Obituary: Peter Lowell Balzer
April 13, 1962 – June 4, 2022
Peter Lowell Balzer, Pete, Petie or Pedro, 60, of Silverthorne, CO passed away on June 4, 2022. On April 13, 1962, a towheaded, talented, blue-eyed baby boy was born to Peter A. Balzer and Marcia (Lowe) Oatney. Peter attended Centerville High School in Ohio and the University of Cincinnati, where he graduated with a business degree.
Pete lived to play in the outdoors. He was introduced to tennis by Dr. Charles Ortman at the young age of 4 and quickly became a formidable opponent. Pete was ranked in the top ten of USTA players in the country. His tennis career continued into college where he was a member of the University of Cincinnati’s tennis team. Yet, his proudest achievement in college was being named “Budweiser Player of the Month”, which included free beer at the local bar.
After honing his legendary hand/eye coordination, he left Ohio headed for Aspen, CO to be a ski bum. However, he only made it to Copper Mountain before he needed to replenish his monetary funds. He proudly worked at a wood lot, hand chopping wood, and working nights at the Old Dillon Inn, restocking the salad bar. The perks of the ODI were free meals and all the beer you could drink from the pickle barrel. Pete took full advantage of both, especially the latter.
He eventually began working at Keystone Mountain for Vail Resorts (formerly Ralston Purina) in 1985. Keystone is where Peter became a beloved sales manager at the ski school. He met many, many people of various ages and origins that became lifelong friends. He worked for Vail Resorts for 37 years, leaving a long-lasting legacy. It was at Keystone Mountain where Pete met the love his life, Karla Balzer. Pete and Karla married in September 2003. They traveled the world together but always had a soft spot for Gulf Shores, Alabama and the sandhills of Nebraska.
Pete loved the outdoors. He was an avid skier, snowboarder, scratch golfer, hiker and mountain biker. While most of us are yearning for our 1st hole in one, Pete had 8 of them. He was happiest boondocking in his camper with his wife and riding his mountain bike. He was an unrelenting fan of UC football and basketball, the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals. He loved heavy metal music, gin and tonics, ice cream, popsicles, pretzels, licorice, and classic rock and roll. Not necessarily in that order. His Iron Maiden ski jacket was always a hit on the slopes.
Pete is survived by his wife, Karla. A half-brother, Andy (Tracy) Balzer, his aunts Lynn (John) Schmeling and Merilew Evers, his uncle Jamie Fichner and cousins: Jeff (Alison) and RJ (Lindsey) Fichner, Katelyn (Kelby) Tabb, Kailey (Mark) Aksel, Paige Schmeling, Anna (Noah) Frey, Ruthie Evers and many extended family and close friends.
Peter was preceded in death by his parents, Peter A. Balzer and Marcia Oatney, his grandparents: Lowell and Helen Fichner, Edward A. Balzer and Ruth Balzer.
Memorial contributions can be made to: Jack’s Place, A Cancer Caring House at Shaw Cancer Center, 332 Beard Creek Rd., Edwards, CO 81632
A Celebration of Life will be planned shortly in Summit County, CO where, at Pete’s request, only heavy metal music will be played and free beer for family and friends.
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