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Peter Nugent, beloved son, husband, father, and teacher, departed this life on March 1, 2007, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO. He left peacefully, surrounded by his family. Pete was born on March 29, 1938, in Kansas City, MO. He attended St. Peter’s Cathedral grade school and in 1956 graduated from Bishop Ward High School in Kansas City, KS. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1969 and a Ph.D. in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1976. Pete taught at Stockton State College in Pomona, NJ and Cleveland State University in Cleveland, OH. In 1979 he and his family moved to Kansas City, MO where he took a job at Rockhurst University. Throughout his 25 years of teaching at Rockhurst, Pete was known as a tough teacher who had high expectations for his students. But Pete’s true vocation was as a mentor, and his devotion to his students was expressed in many ways. He counseled many through difficult times, often on the front porch or in the living room of his home. He saw many students into adulthood, marriage, and beyond, and many of them became lifelong friends. Pete was a practical jokester whose sense of humor could light up any room. He loved a captive audience and was a charismatic and spirited storyteller. Throughout his life, Pete loved photography and spent endless hours taking pictures. His curiosity and joie de vivre led him on trips all over the world, from where he would always return with countless photographs. Toward retirement Pete looked for a way to continue to be involved with young people. He began to volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Clay County, MO. He was devoted to the children whose cases were entrusted to him and made many new friends in the agencies he worked with. Pete is survived by his mother, Louise Nugent of Independence, MO; Ashley, his wife of 37 years, of the home; his son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Rachel Nugent of Kansas City; his daughter and son-in-law, Megan and Esteban Galicia of Austin, TX; many friends and former students; neighbors in Brookside and the Westside of Kansas City; and his cat McGee. His sudden departure has left a large, empty space in the lives of his family and friends. However, we all know that after a broad-ranging conversation with St. Peter, he moved on to his new life. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 1001 East 52nd Street, on Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 11 am. A visiting hour will precede the service at 10:00 am. Friends are invited to celebrate Pete’s life at a reception following the Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Christian Children’s Fund or Clay County MO CASA.
Jillian baker says
I am truly sorry to hear that Pete has passed. He was a wonderful man. He took me under his wing and took me to class with him to rockhurst to see what it was like. His wife Ashley is a family friend. I will miss you Pete but I know your up there watching.
Still miss you Pete. Even though I was a Chem major at Rockhurst, I took as many courses from you as I could. You opened my eyes in so many ways… from inequities in the workplace to an interpreter behind a camera lens. I’ll never forget how much you believed in me and how fluidly you connected to young men and women. You’ll stand forever as an academic father to me.