Peter Eltink

Peter A. Eltink, 85, died Tuesday, Oct. 20, surrounded by his beloved and loving family.

He was born in Portage on Oct. 4, 1935, the son of Antonius B. Eltink, an undocumented alien and blacksmith of Boxtel, The Netherlands and Theadora (Van Nuland) Eltink, a housewife of Uden, The Netherlands. He was proud to have been the first Eltink born in the United States of America. Peter and Mary Ann Chrzan were married on Aug. 26, 1972 in Liverpool, New York.

He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America, an M.A. in Secondary Education Adminstration from the University of South Dakota, an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and an advanced degree in Systemic Theology and Scripture Studies from Divine Savior Seminary in Lanham, Maryland. He sometimes referred to himself as an overeducated fourth generation blacksmith.

He was a history teacher and principal at high schools in New York, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Peter was a member of the Society of the Divine Savior from 1956 until 1972, its CFO from 1967 until 1972, and the CEO of its fundraising office from 1982 until his retirement in 2001.

He was active in many nonprofit organizations, a board member and officer of the Society of the Divine Savior, Trinity Prep, JFK Prep, Easter Seals of Wisconsin, the National Catholic Development Conference, the National Society of Fundraising Executives, Parkwood Inc., Friends of Ledgeview Nature Center, the New Holstein Community Fund, and the New Holstein Soccer Association.

He loved books, music, travel, friends and everything family. He visited seven continents, 40 countries, 50 states, and 40 Civil War battlefields. He was proud of his Dutch heritage and learned enough of its language to stay in touch with family. Peter was a Jeffersonian Democrat and a Pacifist.

Peter is survived by his children, Dr. Jennifer (Michael Hourigan) Eltink and Dr. Anthony (Adrienne Klimas) Eltink; four grandchildren, Oliver Penn Eltink, Inara Eliza Eltink-Hourigan, Heidi Jane Eltink, and Petra Marien Eltink-Hourigan; sisters Joan (Robert) Kearn, Jean (Francis) Jaeckels, and Sandy (David) Coenen; a brother-in-law, Robert (Peg) Chrzan; and many Van Nuland cousins in the United States, Eltink cousins in the Netherlands, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Peter was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Mary Ann; a sister, Dorothy (Jerome) Vander Velden; niece Amy Kearn FastHorse; 38 aunts and uncles; and several cousins and friends.

Because of COVID-19, Peter’s family has decided to postpone services to a later date. Please view for service updates, or to leave the family a condolence. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are appreciated to the Easter Seals of Wisconsin or the Society of the Divine Savior.

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