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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Peter R. Vea ’62

Peter Rolf Vea was born to Matthew Rolf Vea and Lucile Elizabeth Steineck Vea on August 31, 1939 in Pittsburgh, Pa, the third of three sons. After Lucile sadly passed away when he was four, his father married Edith Cruickshank Speer who was a loving mother to him and her son, John.

Peter always had a deep love of learning and thought. He studied history at Antioch College and later took many courses at San Francisco State University where he developed a strong circle of life-long friends including poets and professors.

He worked for the Post Office for twenty years in San Francisco, undoubtedly with his thoughts absorbed in history and mythology as he sorted mail. He lived history, too, attending MLK’s “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. He read voraciously and any book he read was carefully annotated in his small precise handwriting. The margins of every page bore his reactions paragraph by paragraph counter arguments, supporting facts, disbelief or enthusiasm, and any cross-references that came to mind.

After retiring from the Post Office, he traveled throughout Europe exploring all the historical sites he had read so much about. He was especially intrigued by Gothic cathedrals with their pagan origins and symbolism. His adventurous spirit led him to follow his niece, Lucile, to Japan where she helped find him a job teaching English.

He soon became enamored of Japan and its culture, spending five years there. He probably would have remained longer if it weren’t for the serendipitous release of classified documents pertaining to the Kennedy assassination, another great interest of his. He moved to the DC area in the mid-1990s to research Jim Garrison-related documents at the National Archives.

His research appeared in several books written on Jim Garrison and the Kennedy assassination. He moved to Roanoke in the early 2000s to enjoy its natural beauty and gentle lifestyle. There he pursued yet another great interest horse breeding and racing. Peter was a gentle and happy soul with a very kind heart.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers David, Ted and John. He is survived by his nephews Matt, Jerry, Ed, John and James, and his nieces Hija, Kirsten, Lucile and Joann.