In Memory

Peter Liebhold

Deceased Classmate: Peter Liebhold
Date Of Birth: 1946
Date Deceased: 12-28-1967
Age at Death: 21
Cause of Death: Auto accident
Classmate City: Harrison
Classmate State: NY
Classmate Country: USA
Was a Veteran: No 
Survived By: His Father, a distinguished dealer in antiques and a refugee from Naziism, has since passed away, but I believe a sister is still living.

Peter Liebhold was killed while driving back to Oberlin with classmate Deborah Lathrop Huntington, who was injured when the car he was driving swerved on an icy patch of highway and he was thrown out onto the pavement and hit by a truck. His father, Franz Liebhold, donated $250,000 to the Oberlin Conservatory to establish a fund in Peter's memory. Peter will always be remembered by those who knew him as a vibrant, ebullient, brilliant man and loyal friend. 

Submitted by Andrew Ward

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05/16/18 12:56 PM #1    

Bucklin Moon

Peter was my freshman year roommate at Barrows. I noticed that there was something odd about his face, and it took me about a week to realize he had one blue eye and one green eye,
Peter seemed to be more emotionally mature than the rest of us, and I would go to him for advice.

I was traveling from New York to Los Angeles with Michael Oudyn, class of 1966, in a drive away car. We were supposed to deliver it in a week , and at the end of the first week we had not left Oberlin. We called the owners, and they basically said they did not need it for another two weeks, when their daughther returned from Europe;.

I remember hearing about Peter's death when traveling near Bakersfield, and it was announced on local radio. I was paying no attention when I heard Debby Huntingon's name as the daughter of a prominent local physician. I called her mother and found out Peter had died. I was devestated. Nobody I cared about had died before. I miss Peter to this day, and he appears every once in a while in my dreams. The last time was a year ago. 

05/19/18 03:43 PM #2    

James Hilton

I cant remember why or how Pete and I became good friends, but I suspect it was his skill at reaching out and gathering in others who were not so skilled.  I suspect there were many others like me.  What a good guy.  

05/20/18 06:10 PM #3    

Ralph Shapira

Peter had one bright blue eye and one bright green eye – – never seen the like before or since. He was altogether striking – – handsome, smart, funny and great to hang with. My circle of friends gravitated around him, as did more than his fair share of discerning women.

I lived in off-campus houses with Peter and other close friends – – Peter Griswold, Chris Lloyd, Walter Lee, Harry Scholten — and maybe John Robinson, Buck Moon and Steve Detray, also close friends — for two years.     It was the most fun and best fellowship I had at college, or maybe since.   One of the deans once remarked, upon passing by our house, that he thought a new Pope had been elected on account of the pall of smoke hanging over the place.  

 Peter and I ran the campus New York Times concession for two years. We did a decent job mostly on account of him. He was a pleasure to work with and he taught me a great deal about responsibility and loyal friendship.

Peter’s death senior year in a freak turnpike accident shattered us. He would certainly have done great things and led an outstanding life.  He was one of the best of us.


05/22/18 10:44 AM #4    

Christopher Smith

I met Peter at a fall Saturday dinner at our dining hall sophomore year.  We were sitting at the same table and he pointedly criticized my very underwhelming performance in a football game that afternoon.  Happily we became friends and I had the good fortune to join him and Ralph at a couple of exam prep sessions at the truck stop on Route 20 the nights before exams.  After eating the six eggs, toast, and home fries, we attempted to score a super (?) game on the pin ball machine.  We did not hit the great score on the pinball machine but we did fine on the exams.  Great memories. 

05/22/18 01:04 PM #5    

Ralph Shapira

Thanks, Chris, for that memory. I had quite forgotten the six-eggs-for-a-dollar truck stop. No doubt it had a proper name, but that’s why we went there and that’s what we called it.  We used to go there after our all-night poker games. My having a car on campus — permitted as a necessity for delivering the New York Times —allowed us that mobility.  Our long hair garnered dirty looks from the truckers, but miraculously we were never beaten up. Probably we felt safest, Chris, when you came along.

05/23/18 02:00 PM #6    

Bucklin Moon

For some reason, the Six Egg Truckstop (sounds like a whimsical teenage summer movie) seems far away. Nowadays, a six egg breakfast would come with a warning from the Surgeon-General and a blood thinner. I cannot remember the last time i saw a pinball machine.

I was usually under the influence of skunkweed when I went out there in the middle of the night, so six eggs and hashbrowns, and toast, and bacon just seemed like a snack. I remember little studying ,much pinball, a lot of hysterical laughter, which perhaps kept the truckers away, for they knew well enough not to mess with crazy people. I remember Ralph flirting with the waitress, which made her feel good. 

Ralph's station wagon, supposedly to be only used for delivering the NYT, was used for many other purposes, including a trip to Akron. I remember borrowing it to go to Presti's, somehow ending up in Akron. I have no idea why I wanted to go to Akron. 

05/24/18 09:41 AM #7    

Stephanie Koenig

Peter's sudden death in a car accident with Debbie Huntington was devastating.  Debbie was one of my dearest friends at Oberlin, and was of course traumatized by having been in that accident, which she survived and Peter did not.  I recall spending a great deal of time with her afterwards, trying to process the thoughts and feellings that stayed with her.  What a hard time it was.  I have so appreciated reading others' posts about Peter, hearing some of their memories and appreciations.  And I do recall vividly his two different color eyes!  I also recall a night of partying where Peter stood and danced with great grace as he sang along with -- maybe the Righteous Brothers?  Anyway, I remember thinking that his athletic body seemed to move with enormous grace.  I also remember him as someone who seemed quite grounded, and also very funny.  His death was such a loss for Debbie and so many friends who enjoyed and loved him.

I now find myself wishing I could be there for this reunion weekend, as I have been so touched by hearing what people have shared.  It would be great to be there in person to talk more.

05/25/18 03:23 PM #8    

Bucklin Moon

Thanks Stephanie for that lovely reminiscense. I also will be unable to attend the 50th, but you were one of the people I was thinking about. I remember some great times had by all of us, at Oberlin and otherwise. 


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