Cress Funeral Home



Peter Conrad Bloch
June 8, 1944 - May 27, 2015

Peter Conrad Bloch

Peter Conrad Bloch
Jun 8, 1944 - May 27, 2015

Peter Conrad Bloch
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Westport- Peter Conrad Bloch passed away on May 27, 2015 after fighting two difficult cancers over the past two years. In his last days, he was surrounded by his loving family at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Hospital. He was born in Cedarhurst, New York on June 8, 1944 and died just short of his 71st birthday. Peter was the son of the late Konrad Emil Bloch and Lore Teutsch Bloch, who were fortunate to be able to immigrate to the USA from Germany in the late 1930's. He was married to Marianne "Mimi" Bloch for just over 45 loving and adventurous years, and is survived by his three wonderful children, Benjamin Nieman Bloch (Venice, Ca.), Emilie Bloch Sondel (Madison), Jesse Sondel (Madison), his sister, Susan Elizabeth Bloch (Philadelphia), and two much loved grandchildren, Jordan and Evan Sondel (Madison). He is survived also by his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Vicki and Ken Alterwitz (Palm Springs, Ca.), Diana and Michael Rothenberg (New York, N.Y.) and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly. His family includes Anne Bloch and Lenny and Linda Bloch (New York), Jeffrey Bloch (New Zealand), Evelyn Berkowitz (South Africa), Lewis and Lars Koch, Anne Behrmann, Ned, Susan, Scott, Jenna, Marc, and Dawn Kalin, Paul and Sheri Sondel and their family members.

Peter graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and received a B.A. degree in French Literature from Harvard. He received an M.A. degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. After earning his Ph.D. in development economics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1973, Peter taught at the University of Dakar in Senegal as well as Tufts University and Grinnell College. He was a senior research scientist at the Land Tenure Center and taught at both the Department of Economics and the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Ecology in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison until he retired. He and his wife Mimi are still affiliated faculty in the African Studies Program at the UW-Madison. Throughout his career, he did research and also consulted with many organizations and governments on economic and land reform all over the world. After retiring, he decided to pursue a law degree, and was a member of the California and Wisconsin Bar.

For most of his career, he lived and worked in Madison, Wisconsin and moved recently to Westport, Wisconsin. He was politically active and recently was President of the Waunakee-Westport Grassroots Organization of Waunakee as well as serving on the Historical Committee in the Town of Westport.

He fought his cancer with optimism and snorkeling trips in many beautiful places until the end of his life, and was snorkeling in Belize a week before his death. He loved his family and friends dearly, as well as bird watching and his garden.

We are grateful to his doctors and nursing staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Carbone Cancer Center and to all his friends and family members who helped support Peter and Mimi over the past two years.

A private family service was held Friday, May 29, 2015 at the Gates of Heaven Synagogue, and a public memorial service will be planned in the future.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in his name to the ACLU of Wisconsin, or the Pancreatic Cancer Research Task Force at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Carbone Cancer Center. Please share your memories at

Cress Center
6021 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53705

Walter Secada on Jun 13, 2015

Hi Mimi, Emilie and Ben. As soon as I heard about Peter's passing, I told Paul -- who just loved Mimi and you guys, especially your dog, while growing up on the circle. I remember your kindness to all of us, and especially to Paul who loved to visit and talk with you. After he dyed in second grade, the first people he went to show were Mimi and Peter, who managed just that right touch of acceptance-but-not-encouragement. Many are the evenings that we joined you on your deck; I remember all of the warmly. However, I do have a favorite Peter story that I'd like to share with you.

I think that Ben and his friends had a party out in the cabin that you owned by the river. When the cops came to bust it up, they confiscated everything and -- of course -- wanted to talk with the parents.

A couple of years later, Peter and Mimi were sitting with me, recounting the tale. At that time, Peter told me that it was a good thing that he and Mimi had bought cases of soft drinks and provided food because it helped to convince the police that they did not intend for the beer and booze that were confiscated to be used at the party.

However, the best part was when they got a call from the PD asking them to come in and pick up the empty keg and tap. "Why are they calling you now?" I asked. Without missing a beat, Peter answered: "Because the keg got time off for good behavior."

I remember not just his sharp mind; but also I remember the deep love that he had for his family; and especially, I remember his quick wit and ready laugh.

May all of you have equally happy memories of this wonderful man to give you smiles as you remember him and all that he meant to those around him.

With warmest regards, Walter Secada (and of course, Paul and Adam)

Warren J. Devalier on Jun 7, 2015

Peter was a classmate at SAIS Bologna and our class president in 1968. He was a leader, a friend, a guiding spirit, who always gave his time to talk, share, opine, advise, about anything, anytime. The diaspora of us graduates all over the world meant far too chances to keep in touch, but I was always happy to hear about Peter through our alumni network. My thoughts and prayers go out to Peter from Japan, with poignant memories of his character, and condolences to his family.

Anna Pidgeon on Jun 2, 2015

I so appreciated Peter's friendship and perspective when we were office neighbors in Russell Labs in the early 2000's. He was kind, always had a twinkle in his eye and something upbeat to say. I am very sad to hear of Peter's passing, and sorry for your loss.

Beltran Family on Jun 1, 2015

Our heartfelt condolences to the entire family. We are sadden to hear of your loss. May you find solace in the love and memories shared together and may God comfort you with these words from the Bible. "And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

Connie Knop on May 31, 2015

I am so sorry for your loss, Mimi. With sympathy and wishes for "courage" to you and your family.

Jill Johnson on May 28, 2015

I will always treasure my memories of Peter's hearty laugh!

He was the first person in law school to reach out to me and organize the World's Best Study Group. I also distinctly remember driving around Bethesda, running errands for my elderly father and conducting long conversations at the same time with Peter. I loved his dry wit and his intellect!

He had promised to boat over to our place & I was looking forward to that day. I will think of Peter when I am out on the water & I will miss him.



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