Peter Turnquist

July 11, 1936 – Dec. 10, 2021.

Peter’s candle shone brightly at an early age. Always an excellent student, he attracted friends easily and emerged as a leader with his calm, friendly charm. At Whittier High School, he was elected student body president. He was then chosen to attend Boys State where he was also elected president out of delegates coming from all of California. Going on to college, he was offered a full boat scholarship by Yale University, where he studied Electrical Engineering. He also had a job as “hasher” in the dining room alongside Dick Cavitt, a funny guy who later had his own talk show on TV.

Shortly after graduation, Peter struck out on the adventure of his life, joining two friends to sail a 36′ sailboat down the east coast, through the Panama Canal, and up the west coast to California. They battled several strong storms that threatened the boat and left them dependent on the sea for food. The next adventure came when Peter partnered with a friend to found an electronics company, Newport Laboratories, which built computers. The company became a public corporation, which is still in business, but listed on the stock exchange under a different name.

Leaving Newport Laboratories, Peter earned a law degree from Santa Clara University. After an unpleasant experience with a personal case, however, he decided not to practice law saying, “law is a rat race where the rats usually win.” Ever up for something new, Peter purchased land in the wine country that fronted on the Russian River. His house had once been elegant, but now was totally dilapidated. Some windows were broken and bats occasionally kept him company after dark. The only running water was in the bathroom, so dishes were washed in the tub. Bathing was done in the river with a bar of soap. He felt those years were the happiest of his life. Peter is survived by his sister, Jane Turnquist Clinton and his granddaughter, Ariana Raz.