Peter Urbach Obituary

We are very saddened to learn news of the death of Peter Urbach. The following obituary was posted on

Peter Urbach 1941 – 2011

Peter ‘Pia’ Urbach was 70-years-old, one day after his birthday, when he passed away from natural causes, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on May 3, 2011.

He was born in Posen, then Germany, now Western Poland, during the height of World War II. Due to the horrors of that war, he lost his father, Gustav, and mother, Gertrud and was forced to escape with his brother Hartmut to Berlin. With barely enough clothes and rags for shoes that led to frostbitten feet, Peter braved the brutal cold and made it to a home for war orphaned children. As he attended schools and learned the trade as a journeyman pipefitter, he found time to graduate from the German Police Academy. As a young recruit, he participated in athletics that included track and field, soccer and cross country skiing which earned him a spot on the German Olympic team. His police assignment started as a foot patrolman that evolved into the dark craters of counter intelligence where he was instrumental in arresting leaders of the notorious Baader Meinhoff Komplex.

A gifted tradesman, he was a proud member of UA Local 398 Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry for 32 years and helped to build the Diablo Nuclear power plant.

Peter spent the rest of his life in California. He is survived by his wife Virginia; sons Thomas, Martin and Andy; brother Hartmut; three grandchildren; and an extended family and many friends he has known throughout the years. Though his life in the United States was filled with many joys and happiness, his wish was to someday return to Germany. Therefore, his ashes will be scattered over a particular Berlin bridge of which he was so very fond of as a child.

His past months were spent in and out of hospitals, but when he could, he watched his favorite German channel that played back-to-back Bundesliga soccer and rooted for his favorite team from Bayern Munich.

Special thanks to Marian Hospital, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Rehab Center and Central Coast Dialysis Center.

A private family viewing is scheduled for Saturday, May 7th and arrangements have been entrusted to Lori Family Mortuary in Santa Maria. A memorial celebration is scheduled for May 21, 2011 at a location yet to be determined.

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