On Feb. 6, 1941, Peter Allen was born to Odevar and Doris Finwall on a snowy morning in Brooten, Minnesota. In fact, his dad had to shovel his way through snowdrifts to get the doctor to the house. Peter grew up in South St. Paul and graduated from high school there in 1959. Soon, he joined the Navy and later was transferred to the Marines as a medical corpsman. One duty assignment was in El Toro, California, and another, was he loved, was Iwakuni, Japan.
Returning home, Peter married Margaret Lawrence and they had two children, Tom and Tammi. Later, Peter married Madeline Leonard. He added her children and young grandchildren to his family. During these years, Peter was heading up an Army supply and logistics center in Washington, D.C. He enjoyed taking all the kids on treks into the woods of Virginia and visiting the museums and sights of the Washington area. The kids loved the adventures and Peter loved them.
In the early ’90s, Peter moved to the “promised land” of Montana. He worked for the BLM, but also fished every lake and pond for miles around and hunted on dirt roads and trails across the state. He became an expert on rifles and loved the challenge of hunting. He finished a degree at Eastern, tried a career in radio, substituted in the Billings schools, sang country music and just enjoyed life. He was on the area board of Child Evangelism Fellowship and a member of Emanuel Baptist Church. Peter was very active in the Gideons, and his resounding voice with a deep and wonderful Norwegian accent was heard in many area churches as he gave the Gideon report.
After Maddie died, Peter married Jane Prescott and added her family to his. Peter’s mantra was: “What are we going to do today for fun?” And then they traveled: Alaska, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, both coasts, the treasures of the SW national parks, the deserts of California, visiting friends and relatives and loving each other. They poured a lifetime of joy and happiness into the three years God gave them! “I love you, Peter!” “I love you, too.”
Peter is survived by his five siblings and their families, Lynda Beermann (Innergrove Heights, MN), Diane (Don) Topness (Faribault, MN), Paul (Katherine) Finwall (Ashland, OR), John (Denise) Finwall (Innergrove Heights, MN), and Cindy Finwall (Jim Howard) of Soldotna, AK. He is survived by both of his children, Tom (Steilacoom, WA) and Tammi Finwall (Jay Kublik) of Burlington, WI, and their families. Three of Maddie’s children — Kim and David of Michigan and Christina of Billings — survive as well as three local grandchildren — Nikia Anzaino (Cliff Walters), Amber (Jason) Riley, and Joseph Kines — as well as many more in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Washington. In Jane’s family, there are: John (Anita) Prescott of Ridgecrest, CA, Tim (Diann) Prescott of St. Louis, MO, and Andrew (Rebecca) Prescott of Billings, and nine grandchildren.
Peter passed away on Oct. 2, 2018.
Visitation will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, at Faith Evangelical Church, 3145 Sweet Water Drive. Burial and reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gideons International, PO Box 20024, Billings, MT 59104.