indians and was a player-coach in the Copper League in Montana. He was an ace handball player.
As an artist, he was skilled in acrylics and pen and ink drawings. He loved music and dancing.

Pete was a loving and beloved husband, father, and grand-father. Pete and Winnie raised 7 children, 5 boys and two girls: Peter (Carole); Pat (Jill); Molly (Kevin) Cox; Michael (Susan Schnoor); Matthew (Sheila); Thomas (Carolyn); and Maggie (Mark Leland). Winnie preceded Pete in death in 2003. Pete is survived by his sister, Marie Leck of New Jersey, his children, 13 grandchildren, and one great grandson.

He will be greatly missed by his family.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, May 17, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. at Assumption Catholic Church, 6201 32nd Ave NE, Seattle, WA.

Memorials may be given to St. Francis House, 169 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

Please sign the online guest book at Hoffner Fisher & Harvey.