Peter Boeve

1930 – January 20, 2021

This morning, our Dad the Reverend Peter Boeve passed away on his 79th birthday, having succumbed to end stage renal disease unrelated to COVID-19. I was by his side in my sister Erin’s home in Dexter, MI, where he began home hospice care on Thursday. He enjoyed a loving visit with both of our families that evening, and was subsequently lifted by loving messages from family and friends every day and night that followed. He was surrounded physically and emotionally by family and friends straight through to his passing, and was at peace throughout.

Our Dad was the 2nd in a family of four boys and grew up in New Rochelle, New York. He attended Wooster College in Wooster, Ohio, and then went on to theological training at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. He settled in New York City, where he met our mom Rebecca, and where his pastoral and chaplain experience began a lifetime of sharing and studying the gospel. After Erin was born but before I arrived, the three of them moved to Ann Arbor, where I would spend my whole childhood just down the street from his final address in Lurie Terrace on West Huron Street. Peter worked as a chaplain in Detroit before becoming the pastor of a small congregation at Northside Presbyterian Church. He ministered there adjacent to St. Aidan’s Episcopal church for all of my childhood, and would go on to serve churches and communities in Elgin and Springfield, IL, St. Paul, MN and Washington, DC. He returned to the Ann Arbor area in 2010 with his first granddaughter on the way, drawn by family and a vibrant and diverse community of which he was so happy to be a part.

Our Dad was a loving soul and a strong example for me throughout my life – he modeled love, grace, forgiveness and kindness that I often struggle to replicate. At decision points in my life, I could always ask myself “what would my Dad do?” and be reasonably assured that his theoretical choice was the right and just path to explore. He always loved being a father, and loved being a Papa to four wonderful granddaughters. He had a fondness of puns, some percentage of which were actually funny. We could always count on his silly and loving nature … and his uncanny ability to replicate animal sounds!

Our Dad was a lover of the natural world, and the gospel as written in the Bible, as lived by Jesus, and as studied by a long list of capable scholars. He never stopped searching for answers or for ways to help others find answers to their own questions. He found comfort and fulfillment in good food and good music, but mostly in good conversation. He was passionate about non- and multi-denominational Lay ministry, social justice, and diving into any difficult questions one might want (or even not want) to explore. He stubbornly challenged many of our societal norms and encouraged us all to “dig a little deeper” in empathy for our fellow human beings. He read more books than I would think possible, and probably gifted even more – to willing and hesitant recipients alike. He worked hard to stay connected to distant family and friends, and was a shoulder for many to lean on. We are so proud of the man our Dad was and the rich life he lived; he will be dearly missed.

Due to COVID concerns, we will delay a memorial service until later. In lieu of flowers, our Dad would be pleased with any donations to The Kidney Project at UCSF ( or any organization benefiting our marginalized brothers and sisters around the globe. Feel free to post or PM any pictures you might like to share below!

Written by Erin Cebulski