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Peter “Pete” Tornabene

Peter “Pete” Tornabene Peter “Pete” Tornabene


Peter “Pete” J. Tornabene, 92, was taken from this world in the early morning of Nov, 3, 2020, after a multi-day battle with COVID-19.

The family plans to hold a celebration of life in the summer of 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in his name to Hope Hospice of Medford, WI (537 W Broadway Ave., Medford, started to decline and Pete dutifully cared for her in their home until she was admitted to a nursing home. She passed away in 2007.

Many in the area recognized Pete as the man with the Jersey accent who swiftly traversed miles of Medford sidewalks (even in sub-zero temps!) with his good friend, Mary Pernsteiner. An avid golfer, he was often found putting on the green of Tee High or Black River with his signature cigar in his mouth. He enjoyed his daily lunches at the Medford Café, where he completed his crosswords as he dined on half a sandwich, a cup of soup, coffee, and a slice of pie. He also frequented County Market for his morning paper and lotto tickets. Pete secretly had a voracious appetite for chocolate, a hilarious fact known well to his aids and hospice nurses!

Friends and family remember Pete as a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather who was equal parts compassionate and stubborn (earning him the nickname “Bullhead” in his youth). He was a man that took great pride in his family, often bragging to others about his wife’s innate talent for cooking and the various accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by brother, Angelo; and his six children, Valerie (Gary) Ziegler, Joe, Raymond, Donna (Dave) Klinner, Fred, and Peter, Jr.; 15 grandchildren, Cody and Blaze (Valerie), Katie, Michael, and Annie (Joe), Lisa, Renee, Nicholas, and Erin (Raymond), Sam, Jenna, and Molly (Donna), Josh and Matt (Fred), and Gretchen (Peter Jr); and five greatgrandchildren, Angela and Emma (Blaze), Nora (Katie), Logan (Nicholas), and Raquel (Renee).

Pete was preceded in death by father, Joseph; mother, Rose; brothers, Sal and Andrew; and his wife, Patricia.

Hemer Funeral Service of Medford and Rib Lake is serving the family. For online condolences, please visit

WI 54451).

Pete was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on July 8, 1928, one of four sons of Italian immigrants, Joseph Tornabene and Rose (Gatto) Tornabene. A courteous and fastidious young man with Catholic roots, Pete enjoyed playing stickball and dice games with his childhood friends on the streets of Brooklyn. He graduated from Straubenmüller Textile High School, NYC in 1946. He then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he worked as an engineer until he was honorably discharged in 1948.

Pete married Patricia Ranucci (Pat) on Nov. 21, 1948, in St. Catherine’s Church in Hillside, N.J. The couple lived in Elizabeth, N.J. where he and his wife raised six children.

A mechanical man and Jack-of-all-trades, Pete worked various jobs throughout his professional career. He retired from Jersey Tab Card Corporation (JTC) as a production manager in the 1980s. Those who knew him recall his innovative “flat nail” approach to opening his garage door, as well as his ability to operate and repair any number of gadgets and mechanical devices.

Pete and Pat moved to Medford in 2003, spending their final years in the Northwoods. Pat’s health soon Paid Obituary 97191