Planet Stahl

All Stahl, All the Time


Peter Wessler and COVID19

I could not sleep last night.  At 3AM I thought about getting up and writing…  And the way I felt when I woke up after tossing and turning would not have changed if I had done some writing or not.  

I woke up thinking about the bad news I got yesterday from Kevin Becker.  I can always rely on Kev to be cruising the obits page and let me know when a longtime customer has passed away.  This one blew me away.  Peter Wessler.  

I have known Pete (We called him Pete here when he came in…  He never corrected us…  Hopefully he never went home complaining about it!) and his family of cars for the last 2 decades.  He was a retired public school music teacher and had been working as a bus driver for Peoria Charter Coach for the past few years after retirement.  His demeanor and super calm nature never wavered over the years of working with him.  Even when I saw him the last time (last month) he was relaxed. That was even after getting the bad news that his 200,000+ mile Matrix had a bad transmission.  You had to believe he was an amazing public school music teacher with his temperament.  Maybe that laid back style was the product of a million conversations with teenagers?  Hard to say, but I always enjoyed our short chats and catching up.  

The part that kept me up is that Pete died from complications from COVID19.  He was 14 years older than me at 63 years old.  Peter was a far cry from an elderly, frail or sickly man that I would think was at risk from this virus.  He looked pretty healthy and I would argue was still living a lifestyle that had him active with his church, kids and grandkids.  He was always on the go.  Everything that I would say is contrary to my mental narrative of a person susceptible to the virus.  

John Deering

This is the second person I have known now that passed away from COVID19 that I would never have guessed could get to the point of death.  John Deering, a representative of Toyota passed away from complications earlier in the year from COVID.  He was my age (younger actually), and had a few health concerns… But really… Who knows everything going on in their body if they are a man in their 40’s?  We are all terrible about going to the doctor and getting things checked out.  John was another shock, that I must have mentally recovered from.  I think my attitude lately has been that the chance for death is going down as this has drug on.

What are you getting at Eric?  My point is this…  These two guys died and it was attributed to COVID.  You can say what you will about this being a “bad flu”, but I don’t think either of these guys would have died from the flu.  

I have been blessed to this point to not have anyone in my immediate family to get COVID. That is really weird too… When I was out getting signatures for my School Board position in Mackinaw, I ran into about a dozen people who have already had it!  It’s all around my house and the three of us in the family are basically frontline employees working with the public daily.  I have no idea how we have avoided it.  

Not much to tie up here, other than count your blessings daily and live the best life.  (I have a whole post I could make about another conversation I had with an older customer still getting out and living normally.  To each their own!)

Rest in Peace Pete.

Scholarship fund in Peters name: