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32814 Utica Road
Fraser, MI 48026
Phone: (586) 293-3390
Fax: (586) 293-5837
About An Amazing Life|Help

Dr. Peter Leigh
Wickens

October 23, 1943 – October 7, 2018

Dr. Peter Wickens
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Memorial Candles Lit for Dr. Peter | SEE ALL
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Faulmann & Walsh Golden Rule Funeral Home
"Thanks for many 'Healthy' years! My sympathy to you, Leeann! "
— Theresa M. Lowe
"My world is empty without you!"
— Leeann
"Get lit daddio!"
— Erin

Obituary for Dr. Peter Leigh Wickens

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Dr. Peter Leigh Wickens, doctor, farmer, captain of the Nicodemus, and longtime resident of Clinton Township, died peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family on October 7, 2018. He was 74 years of age.

Peter was born in Toronto, Canada on October 23, 1943, son of the late Dr. Arthur and Phyllis (Gurney) Wickens. From the start, Peter was blessed with a curious mind, keen sense of adventure, and irreverent sense of humor. As a young boy, an experiment disassembling a clock led him to wondering how the human body worked. Encouraged by his father Arthur, an osteopathic pathologist and cofounder at Mount Clemens General Hospital, Peter followed his curiosity to Truman State University, where he earned a B.S. He continued his education at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, earning a doctorate degree in 1969. Pete returned to Mt. Clemens for his residency, and became an attending physician at Mount Clemens General Hospital.

In 1981, Peter was named the hospital’s chief of staff. He later became a member of the Medical Staff Executive Committee and Corporate and Foundation Board, and served as the Chairman of the Intern and Resident Training Committee. He was a trainer for the Des Moines and Michigan State Osteopathic Colleges and University of Detroit-Mercy P.A. program, and was appointed to the Governor of Michigan’s Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission.

In addition to his work at Mount Clemens General Hospital, Peter held a private family practice as a general practitioner of osteopathic medicine in Macomb County for more than four decades. Throughout his lengthy career, Peter was affiliated with the Macomb County Osteopathic Society (1981 President), Michigan Osteopathic Physicians Association (state delegate for 20 years) and the American Osteopathic Association. He was board certified in Family Practice and by the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review. He was also the long-time attending physician at the Detroit Hydroplane Races.

In his family practice, Peter was a true country doctor, with a knack for being able to convey complex medical issues in layman terms. He delivered numerous children into the world and was always willing to offer counsel in times of need. He would often make house calls to his patients—stopping by just to check in, say hello, and share a cup of coffee at the kitchen table.

Both through his distinguished medical career and beyond, Peter was always looking to better understand the world around him. He was fascinated by nature, science, and history. He had a copy of the Warren Report that was full of tabs organizing the detailed notations he had made. He collected dozens of different versions of the Holy Bible to see how the texts might differ. And he assembled binders full of clippings and notes on topics that he found to be important or interesting, covering just about every conceivable subject.

Peter kept the most essential bits of information in his wallet—hand-written in near microscopic lettering. A selection of these notes includes: highlights from the Detroit Tigers’ 1945 World Series victory; details of an acrostic poem written by Virginia Clemm Poe, wife of Edgar Allan—the only poem she was known to have written; a list of types of fish; a poem by Muhammad Ali written in anticipation of the legendary 1974 Rumble in the Jungle boxing match (“Imma show you, how great I am. Last night I cut the light off in my bedroom and was in bed before the room was dark...”); listings of executive orders by FDR and Gerald Ford; significant dates in American Revolutionary and Civil War history; the lyrics to “Yo-ho-ho and a Bottle of Rum”; beer tasting notes; phone numbers and addresses; and pictures of his children.

Peter often subjected his family to his thirst for discovery and spontaneity. To their frequent delight—and occasional terror—Peter would pile everyone into the car and take them on adventures. With no hints as to the destination, these were dubbed "mystery trips." Wickens family mystery trips would lead to winding back-country dead-end dirt roads, places of historical significance, museums and art exhibits, and, at least one time, the local water treatment facility.

This incessant curiosity was also evident in his love for the earth; Peter was a devoted farmer. He kept a vegetable garden that included some 25 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. At the Wickens U Pick Peach Farm in Lexington, Michigan, Pete and his family maintained an orchard with over 2,500 peach trees and 1.5 acres of grapes. Peter made wine. He kept bees and harvested their honey. He was a member of the Southeastern Michigan Fruit Growers Association and the Winegrape Growers of America.

Peter also loved working on tractors, cars, and boats. He and his wife Leeann were members of the Michigan Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (ACBS). They traveled extensively to attend antique boat shows, entering Pete’s pride and joy, Nicodemus, into competitions throughout Michigan. A 35-foot John’s Bay lobster boat, Nicodemus won many awards, including the People’s Choice and Rear Commodore awards at the Detroit Yacht Club’s 30th Antique and Classic Boat Show, the President’s Cup, and first place in the replica/contemporary classic category at the Michigan chapter ACBS.

Although Peter became a U.S. citizen in 1970, he always cherished his Canadian and Scottish heritage. He was a member of the Commonwealth Club, and he boldly professed love for mushy peas, butter tarts, canned fish, haggis and spam.

Through it all, Pete was a down-to-earth, practical man who was never intimidated by what others might think of him. Behind a gruff and at-times cantankerous exterior was a boundless reservoir of empathy. Although Peter could be a tough critic, he was always honest, and always willing to help people in need, whether neighbors, friends or patients. He left lasting impressions on people in many walks of life. The legacy of his curious mind and warm heart glows brightly in the memories of all who knew him.

Peter was the loving husband of 34 years to Leeann and cherished father of Kimberly (Heidi) Wickens, Katherine Wickens, and David (Laura) Wickens (with first wife, Jane), and Erin (Eliahu) Wickens Sussman (with Leeann); dear brother of Rebecca Wickens; beloved grandfather of Andrew, Jessica, Jamie, and Lauren Westrick.

In accordance with Peter’s wishes, instead of a funeral, we will be holding a party to celebrate his life on November 11, 2018, from 12-4pm at Infinity Hall, 16650 E. 14 Mile Road, Fraser, Michigan 48026. Guests are welcome at noon. A brass band will lead a parade with his ashes into the hall at 1pm, and we hope you will participate in sharing your favorite memories of Pete at 2pm. Please, no flowers; donations in Pete’s name can be made to a program he was particularly passionate about, the Residents Education Center at McLaren Macomb Hospital, formerly Mount Clemens General, by going to: mclaren.org/macombpeterwickens and then clicking the blue button with his name in it.

Festive dress encouraged; please do not wear black.

You may also share memories at www.faulmannwalsh.com.
If you knew Peter, please come celebrate his life with us!

To send flowers to the family of Dr. Peter Leigh Wickens, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

Service Information

When
Sunday, November 11th, 2018 12:00pm
Location
Infinity Hall
Address
16650 E. 14 Mile Road
Fraser, MI 48026
Service Extra Info
Receiving Guest from 12noon - 4pm with Sharing Time at 2pm. In Lieu of Flowers, Donations in Pete’s name can be made to a program he was particularly passionate about, the Residents Education Center at McLaren Macomb Hospital, formerly Mount Clemens General, go to: mclaren.org/macombpeterwickens and then clicking the blue button with his name in it.