Peter Bruce Munroe
July 9, 1918 – January 5, 2019
Peter Bruce Munroe was born July 9, 1918 in Detroit, Michigan to Jesse Munroe and Lulu (Bruce) Munroe. He left this world peacefully January 5, 2019 after watching MSU defeat OSU in basketball. His brothers Robert J. Munroe, Richard D. Munroe, and sister, Frances Munroe, predeceased him. He is survived by many nieces and nephews. He was a lifelong resident of the Lansing area. Peter was graduated from Lansing Eastern High School in 1936. Early in his first semester of high school, he learned that he would be graded on attitude instead of academic achievement. Thereafter, he engaged in everything but studies. The fact that he was elected president of the student council in his senior year on a platform of “ignore the faculty” did not endear him to the faculty. His mediocre grades in high school ran counter to the belief that mediocre grades forecast failure in college. Peter was graduated from Michigan State College in 1940 with high honor. According to a younger brother who followed him in high school, the high school faculty was amazed when his name appeared regularly as the recipient of a virtual all A record in college. He was graduated close to the top of his class. He was a member of Delta Sigma Phi. In his junior year of college, he encountered a prophesy of failure from a faculty member when he dropped out of the advanced military ROTC course. The Commandant told him that he “would never amount to a damn.” Fortunately, he was not discouraged by this prediction. His junior year was an eventful one for another reason. He met Mary Jean Mabie, the girl who was to become his wife. In August of 1942, Peter was commissioned in the Navy with the rank of ensign. He was released from active duty in February 1946 with the rank of lieutenant. In the same year he entered Harvard Law School. He was graduated in 1949. While Peter was a student at Harvard Law School, Mary Jean worked at the Polaroid Corporation in Cambridge. This was at the time when Polaroid developed the famous “Land” camera. After Peter’s graduation from Harvard Law School, Peter and Mary Jean moved back to the Lansing area. Mary Jean went to work for the East Lansing School Board where she worked for 43 years until her retirement. Peter had a distinguished legal career. It started after he was graduated from Harvard Law School. Many words could be used to describe his reputation in the legal community – honest, hard-working, and a man of integrity, are but a few.
Peter started his legal career with the Michigan State Accident Fund where he eventually became General Counsel. In 1971, he started his own firm in East Lansing with Larry Nobach. Larry had worked with him at the Accident Fund. The firm of Munroe and Nobach, P.C., represented General Motors Corporation, Michigan State University, Auto Owners, Hastings Mutual, Liberty Mutual, and many more. Over the years Larry proved to be a trusted partner and one of Peter’s best friends.
Prior to his retirement, Peter purchased a condominium in Naples, Florida where he and Mary Jean enjoyed many winters in the sunshine. Larry and his wife, Sandie, also purchased a condominium in the same development. Larry and Sandie provided friendship and support over the years, especially after the loss of Mary Jean. Larry retired in 1999. He predeceased Peter. Other partners included John McIntosh, Richard Weiser, J. William Housefield, and Cameron McComb. Other than trusted partners, Peter felt the next best asset of a law firm was a good secretary. He found one at the Accident Fund in Cathy Lenhard. She quickly became the office manager. The law firm concentrated on defense of workers’ compensation claims. Until the time of his death, Peter remained an active member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, and the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar. Peter served as the Chairperson of the Workers’ Compensation Section and was honored by the Section by his induction into the Workers’ Compensation Hall of Fame in April of 1996.
Funeral service at Gorsline Runciman East Chapel, 1730 E. Grand River, East Lansing, Friday at 11 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Rev. Steve Ezop will officiate. Burial will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery in Lansing.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Sparrow Foundation, P. O. Box 30480, Lansing, MI 48909 or Hillsdale College, 33 E. College Street, Hillsdale, MI 49242
- Michael Otis
- Stan Hecker
- Cameron McComb
- Steven Pollok
- J. William Housefield
- Catherine Lenhard
P. O. Box 30480, Lansing, Michigan 48909
33 E. College Street, Hillsdale, Michigan 49242
- Visitation Friday, January 11, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, January 11, 2019