He was a lanky cattleman, widely criticized in 1994 for allegedly trying to use his wealth to manipulate the public into relinquishing scenic lafferty Ranch in exchange for his 380-acre Moon Ranc, but admired for his environmental activisim and generous land contributions to nature conservancies.
Born July 5, 1943 in Lafayette, Indiana, Peter at the age of 63 died on Sunday, June 17, 2007 at his home in Petaluma, California after a two-year bout with lymphoma cancer.
Graduated West Lafayett High School in 1961. Graduated United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs in 1965. Received an MBA from UCLA in 1966. Served as an Air Force pilot on active duty from 1966 to 1970, flying 139 combat missions in Vietnam piloting an F-4 Phantom II. Received 16 combat medals, including Distinguished Flying Cross. Honorably discharged in 1970 as a Captain. Graduated Harvard Law School in 1973. Founded Polaris Aircraft Leasing Corporation, San Francisco, California in 1974. Polaris was the world’s largest commercial aircraft leasing company at the time, with airliners leased at 25 commercial airlines. Sold Polaris to General Electric Credit Corporation in 1989.
Moved to cattle ranch on Sonoma Mountain, east of Petaluma, California in 1984. Devoted to life-long love of wildlife conservation, ardent fly fisherman and hunter. Served on Board of Directors for The Peregrine Fund, National Academy of Sciences, and The California Nature Conservancy.
Peter is survived by his wife Kimberly and their son Nicholas Peter Pfendler. Also survived by brother David Pfendle, M.D., of McMinnville, Oregon.
A private memorial service will be held at the Pfendler Ranch.