Peter Paul Pfeifer

Peter Paul Pfeifer

Peter Paul Pfeifer, “Paul,” 84, of Elroy passed away peacefully on January 2, 2024, in Baraboo after a brief illness.

Paul was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 17, 1939, to George T. and Anna C. (Wojtowicz) Pfeifer. The family relocated to Elroy when Paul was three years old. He attended a one-room country schoolhouse until third grade, when he transferred to the grade school in Elroy. He graduated from Elroy High School in 1956. During his school years, Paul participated in band and sports.

Paul attended La Crosse State College from 1956-1961, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and Social Sciences. While in college Paul played percussion in the band and made many life-long friends. Prior to graduation, Paul completed his student teaching at Onalaska High School.

Paul began his teaching career at the School District of Mauston in the spring of 1961. For 36 years he imparted knowledge to eager 8th grade minds in his World History classes. Paul made history come alive for his students in many ways, especially when guiding them in live presentations of a medieval castle and a Roman village. He loved engaging his students with humor, starting each class with a joke or a pun. Paul was very honored to host many Veterans Day programs at Mauston Middle School, and he held great respect for all men and women who are serving or have served our country. Paul was also coordinator of the middle school chess tournament, as well as coach and referee for boys basketball. Paul retired from teaching in 1996 and moved back to the family farm in Elroy.

While attending college in La Crosse, Paul met his future wife, June Speer. Paul and June were married at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Mauston on June 15, 1963, and recently celebrated their 60th anniversary. Their union was blessed with three daughters:
Amy (Mark) Behling, Becky (Bill) Rose and Emily (Tom) Morris and five grandchildren: Josh Behling, Will and Olivia Rose and Colin and Abbie Morris.

Paul’s interests and activities were many, including:
Foreman at the Hillsboro Canning Factory, member of Mauston Drum and Bugle Corps,
field measurer for the ASCS farmland office, student at Michigan State University, councilman for the City of Mauston, member of Mauston Jaycees, member of the Studebaker Auto Club, member of Elroy Rotary, bailiff at the Juneau County Courthouse and owner of “The Bike Hut.”

Besides family and teaching, Paul’s greatest loves were acquiring antiques and spending winters in Yuma, Arizona, with June. He was also an avid reader and enjoyed repairing bikes, hunting, fishing and driving his Allis Chalmers tractor on his beloved farm.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Tom Pfeifer, sister-in-law, Irene Pfeifer, nephew, Tim Pfeifer, in-laws, Fred and Beatrice Speer, sisters-in-law, Sylvia Seidel and Donna Speer, brother-in-law, Tom Seidel and numerous cousins and other family members.

Paul is survived by his loving wife, June, daughters Amy, Becky and Emily and their families, brother-in-law, David Hupke and many dear friends and relatives.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Paul Pfeifer on Saturday, June 22, 2024, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm in the Mauston High School Commons.

Thank you to those who touched Paul’s life with love and laughter. He cherished you all.

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  1. Michelle Hompertz says:

    So sorry to hear of Paul’s passing. Didn’t know him well, but I remember his smile and sense of humor! Condolences and prayers for June and rest of the family.

  2. Faye says:

    This was one of the best teachers I would to class and he would say hi Ms Faye dunaway

  3. Chuck Lovelace says:

    Mr. Pfeifer was one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had the honor of learning from, he gave me the gift of a love of history and a passion for it that is still alive over 30 years later! Thank you Mr. Pfeifer for all you’ve done for many families!

  4. Vicki Gleason says:

    So very sorry to hear this! We have wonderful memories of a wonderful man!! The Gleason family sends condolences and prayers! 🙏🏻

  5. Teresa Zolczynski says:

    “Mr Pfeifer” as I called him when a student in his World History Class is the teacher I remember most from all my school years. I had the pleasure and privilege of an encounter with him more recently as he fixed 2 of my bicycles also which he did very well and I enjoyed very much the conversations we had at that time. He was always taking others into consideration even when ill. He tried to make others comfortable even when he wasn’t. He had wise words in the last encounter I was privileged to have with him as his nurse. I sat with him and cried with him. I appreciated him, and will remember him. Thank you for you service in the public schools and for touching so many students

  6. Rob and Sandi Brandli says:

    So sorry for your loss.
    Paul was a very special and likable teacher.
    One of his favorite lines for our class was ” I am going to make your socks roll up and down today”. When he said this he had a serious look on his face and then a little smirk followed. How could you not love this teacher.
    He was also a referee for our junior high basketball games and did a great job.

  7. Liz (Varga) Wilke says:

    To Mr. Pfeifer’s family, so sorry for your loss of this incredible person. I too was a student of his in 8th grade and loved history because of him. The LaCrosse street school fire put us into the Garment U for the rest of the school year and he made it unforgettable! We kept in contact for the rest of his life, getting a Christmas card each year with some German well wishes included. Such a remarkable person… he’ll be so missed!

  8. Sandra Kallian says:

    Mr. Pfeifer was one of my favorite teachers. He made learning fun, and I loved his Lyndonite jokes. As a fellow teacher a few hallways away, my father also enjoyed a many-decade friendship. Thanks for being who you were, Mr. Pfeifer. And my condolences to his family.

  9. David Mauer says:

    Mr. Pfeifer was such a wonderful teacher. His unique style of teaching kept our young minds paying attention. His passion for history captured my attention and I have been hooked ever since. He saw that and was especially kind to me. I enjoyed his teaching so much I used to move my desk to the front of his class as to not miss anything. I started taking notes. I started actually studying. At the end of the year when they were handing out awards to people for for highest grades (certainly not me) He made a special certificate for “supreme dedication to the study of history” and gave it to me in front of the whole school to my utter surprise. In high school I used to sneak across the parking lot to the middle school and avoid the hall monitors and walk to his class to say hi and tell the students to pay attention to Mr Pfeifer because history is so important. A great man that changed my life. I am very sorry for the family. You have my deepest condolences

  10. Shane B. Bauer says:

    Mr. Pfeifer changed my life. His class showed me I could be good, or better than good, at school, and I owe him a huge measure of all my success since then. He was truly one of the very best. My deepest condolences to his family.

  11. Mary Waarvik, Elroy Area Historical Society says:

    We will miss his smiling face and gracious, knowledgeable presence on the Elroy Museum Board. But I never knew his first name was Peter!

  12. Dr. Mike Kinziger says:

    I didn’t spend a lot of time in the middle school with Paul. He was a mentor and teacher that I admired. Of course, I never called him Paul…. he was always Mr. Pfiefer. So many students and the public were fortunate to have him in their lives as well as spending a year of their lives in his classroom.

  13. Barb Langen says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! Paul was a wonderful man. He had such a great smile. He was my children’s teacher. We all had great respect for him. I hope your family will find peace with all the great memories.Hugs to you all.

  14. Lyndonight says:

    Oh Mr. Pfeifer words can not express how sad I am at this point. You were a wonderful teacher and a friend. I remember you coming to my wedding,
    Coming to your class sitting in the back of the room when you had my children in class. Coming to our class reunions. Buying bikes from you. I can go on and on.
    My deepest sympathy to you Mrs. Pheifer and family. He was a wonderful kind, loving soul. He definitely made a mark on everyone he encountered. May you all find some comfort that he was very respected and loved by many. His memory will live on by us all.

  15. Kristina Mazur says:

    Our deepest sympathy and prayers to the family. Mr. Pfeiffer was such a great teacher and really cared about his students in and out of the classroom. He will always be in our memories and hearts!!

  16. Dawn (Arnold) Dahl says:

    My deepest sympathies to Becky and all the family. What a wonderful teacher Mr. Pfiefer was. He truly cared about his students. He was my favorite teacher and made 8th grade so much better. He always kept us on our toes. I’m so sorry, what a loss.

  17. Craig Hanson says:

    Yes Mr. Pfeifer, you taught history and geography, but more importantly you taught children. I appreciate your teaching and coaching of me, your friendship, and the respect and friendship you shared with my father. My sister, brother and I treasure the letter you wrote us after the death of dad. I’m sure he would now say well done Peter Paul.

  18. Amy & Leone says:

    Our deepest condolences as Leone taught with him for numerous years and always expressed the humor Paul brought to his fellow teachers and students. I remember often finding him at a garage sale or thrift store, looking for treasures and telling stories- making all of our lives a little more enjoyable. Then he had this cute little bike shop where you can find any and all types of bikes. He will be greatly missed.

  19. Amy & Leone says:

    Our deepest condolences as Leone taught with him for numerous years and always expressed the humor Paul brought to his fellow teachers and students. I remember often finding him at a garage sale or thrift store, looking for treasures and telling stories- making all of our lives and he will be greatly missed.

  20. Paula DiBenedetto says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Mr. Pfeifer’s passing, He was the best teacher ever. He truly cared about all of his students and made learning enjoyable. He also acted as a mentor to many of us for years after we left his classroom. The world is poorer with his passing! He inspired so many!

  21. Terri Olson Wilcox says:

    Heartfelt sympathies to the family. I was honored to attend his wedding to June. I had a crush on him because of how great a teacher he was. He influenced my own teaching style. I do remember his special kind of humor.

  22. Bill Vieth says:

    Mr. Pfeiffer taught me the best pedagogical tactic for class management I ever learned, one I used over and over in my own teaching: identify the biggest jackass in your class early and make him into your special friend. He did this of course by befriending me.
    Now I don’t mean to suggest his motivation was purely pragmatic, for Mr. Pfeiffer reached out to one troubled student after another. He did so out of a true care for his students. His mission as a teacher was much broader than stimulating understanding among his students. He nurtured them in spirit as well as mind.
    It is an old cliche, but teachers such as Mr. Pfeiffer never pass on from this world. Their influence lives on forever.
    I loved the man.

  23. Connie Lobenstein says:

    So sorry to hear of his passing, such a great guy and excellent teacher. Our sympathy to his family and friends.
    RIP Mr Pfiefer you sure will be missed

  24. Fred mehne says:

    I was in his class in 63 when mr. P. Was called to the office. When he came back his eyes were watery and he informed us that Kennedy was killed. He also had us memorize the Gettyburg Address. I saw him again at Thayer’s jewelry store around 10 to 15 yrs. Ago. We had a great talk. So sorry for your loss.

  25. Russell Long says:

    I was in his class in 8th grade. Once when the class was watching a film I was getting bullied by the kid beside me. The kid kept putting his feet on my lap, I’d push them off and he’d put them back on me. This happened several times. Finally I had enough. I grabbed the kid’s legs, stood up, raised the legs over my head and flipped the kid and his desk over onto the floor with a crash. Mr. Pfeifer was in the back of the room and must have been watching all of this. He got up from his chair – I remember him being a big man – and he walked towards us. I thought I was in big trouble. But no, he grabbed the bully by his collar, took him to the office and never said one word to me. I never forgot this.

  26. Terri Jax-Denney says:

    He was indeed one of the most memorable and thoughtful teachers I ever had the pleasure and good fortune to have known. From “Nero the Zero” to the Seven Wonders of the World…he made the mundane…funny, and the boring…exciting. He was so loved, and I am blessed to have been in his classroom. Prayers for his family…and heartfelt thanks for sharing him with the community.

  27. Linda (Konemann) Heatley says:

    Sincere condolences to the Pfeifer family…I developed my interest of playing chess from his class. Being from Lyndon, I appreciated it when he initiated a “contest” and the winner got to take a field trip to Lyndon with him to see the Lyndon creek that “runs uphill”! Loved seeing him at our 25th class reunion to which he was invited by a fellow classmate, and took the time to join us. RIP Mr Pfeifer!

  28. Linda Myers says:

    My Deepest Sympathy goes out to the Family!❤️ He was a great Teacher! May he Rest In Peace now with the Good Lord!!🙏🙏

  29. Becky (Franke) Tjugum says:

    Mr Pheiffer was the only history teacher that made history interesting for me. Loved having him as a teacher. So sorry for your loss.

  30. Heather Deaton says:

    Mr. Pfeiffer was, and always will be my favorite teacher of all time. I would not be where I am today without him. For the family of Mr. P, I would like you to know that he meant so much to so many. He was a treasure and he will be deeply missed. My deepest condolences.

    Hey, Mr. P…What did the Lyndonite say when their favorite teacher passed away? Nothing…they were dumbfounded.❤️❤️

  31. Joyce Craine says:

    So sorry to hear of his death. He was an awesome teacher. Remember Paul and June playing cards with my mom and dad. Prayers to all of you.

  32. Angie (Fulk) Holt says:

    So sorry for your loss. He was one of my favorite teachers and a great person. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  33. Julie Eldred Schultz says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers for the family. He was an awesome teacher, he was my favorite. He used to call me Paul (after my brother) and then smirk. My Mother used to talk of him fondly as they were childhood friends along with his cousin Mary Jane. He truly made the world a better place and will be missed by many.

  34. John Mehne says:

    So sorry for your loss. He got me interested in history Which I am still interested today. May you rest in peace.

  35. Dave Nichols says:

    So sorry for you loss. Paul taught me the value of history as well as how to play chess, both of which I’ve passed down to my five children. If the world was full of people like Paul it would be a worry free place. Pauls legacy lives on in all the students he touched. May he rest in peace

  36. Jean Babcock says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Pfeifer’s passing. I always enjoyed his class. Deepest condolences to the family.

  37. Irene Klingemann says:

    So sorry to hear of Mr Pfeifer’s passing. RIP to a wonderful person and teacher. All my kids went through 8th grade history with Mr Pfeifer and had special things to say about his classes. He made such a difference. My condolences to his wife and his family. He will be missed and almost will be remembered well. Prayers and peace.

  38. Paul Eldred says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He was great man and great teacher.

  39. Bridget Nimtz says:

    His passing is such a loss. Still, after 50 years, his class is one of my favorite memories from LaCrosse Street School.

  40. Janet and Tim Steffen says:

    So sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful teacher with a great personality. Such a nice person. Thinking of the family at this sad time.

  41. Heidi Schultz says:

    My deepest condolences to his family. I wasn’t a huge history fan but he was such a good teacher and had such a good presence his class was one of my favorites in highschool.

  42. Judy phillips says:

    We loved hanging around you and Paul. Lots of laughs and good times. Richard and Justine are having some great conversations.
    Our prayers for you and your family. Paul will be missed.

  43. Glen and Sandy Jensen says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. Greg and Sue enjoyed his class. Thoughts and prayers for your family. 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  44. Donna Saemisch says:

    My condolences to all the family. I was blessed to be in the first class he taught at Westside school. It was 7th grade geography. We all loved him. A gentle kind soul. He was invited to our class reunions and he would bring homework that he had saved over the years, and hand out our papers with our grades. I have two graded book reports he handed me at our reunions. To think he saved them all these years. You were a special teacher Mr Pfeifer. Your mission on earth is done. Though I will miss you at McDonald’s on our occasional meetings, I know you are now in your heavenly home, experiencing the most beautiful place ever. Enjoy Mr Pfeifer, cause we sure enjoyed you while God shared you with us.

  45. Larry & Merikay Willer says:

    We are so sad to hear about Paul’s passing. Paul was our go to guy for anything on 2 wheels. And then became a friend. Always was an adventure to visit with him and June. Will always think of Paul when we go for a ride .
    Our thoughts and prayers are with June.

  46. Bonnie Clark says:

    Sorry for your loss….All Our Sympathy to June and the Families….Such wonderful memories….
    Christopher and Bonnie Clark

  47. Norman E Austin says:


  48. Nancy Baldwin Klabough says:

    Mr Pfeifer was a very special person to so many young people because of his kind manner. He truly listened and spent time to understand his students. He made history interesting for an age group that wasn’t always interested in what was being taught. Our sympathies to his family. We are so glad to have known him.
    John and Nancy Klabough

  49. Leo poff says:

    My deepest condolences to his family I will never forget all the fun we had in his class and he is the reason for my love of history and everything RIP Mr. Pfeifer u will be miss by so many but will never be forgotten

  50. Katherine Buswell says:

    So sorry for your family’s loss. He was my favorite teacher and a wonderful person.

  51. Arleen Lydon (Wentz) says:

    So sorry to hear this. I liked him as a teacher, kind, patient, understanding, and helpful.
    My condolences to his family.
    May he rest in peace.
    Take gentle care of each other 💕

  52. Sally Kolba says:

    My Deepest Sympathy to all the family. Love and prayers…

  53. Kristi Pekala Tremain says:

    Mr. Pfeiffer had such a positive influence on my life. He made me a better person and I loved his humor. He and Vern Hanson were a great comedy team also. Rest in peace and thank you.

  54. Connie Burns says:

    June, Emily and family- I am so sorry for your loss. I will never forget his 8th grade history class. He really was a great teacher.

  55. Lisa (Daniels) Reavis says:

    One of my favorite human beings. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself and challenged me even when I didn’t want to try. I am lucky to have been one of his students and one of his friends. Forever your “Leisl”

  56. Bobby Peterson says:

    Mr. Pfier was an outstanding teacher, and a very good man. He was no nonsense but he made his class very fun and interesting. The public school system will never be the same without a fearless leader like Paul Pfiefer. Paul was inspiring as well as compassionate. Paul was definitely one of my favorite teachers of all time. Sending prayers and my deepest sympathies to the Pfiefer family. I am truly sorry for your loss.

  57. Cindy Sarver (Carlson) says:

    Becky and family-I’m so sorry for the loss of such an amazing person. I was not very fond of school but I certainly loved your dad’s classes. He made it so much fun my very favorite teacher. Hugs.

  58. Rhonda Siebecker says:

    So sorry for your family’s loss. He was my favorite teacher and a wonderful person.

  59. Susan Gunderson says:

    So sad to learn of Paul’ Passing. Condolences to his family. Paul was an awesone person and a very patent, kind and great sense of humor Teacher. Such a great way with Middle School students and Staff. Bought a bike at the Bike hut and learned things about Bike’s we never knew. Always enjoyed our conversations. God Bless Sir!

  60. June Traver Schoff says:

    So very sorry for the family’s loss. He was an excellent teacher!! His smile/laugh made you do the same. He will be missed by many, but also remembered by many. Heaven gained a great teacher angel.