Pete was born in 1924 in Sandwich, Illinois. The family moved frequently during Pete's childhood whenever his father was transferred, living in Joliet, Chicago and Detroit. Pete started high school in Decatur, Illinois, and graduated from high school in 1942 in Webster Groves, Missouri.
After graduating from high school, Pete started college at Washington University in St. Louis, but was drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1943. He was trained in maintenance and support of the Norden bombsight. During training and deployment he was stationed at Clearwater, Florida, Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, Love Field in Denver, Colorado and Florence, South Carolina. After the end of the fighting in Europe, he traveled through Paris on his way to Kassel, Germany where he was stationed until his honorable discharge in 1946. While in the service, Pete sketched and painted as much as he could, and often mailed drawings with letters home.

When he returned from military service, Pete resumed his studies at Wash U and graduated in 1949 with a degree in Business Administration. He met Kathryn Wuest (Kay) in the university placement office. They were married March 18, 1950.

Pete painted as often as he could while he and Kay raised their two children in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. A few watercolors remain from this early period when Pete was first developing his talent.

In 1960 Pete was transferred to Peoria, Illinois. He continued to paint, and began to establish himself in local art circles. He was a member of the Illinois Art League for many years, and began to exhibit his works at local art fairs and galleries.

Pete was recognized with many ribbons at art shows in the Peoria area including the Heart of Illinois Fair, the Illinois State Fair, and exhibited at numerous galleries and art shows in Central Illinois and the Midwest. In 1973, Pete was featured in the "Weekender" magazine of the Peoria Journal Star.
Pete pursued a Master of Fine Arts from Illinois State University and graduated in 1983. He explored other disciplines including oils, drawing and sculpture, but always returned to his first love, watercolors.
In 1984 Pete and Kay traveled to England and Scotland where Pete painted street scenes, churches, pubs and gardens as well Scottish bagpipers. In 1987 they traveled to Germany where Pete painted local markets, shops, street scenes and churches. They were able to visit the birthplaces of most of their German ancestors.
In 2000, Pete was honored by the White House Historical Association when they selected him to represent Illinois with his painting of the West Wing of the White House. He and Kay were invited to Washington for a tour of the White House in preparation for completing the painting.