Peter Koornwinder passed away peacefully on October 1, 2010 in her home at Maravilla, in Santa Barbara. Peter was one of six children born in 1931 to Gerrit and Luberta Regterschot in Doornspijk, The Netherlands. She carried the boy’s name that she was given at birth proudly and defiantly throughout her life. She was one of the more outspoken children in her household and moved out at an early age to discover the world.
It was her vivacious spirit that lead her, while working in a restaurant, to meet Willem Koornwinder, her future husband. In him she found a kindred spirit, and he fell in love with her laughter, warmth and her beauty. It is said that behind every great man is a great woman, and Peter lived up to the adage. As Willem grew and developed his mattress and bedding business, Peter was one of the first women to attend the University in Rotterdam, studying Economics, a passion she enjoyed her entire life. Her studies were temporarily interrupted when she gave birth to their first child, Danielle, followed by the birth of their second child, Jeroen, three years later.
In 1976, the family moved to Santa Barbara. Despite losing Willem to cancer shortly after arriving in the US, she was determined to remain in Santa Barbara with her young family. In the years that followed she built her dream home in Hope Ranch, completed her studies at UCSB, receiving a B.S. in both Economics and Psychology, and found a new loving companion in Donald Friedman who rekindled her love for travel and adventure.
Willem’s son Joop, from a prior marriage, was as much a friend as a stepson. In 1999, she convinced him to visit her in Santa Barbara from Holland for the millennium celebration and set him up on a blind date for the evening. She was overjoyed that he found renewed love on that New Year’s eve and was married soon after, joining the rest of her family to enjoy her beautiful Santa Barbara.
Peter was a strong and determined individual who felt that nothing was insurmountable for her. At the same time she was also a loving and fun parent, grandparent, companion and lover who would fully commit to everything that she did. She ended her life the same way that she had always lived it, on her own terms. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Peter loved not only life but also a delicious glass of wine. To honor her memory and her incredible spirit, friends and family are invited raise a glass in celebration of her life at Chase Palm Park Center located at 236 E. Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara on Saturday, October 9th, 2010 from 5:00-7:00pm.