Noting the Passing of Peter Klassen (Updated Service Time)

Longtime friend of Fresno Pacific Peter Klassen, Ph.D., 88, passed away March 25, 2019. Between 1962 and 2008, Peter served as a faculty member as well as a member, secretary and president of the FPU Board of Trustees. Memorial services will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Willow Avenue Mennonite Church, 2529 Willow Avenue, Clovis.


Born in 1930 in Crowfoot, Alberta, Peter came to California to study for his M.A. at the University of Southern California, which he completed in 1959, the same year he married Nancy Cooprider in Downey. He earned his Ph.D. from USC in 1962 and that year joined the history faculty of then Pacific College, staying until 1966, when he began teaching at California State University, Fresno. While at Fresno State, Peter also served as dean of the School of Social Sciences and director of international programs before retiring in 2011.


Always close to Fresno Pacific, Peter served on its board from 1979-85 and 1990-2008—as secretary from 1978-83 and 1990-94 and as chair from 2000-2004. In 2008 the board awarded him trustee emeritus status. Active in his field, he wrote five books on the Reformation and Mennonites and was a member of the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission from 1969-2012. Peter and Nancy were charter members of College Community Church Mennonite Brethren (today the Willow Avenue Mennonite Church) in 1963, where Peter held many leadership roles, including moderator.


Please keep Peter’s wife, Nancy, and their sons Kent, Kevin and Bryan in your prayers.