Family & Friends

To illuminate the many sides of our Peter, we invite family & friends to share their thoughts, anecdotes, humorous tales and serious discourse.

28 comments:

Family Schlein said...

Peter was born as a big strapping baby on November 18, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York. Peter died as a big strapping man on February 26, 2008 in Paris. Clearly, he died too soon. For most of his life, he used his creative gifts to probe the beginnings of the universe. His scientific discoveries have enlarged our understanding and knowledge of where and how life might have begun. After more than 40 years as a Professor of Physics, Peter retired from UCLA in 2006. But, Peter never really retired. For the past decade, he devoted himself to his second passion, the music of his father Irving Schlein. With boundless energy and unstinting enthusiasm, Peter brought the beauty and originality of his father's musical works to the attention of an audience that never knew of their existence. This new work of musical discovery remains a work in progress and will add to Peter's legacy.

Peter Schlein was a devoted family man whom he loved dearly. He was proud of his wife Lisa, his children Oren and Ilana, and their life partners Jo and Paul. In recent years, one of Peter's latest discoveries was his grandchildren. Alex and Julian, and Kate and Ari were the new wonders in his life. He thought they were beautiful and clever. They inspired him daily and he never ceased to talk about how much they meant to him. Peter looked forward to the joy of welcoming his soon to be born fifth grandchild, Karina Petra. We will miss him sorely...

Alain Verglas said...

La mort est une compagne qu'on ne choisit pas, mais que l'on devine bien près de soi et dont le spectre prend forme avec l'âge.
Chacun la redoute et voit en elle l'ennemi impitoyable que rien ne fera reculer. Nous en parlions, parfois, avec Peter, à demi-mots, car ses conséquence effraient.

Mais ne doit-on pas reconnaître aussi que cette menace a, avait, des vertus que des hommes de qualité comme Peter savaient percevoir et dont il avait tiré profit ?
Ainsi, nous savions qu'il avait ce sentiment d'urgence d'accomplir ce qui doit l'être et de le faire tout de suite, pleinement ; ce sentiment de fragilité que ce qui n'est pas fait peut ne jamais l'être. Peter voulait avant son départ rendre la mémoire d'Irving Schlein incontournable. Il l'a magnifiquement fait.
Aujourd'hui des centaines de musiciens connaissent l'oeuvre puissante de ton grand-père, Oren. Le germe est semé et je sais que tu veilleras à ce que la plante pousse. Sans le sens profond de l'urgence qu'avait Peter, rien de tout cela ne serait.

Une des très grandes joies de Peter a été, Oren, de te voir marquer un intérêt sincère à cette résurrection, Il savait que, ainsi, non seulement le génie de Irving Schlein ne se perdrait pas, mais il te voyait rendre là le plus bel hommage possible au travail de sa seconde vie.

Peter, que je connais encore bien mal en dépit de l'intimité que nous avons eue en travaillant ensemble, a, il me semble, superbement réussi sa vie. Son couple, ses enfants dont il était si fier, sa réussite professionnelle en physique, tout cela aurait pu suffire à combler les espoirs d'un homme.
Il a su y ajouter avec panache un dévouement intense et joyeux pour l'oeuvre de son père, son troisième enfant.

Peter, tu peux partir en paix.

Alain

Anonymous said...

Peter was my cousin. My father Larry's first cousin. They grew up in the same apartment building in Brooklyn.

While I didn't know Peter, I was always fascinated by him as I'm sure many people in the world have been for many years. I love physics and always knew there was this brilliant man in my family, though many thousands of miles away from where I lived who worked in this field of my fascination. Very far apart, I felt some kind of familial connection, though he never knew.

So, I write as a family member and as a stranger who was incredibly taken by this man that I didn't even know. If I have felt this way about Peter, then I can only imagine how he touched the lives of Lisa, Oren and Ilana not to mention all of you who knew him well.

My dearest thoughts are with you all. My love to all...

- Shari Berkowitz

Morelle said...

Dear Lisa, Oren and Ilana:

How stunned and sad we are to receive your news, and how strange it seems that Peter is gone but thanks to him Norman, my husband, is now 77. In the early 1990’s during a stint at UCLA, Peter came to our home for dinner. While I was feeding our dog in another room, he and Norman lit into the steak that Norman had just barbecued. I later joked that what followed served them right for rudely starting dinner without waiting for me, for when I entered the room, Norman was choking. Instantly realizing that he’d aspirated some food,, I frantically attempted a Heimlich maneuver. Peter was clearly unaware of what a Heimlich was and seemed amused by his hosts’ weird idea of entertainment. But I was getting nowhere and, terrified, asked Peter to take over while I called 911. He instantly caught on, dug in, so to speak, and forced the meat out as Norman collapsed to the floor. We laughed it off and enjoyed our dinner. But Peter never called us again when he was in L.A. Who could blame him! When we saw him again, it was at David Saxon’s memorial service where we had a wonderful conversation about Peter’s father’s music. How terribly sad to think that the next time we should hear of Peter would be in your announcement of a service for him. We have missed both of you, Lisa, and want you to know that we will ever be grateful for what Peter did for us, our children, and now our own grandchildren, who live only a few miles from Paramus. Norman joins me in sending our deepest sympathy and love to you, Ilana and Oren.

Fondly,
Morelle Levine

Anonymous said...

I am incredibly saddend! And I am terribly sorry, that i never made it to geneva to see you lisa and peter and his father's music he was so proud of it.
All my love to you dear lisa and all your family
your Alexandra Gravas

Kenneth J. Stein said...

Peter and I met as freshman at Union College in l950. Being from similar middle-class non-religious Jewish backgrounds, we became friends and fraternity brothers, because the fraternity food was an improvement from the college cafeteria. We had one common pursuit, dating women, in which Peter excelled. We also grappled with our unknown futures. After I transferred from Union in l952, we kept in touch. We met up in l955 when I was in the Army stationed in Livorno, Italy, and Peter was a graduate student traveling in Italy. I found a cot for him in our 16 - man tent, and Peter slept over. The next day I drove him to Florence where he upgraded to a youth hostel. Thanks to the internet and e-mail, we communicated about 10 years ago and Peter and Lisa visited my wife and me at our home in St. Augustine, Florida. About 2 years later we visited the Schleins in Geneva, where they graciously hosted us. His death was a sad surprise, but we take solace in knowing he lived a very full and rewarding life exploring the universe.
Kenneth Stein

Dave Jackson said...

Dave Jackson said:
Lisa's mention of Peter's love and promotion of his father's music leads me to cite an illustration of this passion of Peter's, an illustration that reflects badly perhaps on me but the opposite on Peter. A few years ago Peter kindly me sent me CD's of recordings of his father's music. I committed the small crime of copying one of them to send to a musical daughter. In all innocence, and to show Peter how much I admired his father's works, I told Peter what I had done. Well! He upbraided me with a stern lecture on copyright law. Chagrined, I found the appropriate address in New York and sent a check to cover the cost of the CD I had copied. Some months later, after the check or news of it had wended its way to Peter, he sent it back to me. He had made his point in defense of his father's legacy. No need for the money, or to let me off the hook.

Dina Kolbaya said...

How wonderful that i had a chance to know Peter and how very sad that this friendship couldn't last longer.
I met Peter in St.Petersburg. I used to manage the apartment he loved to stay at. Since i met him i never treated him as a client but always as a very interesting company. Unfortunately, I couldn't estimate any scintific ideas that he had as i'm too far from it but i was lucky to have a chance and shared an emotional experience influenced by music that the father created and the son animated.
I happened to attend the recording only once but i'll never forget what i felt. I saw musicians who had just got this complicated music for the first time and started recording it in minutes. That was amazing! And it was great to see how they all got inspired with the music during the recording and i was, too.
Oren, that's just great that you accompanied your father at his last trip to here. I think he wanted so much you to see it, be part of it and share his passion with him. Hope to see you some day again. I'd never forget your father and will miss him very much.
And thank you again, Peter! Rest in peace!

Dina

Anonymous said...

We met Peter and Lisa through friends at UCLA well before Oren arrived in this world. It has been a warm, enduring, and much cherished association over the years. Peter was a warm-hearted, sentimental, and a kind person. He always made it a point to connect with his old UCLA circle and us whenever he returned to the Campus for his teaching assignments. Even after his retirement, he would call and check in when he visited Southern California. He enjoyed exotic foods and trying new restaurants, which was always an item on the agenda when he visited.
His excitement and enthusiasm for establishing his Father’s music legacy was unyielding; and he made it a point to share it with those he felt would share his feelings. We were some of those fortunate individuals and appreciate it tremendously, even more so now.
We will miss Peter’s visits, discussions, and prying questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’, and will always muse about the pleasant times we spent with him and Lisa together.

Anonymous said...

We met Peter and Lisa through friends at UCLA well before Oren arrived in this world. It has been a warm, enduring, and much cherished association over the years. Peter was a warm-hearted, sentimental, and a kind person. He always made it a point to connect with his old UCLA circle and us whenever he returned to the Campus for his teaching assignments. Even after his retirement, he would call and check in when he visited Southern California. He enjoyed exotic foods and trying new restaurants, which was always an item on the agenda when he visited.
His excitement and enthusiasm for establishing his Father’s music legacy was unyielding; and he made it a point to share it with those he felt would share his feelings. We were some of those fortunate individuals and appreciate it tremendously, even more so now.
We will miss Peter’s visits, discussions, and prying questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’, and will always muse about the pleasant times we spent with him and Lisa together.

Radha and Prem Sharma

Scott Malcomson said...

I met Peter at a dinner party beside a pool on a warm summer night outside Geneva. We were a long way from Brooklyn. I liked him at once because he showed such passion for living; he was happily in the grip of la douceur de la vie. His obsession with his father's music was already in full swing and he shared it. Soon I was getting CDs and hearing tales of St. Petersburg. The music was beautiful (still is). Thanks, Peter.

Joost said...

Peter was one of the most sincere attentive people we ever met. His joy was always evident, whether making us lunch and enjoying the view of the pacific, talking about his father’s music or engaging in a conversation about his and others people passions. We have fond memories.

Claire Lyons and Joost van Oss, Los Angeles.

Tom Trippe said...

Dear Lisa, Oren, Ilana, and Lonnie,

We were shocked and saddened by the news. Please accept our deepest sympathy. Peter was too young and alive to have this happen. We were expecting to see Peter and Lisa next week so it is hard to come to grips with not seeing him again.

I met Peter around 1965 at UCLA where he soon became my thesis advisor. We worked together on bubble chamber experiments at LBL and Brookhaven. He was always encouraging and optimistic. He pushed me to get things done but always with a kind and caring spirit. I later worked with him on an ISR experiment at CERN, which was the beginning of his CERN connection. I will always be grateful for the guidance that he gave me. After our physics paths diverged, we remained good friends, visiting when the opportunity came. In recent years I was amazed to see him apply the same strength and optimism to the production of his father's music, a real gift to the music world. Peter will be deeply missed.

Tom Trippe and Kirsten Berg

Anonymous said...

• Although we grew up within a block of each other in Brooklyn, I first met Peter at the Bevatron after I came to work at LBL. The Bevatron was than one of the world’s premier accelerators attracting many outside groups and Peter was a member of one of those .We became friendly and eventually my wife Toby and I served as witnesses at his wedding to Lisa. After he went to UCLA and Geneva, our paths crossed infrequently but certain incidents stand out. Once he called to say he had piloted a small plane from Los Angeles to Oakland. When it came time to fly back he procrastinated endlessly. Finally he took us down to the plane and showed us the rudder controlled by a single wire to the cockpit. As an experimental physicist, the thought of his fate being in the hands of a single wire was a cause of great anxiety.
• More recently, he was in town (Berkeley) to attend a formal dinner honoring Oren’s organization. He mentioned that he didn’t bring a tuxedo. Being approximately of the same build I offered him mine and it was a perfect fit. We also had the pleasure of meeting Oren during that visit.
• Although our professional interests rarely overlapped and we never actually worked together, I managed to arrange a brief visit to CERN to work with Peter on an SPS experiment. I learned quite a bit and may have even contributed to his group’s effort. At that time I also renewed my acquaintance with Lisa.
• We shall miss Peter. May his memory serve as a blessing.
George Gidal

Anonymous said...

Jerry and I have known Peter for almost 30 years, and although we didn't see him often, he was alway warm and robust, words were always tumbling from him...be it promoting his father's music, a trip to Russia, Lisa's latest scoops, a new restaurant, work at UCLA, but mainly his children and grandchildren.
He barely stepped into the house, foot in the entranceway whipping out photos with a running commentary on each child, grandchild. Doesn't that sound familiar? He kept us up to date on the family. Comfortable with everyone -- with anyone -- he was always at home in my house and with whomever was here at the time, picking up where we left off, in spite of infrequent visits. When he visited his enthusiasm for food made him an appreciated guest. Once I asked him about his work -- I wanted him to explain what he actually was doing. He tried, patiently, but it became apparent that I had made a mistake. On one of Peter's last visits to L.A. he invited Jerry to his apartment for lunch -- not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but an elaborate and delicious lunch with all of the trimmings.
Peter was so full of life. Peter was Larger than Life.
He will be sorely missed.
With Love and Fond Memories from Jerry and Estelle Beigel in Los Angeles.

Janine (Berkowitz) Minkler said...

Dear family,
I was blessed to have the opportunity to spend time with Peter, Lisa and Oren in 1992 while traveling around Europe. All were gracious hosts to me. Peter left a lasting impression through his warm presence and kind heartedness. Much love, Janine

Christian Fronsdal said...

Dear Lisa, Oren, Ilana'
Amelita and I feel the loss of Peter very deeply. I met Peter when we both joined UCLA in 1961. It was not long after that that he told me that he had met this really gorgeous woman. We saw each a lot in those days, he played the horn and I played the clarinet. We became good friends and Peter asked me to be best man at your wedding -- the rabbi on learning my name remarked that it was very appropriate. But before that, as I recall with a lot of pleasure and sadness, I met Peter's parents in New York and again his father several times in LA. I knew already of Irving's music, music that Peter was so successful in bringing out later. We regret the loss of a happy old age for Peter, and for you, his love; we shall miss him too.
Amelita and Chris

Amy and George Gorman said...

We were looking forward to a visit and good dinner with Lisa and Peter March 10 in Berkeley, where they were planning to visit. The news of Peter’s death stuns us still, and we will miss him dearly. Our hearts go out to the entire family.

We met Peter shortly after George joined the biology department at UCLA in the early 1970’s. Amy and Lisa were flutists in a community orchestra, and upon exchanging names, Amy, who had known Peter in Berkeley in the early 60s, inquired whether Lisa Schlein was related to Peter Schlein. Because of that chance meeting, our families became good friends, visited each other through the years in Berkeley, New York and Geneva, after both families had left L.A.

Peter was a wonderful loving husband, father and grandfather. Until his last moment he was operating with focus, passion and enthusiasm with all his marbles. His devotion to his post-physics career is inspirational to us, and he made a significant contribution to American culture and the Schlein legacy.

Amy and George Gorman

Hedayat Abdel Nabi said...

Dear Lisa, IIana and Oren,

I knew Peter through Lisa, I knew him better when he retired from his science work, Lisa always introduced Peter as a scientist, I therefore was so proud of them as a couple, a prominent media professional and a scientist.

But more importantly I knew Peter as a son passionately involved with his father's music, and as he introduced his father's music to the world he also introduced it to me.

During the very few times when I saw Peter with Lisa, I always felt that he was a very sensitive man deeply in love with his wife and family.

When I talked about one of his grandchildren Peter used to get the photos of all his grandchildren, when I talked about Oren, he would bring IIana's photo to show me her family.

Through Lisa, I knew a lot about her joint contribution with Peter to their family.

Yes, I feel he had a great life worthy of celebration and which will not end now, it will continue through Oren and IIana, their children and through Lisa's voice across the globe.

Hedayat Abdel Nabi
Friend of Lisa's and Peter

Peter Kreuzer said...

We all have one day or the other the secret wish to imitate someone we admire, an artist, a sports champion, an eminent scientist. Yesterday I was invited to give a seminar in the yearly German Physics Society conference, in Freiburg. Not only had my current employer warned me this was going to be a large and broad audience, expecting something more pedagogical than technical, but I was also asked to speak in German language, a first timer for me in Physics! So I decided to give my talk the bright and shiny name "Der GRID-Weltkomputer zur Erforschung kleinster Strukturen” ! (The GRID world-computer for searching the infinitely small). But then, 2 weeks ago, I got very stressed about this challenging task...

In the meantime, a very sad event occurred, taking away a very important person to all people on this blog and many more. Despite the immense sadness and the feeling that apparently big daily issues are in fact very little, I decided to go on anyway with my "little big" thing for Freiburg...

When I arrived at the conference, I spontaneously decided to imitate my thesis-father, my mentor in science, my dear friend Peter Schlein.
A very familiar voice in my head started reading the following recipe : << bring across your enthusiasm, always keep in mind to make people understand your words and participate, add a good dose of humor, and of course... let your natural charm do the rest...>>. Sounds like The perfect recipe to me. While I was speaking, many inspiring images from the past 20 years crossed my mind, all these occasions when I was sitting in the audience and admiring Peter’s faculty to wake the curiosity in every soul.

Hey, that worked rather well Peter! ... Clapping auditorium, hand shakings, happy employer... I looked up and saw this comforting smile you used to give me when things were going in the right direction. In fact, I was having fun in my secret Peter Cinderella role and wished it would last a little longer...just a little… Like a sign of destiny, when coming out of the auditorium to the coffee area, I bumped into a very good colleague of Peter's from UCLA and we naturally started to speak about Irving Schlein's music. I remembered last time I was with Peter, sitting in his car in the Geneva country side near the lab, surrounded by beautiful vineyards and listening to his latest recordings at full volume... Sounds familiar to some of you ? ;-)

And here comes the conclusion of my story. I could have stayed in that coffee area for longer, enjoying the success of the moment, but instead I got upset and enthusiastic about a fresh work-related issue I found in my inbox. You know, there is always something new to explore in life, some new idea, something to worry about. So don't sit back for too long, it might feel comfortable yet you will regret a moment later to have missed new horizons... This paragraph tells it all. This is how you inspired me most Peter, this is what triggers my tears right now, this is how I will always remember you.

Thank you Peter,
and have a nice day,
Peter (*)

(*) Peter always made fun of me ending emails with this phrase

Anonymous said...

We dearly cherish the memory of our Peter with warmth, humor and dedication to his scientific and musical interest - most notably his championing the works of his father, Irving Schlein. Freda & Ray Reider

Anonymous said...

Ilana, Oren, Lisa – my heart goes out to you all. What a sudden and sad loss for everyone….Peter was a good, kind person, a true mensch. I think he improved every life he touched.
Peter and I were cousins…our grandmothers were sisters who seemed to talk on the phone (in Yiddish) every day that they didn’t spend in each other’s kitchens. Our families’ summers revolved around a place in the country – an old-fashioned bungalow colony – on a lake, Glen Spey, in New York State. Peter and I grew up with many of the same relatives in our lives. When we met in Rome, Italy (where I live) after decades of not seeing each other, I recognized with a pang the smooth-skinned features of that older generation, my grandmother’s brothers and sisters, in Peter’s smiling face. Peter and I stayed in touch over the years, although chances to see each other were rare. But when he came to Rome to work, we happily got together for a meal, a walk, a chat. I feel lucky to have known this warm, gracious, enthusiastic, unusual man, and privileged to have shared with him that uniquely deep bond that family can provide. I liked knowing that he was at least on the same continent as I, and I feel his absence sharply.
with love,
Linda Davidson

masha said...

My name is Masha Belik. I met Peter just twice in my life. First time- in the plane from Saint-Petersburg to Paris where we had 3 and a half hours of conversation. And the last one- in one of the numerous Paris cafes few weeks ago.
Too small to say I was a grate friend of this man. But I can hardly describe the way I feel about loosing him.
The short hours (I can count them using the fingers on one hand) of our 2 meetings turned into amasingly interesting and funny discutions. Peter was indulgent to my bad english and we were talking like old friends, despite I'me 50 years younger! We were planning to meet again this May in Saint-Petersbourg, I promissed to show him russian ballet. He gave me 5 discs of his father's wonderfool music and we parted on metro Chatelet.
I'me sure I was lucky to meet Peter in that plane. Not many of people I know for a long time could tell me the words he told. And I really prefer to think, he just took the next plane and flew far away.
I hope Peter's family that he adored so much will continue to realise his last dream. The beautiful music he gave me and his words I will keep.

PS One thing I'me sorry about is that I was late to answer his last mail. But I'me sure he would forgive.

Serge & Caroline Verglas said...

Dear Peter,

Even if you cannot read me, I just want to say goodbye to you personally and I think that this is the only place possible.
We know each another for more than 40 years and even if we are "just friends" I really believe that you are part of my family. Why? Probably because you made every one, friends and family, comfortable around you, or because you are genuinely happy, or maybe because you are so optimistic and generous (thank you for your hospitality while I was in LA), or because you always have a project to follow (your father’s musical masterpiece) or a story to tell, or because you enjoy good wine and good food… just like parents would behave.
Even recently at Alain's home you offered me and my family to visit you in Geneva, next time I was in Les Contamines or to come to New York. I always thought Peter that we would have plenty of time to do it, at least this year and spend some time with you and Lisa. I was wrong. You just teach me that life time has strange limits that even a high ranked physician like you could not anticipate.

So, today I miss you Peter and I just hope, if life after life is a reality, that you are in great shape, discovering all the universe mysteries. And please, if you find a way to communicate, lets keep in touch.

A bientot Peter.

Anonymous said...

Some news do not travel fast, and I had to read the CERN Courier to hear of Peter's death. It was a shock, even though I didn't know him well, only from seeing him around CERN and talking to him from time to time. I liked his smile and cheerful manner.
Wishing young Karina Petra lots of happy days, even though she will miss her grandfather.
Just one more person sending Peter's family their warm and sad thoughts. [Suzy Vascotto (ex-CERN)]

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to send my prayers to the Schlein family. Almost a year later and I just found out about Peter's death and can't believe it. I met Peter through Sam Seigal of Amsterdam, NY. Actually, the last time I saw Peter was when Sam passed away back in 2003. Peter was a true gentleman and will be missed dearly. Once again, my prayers extend out to the Schlein family. Anthony

David Bruck said...

This is long overdue, to put it mildly, but better late than never. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer some months after Pete died, and was operated on February of last year, almost certainly successfully extirpating the cancer, but with some inconvenient but not life threatening side effects lasting for a while. Meanwhile, my wife Tanya was hospitalized the same day for a bad fall, she had another some months later, and we are both much much better, finally. So that's the reason for the delay.
I knew Pete, of blessed memory, as his fraternity brother in Kappu Nu (now called ZBT, I think) at Union, bunking at the Kappu Nu house there, and also as a fellow Physics Major. I was an amateur pianist at the time, and we played around (not too seriously) with a trumpet concerto by Haydn, I believe. I liked physics, especially the theoretical part, but was never the technical maven that loved oscilloscopes, VTVM's (remember those?) etc. that Pete was. I left Union in my third year, transferring to Columbia U., where I got a bachelor's degree in math, and then went on for my doctorate in Biology. Pete and I stayed in touch, especially for the years immediately following Union, and among other things, I remember him inviting and transporting me to St. John Terrill's (sp?) Music Circus in New Jersey, where his dad Irving was playing in the orchestra for a musical on Franz Schubert's life, I believe. In recent years, we got back in touch, but unfortunately it was I who didn't write back just before he died. Tanya and I would be delighted to meet Lisa, Oren or Ilana if and when they ever come to Puerto Rico.

Sanford (Sandy) Berman said...

Here it is, April 7,2012, and I just learned about Peter's passing. I last saw Peter in 1949, 63 years ago. We went to school together and lived in the same neighborhood. I remember visiting many times at home, and occasionally listening to his father play the piano. I recall Peter had a little brother, but can't remember his name. That was around the time that the fad saying was "Wha' happened?" or "Wha' happened baby?" Peter's little brother could not say it correctly, and instead would say "Be happen". We would always get a kick out of that. I was always amazed how his father could play the piano so well as I recall him having short, stubby fingers. Peter was one of the nicest, friendliest, gentle, soft-spoken of all the friends and acquaintances I had, and I felt extremely comfortable with him as a friend. I don't know what got into me when I decided I had a couple of free moments yesterday, and typed his name into my computer. I have trouble understanding how, after not having any contact with somebody for over 60 years, one could experience such overwhelming sadness and sense of loss, and of course, remorse for not looking him up years ago. I just don't know what else to say.

Sanford A. Berman