Peter Tschetter

Posted 5/16/23

November 20, 1936 - May 10, 2023

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Peter Tschetter


Peter Tschetter, 86, of Emery, SD, died Tuesday, May 10, 2023, at his home under hospice care surrounded by his family.  Funeral service was held Saturday, May 13, 2023, at Fulton Christian Fellowship Church in Fulton, SD.  Burial at Emery Community Cemetery in Rural Emery.  
Peter Tschetter was born in New Elm Springs Colony on November 20, 1936, to Christian and Rebecca Tschetter the oldest of 11 children. At age 17, he briefly left the colony and documented his experience as a ranch hand on N Bar Ranch in Lewiston, Montana. An inquisitive and bright mind afforded him opportunities even at a young age. At age 20 he was appointed English teacher at Big Stone Colony, a position he held for five years. Following that, he held various animal management positions, as well as Colony Manager and Minister.
Peter married his sweetheart Rachel Wurtz from Glendale Colony on September 13, 1959, in Big Stone Colony. They had eight children and went through all the challenges and struggles of raising a large family in a traditional Hutterite setting as well as raising a special needs child. These years were also the beginning of a transformation and hunger to know God on a deeper level. This hunger created more questions than answers. This was the beginning of an internal conflict as well as an external conflict with established religious fortresses of Hutterite doctrine - which he defended with a passion.
At age 40, the family moved to Pleasant Valley colony, where Peter was appointed colony manager and two months later head minister for 12 years. Those years proved to be difficult ones pandering to the religious structure while at the same time desiring to present the Bible’s truth: no man can serve two masters. In June of 1990, against a tide of descent, Peter and Rachel decided to leave the colony and join their children. It was a bold step of faith into an unknown territory. But the unfailing love and grace of God shown in innumerable incidents, caused the anger and harshness of past seasons of their lives to loosen its grip. The love of God opened his eyes, and Peter wrote many letters personally apologizing for how he had handled certain situations and people in his charge while he had been a pastor. His heart was to always preach the Gospel and pray for whoever he came across. Peter and Rachel, lived in Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Mexico, and Idaho, which was the most enjoyable for them. After which, they settled near their youngest daughter Anita and her family who provided needed assistance and oversight until the end. Everywhere Peter went his harmonica went as well.
And now after a rich life, he is united in glory with his beloved wife: Rachel; his daughter Debbie; three great grandchildren: Elias Decker, Carrie Stahl, and Jenna Wipf; four known preterm deaths; his beloved lapdog Lisa; his parents; two brothers: Andrew and Ernie Tschetter; two sisters: Sara Hofer and Anna Waldner; three brother-in-laws: Harold Hofer, Harry Waldner, and Andy Maendel as well as a niece and two nephews.
He was the pillar of his household. Left to celebrate his life and mourn his death are his children: Diane (David); Peter Jr. (Darlene); Glorie (Cornelius); Eve (Tim); Lana (Mark); Anita (John) and Nathan; 28 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren; his three sisters: Becky Maendel, Lena Hofe, Mary (David) Wurtz; and three brothers: Henry (Ann), Jack (Lena) and Edward (Hilda) Tschetter.