Prof. Peter Kjeer Memorial Service

Bethany Lutheran College professor Peter Kjeer passed away unexpectedly on December 3, 2016. The original news item and Kjeer scholarship donation information is available below.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, December 10, 2016. You may watch a recording of the service on Vimeo.

Original news item, December 3, 2016 at 6 p.m.

Professor Peter Kjeer Passes Away

Bethany Lutheran College sadly reports the passing of Professor of Engineering Peter Kjeer the morning of December 3, 2016, while working on the job site of a home he was building. No other details about his death are available at this time.

Peter Kjeer taught physics part time at Bethany between the years of 2000 and 2010 while he worked as a practicing engineer for Kato Engineering and Johnson Outdoors. Kjeer was also an adjunct instructor in the mechanical engineering program for Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Kjeer moved to Vermont in 2011 to teach on the engineering faculty at Norwich University. In 2012, he moved to Massachusetts where he taught physics and engineering at Harvard University and attended Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Kjeer returned to Bethany during the summer of 2016 to establish an engineering program at the College. He held the Lester Goetzke Endowed Chair of Engineering Science. He was recently featured in an online story by the Minnesota Private College Council.

Bethany Lutheran College President Gene Pfeifer said in a prepared statement to the students, faculty, staff, and Regents of the College, “The days ahead will be challenging for the entire Bethany family as we mourn the loss of a popular and gifted professor who just this semester led the faculty in developing a new major in engineering science. Just as we can be assured of God’s grace in sending each of us a Savior from sin in His Son, Jesus, we can also be assured of God’s promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. God assures us in His word, “I know the plans I have for you … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

The Bethany Lutheran College Board of Regents, at their November 2016 meeting, approved the new engineering program. In the documentation that Peter Kjeer prepared for the Board he wrote the following.

“We see in Hebrews 11:10, ‘For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.’ Bethany is equipped to provide our students a path on which to pursue the engineering profession under the protective embrace of the One Thing Needful.”

Peter Kjeer is surived by his wife, Julie, and daughters, Katherine and Emily (a member of the BLC Class of 2020). We ask the Bethany family to keep them in your prayers during this difficult time.


UPDATE (Dec. 5, 2016, 5 p.m.): The memorial service for Professor Peter Kjeer will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2016, at Trinity Chapel on the Bethany Lutheran College campus. The service will begin at 11 a.m. with visitation one hour prior. A reception will take place in Bethany’s Honsey Hall following the service.


UPDATE (Dec. 8, 2016, 11 a.m.): The Kjeer family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, remembrances may be given to a memorial fund at Bethany Lutheran College. Memorial gifts will be used to create a scholarship at the College in Professor Kjeer’s name.


Bethany Lutheran College
Peter Kjeer Memorial Fund
700 Luther Drive
Mankato, MN 56001


You may also contribute to the memorial fund using this link. At the bottom of the page in the “Optional” section, please choose “In Memory Of,” and indicate Peter Kjeer in the space provided.

Professor Kjeer’s obituary can be found on the Mankato Free Press Newspaper website.