In Memory of Peter Donald Dreis

December 29, 1959 - November 18, 2018

December 29, 1959  -  November 18, 2018 

Peter was born December 29, 1959 to Robert and Betty (Loughran) Dreis in Menomonie.  He spent most of his youth in the small town of Spooner, Wisconsin, where he graduated high school in 1979.

As a young man, Peter enjoyed the great outdoors and was greatly influenced by his father, who was a World War II veteran and a wildlife biologist for the State of Wisconsin.

He earned an Associate’s Degree in Architectural Design in 1981 from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College in Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  As a shoring designer for Advance Shoring in St. Paul, Minnesota, he prepared engineering details for the construction of high-rise buildings.

Peter was was called upon and activated four times to serve our country during his military career: 1997 – Operation Northern Watch (Incirlik AB, Turkey); 1999 – Operation Southern Watch (Prince Sultan AB, Saudi Arabia); 2001 – Operation Noble Eagle (Truax Field, WI); and 2004 – Operation Iraqi Freedom (Al Udeid AB, Qatar).  Peter served with distinction and achieved the following ribbons and metals: USAF Honor Graduate Ribbon, Expert Small Arms Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal,  Air Force Commendation Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal. Peter retired in 2006 as a Master Sergeant and remained enlisted in the retired reserve.

Peter was thrilled to work on the General Dynamics F16 during his military career, and that drove him to look into ways to continue his service to our country.  General Dynamics was his answer, joining the company just one day after his military retirement.  He worked for the High Performance Computing Group in Bloomington, Minnesota as a Technical Manager and Team Lead from 2006 until 2009. After the completion of a highly successfully HPC program in 2009, Peter was given the opportunity to join the Multi-INT, Analysis, Archive, System (MAAS) team where Peter was given the role of Technical Manager, Control Account Manager and Software Lead.  Eventually, Peter became the Chief Engineer for the MAAS team in 2016.  Peter and the MAAS team excelled in providing our country with mission critical software in defense of our nation, a mission and accomplishment that made him most proud.

Even after death, Peter’s continued to serve his country and fellow veterans by donating his body to ALS research through the Department of Defense Medical Research Office at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Pete’s wife Jane stood by his side throughout his military and engineering careers, taking care of their home and pets while he traveled.

Peter met his wife-to-be at Check Technology where they both worked.  He took a shot and asked her to be his golf partner on the corporate league.  It worked.  They turned out to be the dynamic duo, winning the league championship eight years running,  Peter later eloped with  Jane on October 23, 1996, during a golf game with a best man, two maids of honor and a justice of the peace in Spring Valley, Wisconsin. 

The Dreises also co-captained a downhill ski racing team called the Rampaging Aardvarks for 10 years. They believed they were getting pretty good at their racing form, tucking deep just like Lindsey Vonn.  Videos showed otherwise.  Doh!

The Dreis home is nestled in the Wisconsin farmlands just outside of Hudson.  Pete and Jane’s family at one time numbered 4 dogs and 4 parrots.  During his short stay in the Menomonie nursing home, Jane brought in one of his two poodles, Gizmo a 9-pound apricot toy and Gadget a 55-pound apricot Standard, to be with him nearly every day. 

The couple also built their own cabin on an island in Spider Lake near Birchwood, Wisconsin, with the help of many friends and especially his mother Betty who was a master at staining logs.

Pete regularly enjoyed hunting, camping, trout fishing and gourmet cooking with his brothers Phil and Paul. 

Obviously a great life cut short by a rapidly progressing version of ALS.  In Pete’s own words late this summer, “ALS has flipped my life upside down ... I had to resign as the Chief Engineer from General Dynamics and soon I’ll transition to long term disability ... I can’t walk anymore and ALS sucks all your strength and endurance out of you.  I take it day by day and try to live life to the fullest.” 

He even enjoyed a Bucket List trip in September.  His goals on the trip:  a Grand Canyon sunset and sunrise, plus sleeping under the stars near Zion National Park.  His wife Jane did all the driving, while his sister Vicki loaded and unloaded the trailer that carried all his essential equipment each day, including a Hoyer Lift and an Action Track Wheelchair bought for him by their friends, colleagues and family.

Pete is survived by his mother Betty (Loughran) Dreis, Spooner; his wife Jane (Olson) Dreis; his siblings Victoria Sue (Dreis) Olson, Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada; Philip Charles Dreis, Madison, Wisconsin; Paul Joseph Dreis, Mazomanie, Wisconsin, and many extended family and friends.

Peter is preceded in death by his father Robert Edward Dreis.

Funeral services are 1p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, at St. Frances De Sales Catholic Church, 409 Summit St., Spooner.  Arrangements by the Spooner Funeral Home.  Inurnment will follow at the Northern Wisconsin  Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Memorials are encouraged in Peter’s name to the ALS Association’s research efforts.  Please see www.alsa.org.

Last Update: Dec 16, 2018 5:45 pm CST

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