OBITUARY

Peter Joel Floe

April 17, 1938February 13, 2021

Peter Joel Floe was born on April 17, 1938 to Ruth (Skaarhaug) Floe and Peter M. Floe in Fargo, North Dakota. The Floes moved around Minnesota a few times before settling in Grand Marais, Minnesota, where Peter and his younger sister, Lola (Floe) Lamont, were raised. Growing up, Peter was an avid reader, often getting lost in science fiction tales and mysteries. His love for reading continued throughout his life. He grew into a big car enthusiast, notably owning the fastest car in Grand Marais at one point. He also had a great appreciation of music, especially folk music, and the movies, which he got to view at no charge in the Grand Marais movie theater thanks to his job as the popcorn seller. Peter graduated from Cook County High School, Class of ’56, and attended college at the University of Minnesota Duluth where he acquired a love of egg foo young, pizza, and accounting. During college he would travel up Highway 61 regularly to work at his father’s Shell Gas Station. Following graduation Peter continued working at the gas station until he enlisted in the National Guard. He felt a call to service, as did his cousins, Neil, Halvor, and Leif Skaarhaug. On one fateful weekend, Peter was involved in a catastrophic automobile accident on a trip home from basic training. He survived the accident, but was paralyzed from the chest down; he was only 24 years old. Peter fought hard through rehabilitation and facing the reality that he could no longer serve in the National Guard, nor work at the gas station, he turned back to accounting. After learning the ropes at Arrowhead Accounting Services, Peter eventually opened up his own accounting business, Peter J. Floe and Associates, although his dream job was always to own a junkyard. Along with his loyal employees, Sally Nelson, Marlene Sturm, Roberta “Bobbie” Sajak, Rena Carlson, and Carol Byholm, Peter quickly became the accountant to most of the residents and businesses in Grand Marais. Peter’s immense understanding of the tax code combined with his big heart made him not only a sought after accountant, but a confidant to his clients and strangers alike. He was a big believer in people, always rooting for the underdog, and opened his home to many a resident of Grand Marais in need of a place of solace and respite. In the tax “off-season,” Peter was an avid traveler, circling the United States and Mexico with his cousins, Neil, Halvor, Leif, and Jon Skaarhaug, in his trusty RV. Peter also loved visiting the family homestead in South Dakota along with all of his family who lived there, including cousins, Susanne and Roland Crandall, and his Aunt Clara Skaarhaug. Although a confirmed bachelor, Peter was eventually given an offer he could not refuse. Being the savvy businessman that he was, he jumped on the opportunity of a “two-for-one,” and married Grace Sliwinska Floe in a Halloween-themed ceremony in October 2004, simultaneously gaining a daughter, Gabriella Sliwinska. Peter could only be described as a loyal, supportive, and loving husband, and the best father a girl could ask for. After almost 44 years of accounting life, Peter traded in his calculator for another RV and began his retirement life as a “snowbird” enjoying the best that Grand Marais, Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana had to offer. Slowly, but not that slowly, Peter became a fan of the Louisiana State University Tigers, and all the oddities that Louisiana had to offer, including boudin balls, gator bites, southern drawls, but most of all, the mild temperatures which permitted him to be outside through most of the winter and allowed him to work on his great tan! No matter the trials and tribulations Peter faced with his health, which came more frequently towards the end, Peter believed that life was always worth living and remained adventurous, an enthusiastic witness of popular cultural events, and was a part of as many life experiences as he could be. Peter died on Saturday, February 13, 2021, with his loving wife, Grace, and daughter, Gabriella, by his side. Peter was preceded in death by his parents, Ruth and Peter Floe, sister, Lola (Jim) Lamont, cousins, Roger (Louise) Wellen, Lovina Thompson, Neil Skaarhaug, Halvor Skaarhaug, Leif (Margie) Skaarhaug, and nephew, Eric Lamont. Peter is survived by his wife, Grace Sliwinska Floe, daughter, Gabriella Sliwinska, cousins, Sally Warneck, Jon Skaarhaug, Susanne Crandall, niece, Renee Lamont, and numerous other relatives.

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Peter Joel Floe

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