Peter F. Mihnos 1932 - 2021

A memorial service for Peter Frank Mihnos of McMinnville, Oregon, is planned for 11 a.m. January 8, 2022, at First Presbyterian Church in McMinnville. He passed away December 18, 2021, at the age of 89 after a brief illness.

He is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Linda Mihnos of McMinnville; his children, Tawny Rogers of Sandy, and Lisa Baker of McMinnville; grandchildren, Ashley Ward, Sarah Rogers, Olivia Baker, Molly Krieger, Victoria Baker, Hannah Rogers and Mitchell Rogers; nephews, Peter Kinzig and Stewart Bentley; nieces, Rebecca Williams and Christine Hetherington; and two great-grandchildren.

Pete grew up in Portland, attended Ainsworth Elementary, and then graduated from Lincoln High School.

He served two years on active duty in the U.S. Army as platoon leader of a heavy mortar unit and six years in the Reserve. One of his notable assignments was to assess the feasibility of extending military defenses to the then-Alaska territory should it be granted statehood. He attained the rank of lieutenant.

He graduated from the University of Oregon with two degrees, a Bachelor’s in General Science and a Bachelor’s in Geology. He was a true-blue Ducks fan.

In his first career as a petroleum geologist, he identified sites favorable for oil drilling in Oregon, Utah and in the Four Corners area. Later, he launched a new career supplying laboratory instruments to medical facilities, a career that spun off to a stint as a consultant in the drug-testing field.

At retirement, he launched his fourth career with his wife Linda as a llama/alpaca rancher in West Linn and later in Amity. The venture, Pete’s Mountain Meadows, grew into a national business selling breeding stock, alpaca fiber products and art. Their retail farm store on Highway 99W in Amity became a local landmark.

Pete was an exceptional dad, an encouragement to his daughters in every endeavor, no matter what it was, and a patient listener and comforter for every tale of woe. He coached their softball teams for five years, helped build their school projects, and was enthusiastically on hand for every band and choir concert. He was also a skilled woodworker and spent many an evening making toys and games for his children and grandchildren and gifts for his clients.

He is likely best known for his humor, which infused everything he did: recordings of read-along stories for kids featuring his own menagerie of crazy characters; silly board games, parodies of public figures left on voicemail, dubious inventions sent into trade magazines, a “Daily McMinnvillain” newspaper featuring all manner of odd and fictitious news, even a user manual for the care and feeding of the Pet Rock.

He loved animals and they loved him. He was every dog’s best friend. He brought home a menagerie of animals to populate his mini-farm--horses, chickens, ducks, an ill-tempered pygmy goat. He gifted his children with box turtles, alligators, a huge iguana and parakeets. He was an accomplished horseman, training and showing his Arabian, Jokebar, and boarding horses for others.

In his mid-40s, he discovered running and made it his ambition to run a marathon. He completed two of them and once calculated that he had run enough miles in his life to run around the world.

He loved the outdoors and could think of nothing better to do in the spring and summer than work with the soil. Once he’d planted as much of his own property as he could, he branched out to a vacant lot, where the yield of vegetables was so prodigious that he began selling them at a roadside stand called Mihnos’s Metric Market, which sold everything using metric weights. It made the evening news.

In his later years, he and his wife spent summers exploring the backroads of western Colorado.

Pete was also a prolific writer, completing two biographies, several works of fiction and several anthologies.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church or the SPCA.


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