Pete Eidenbach died Friday, May 1, 2020 with his family by his side. He arrived in the Tularosa Basin in the early 1970’s to study the prehistory of early man with a cadre of like-minded anthropologists. Eventually settling in High Rolls New Mexico, Pete’s interests encompassed a broad range of topics: local NM History, as well as Prehistory, historic preservation, evolution, oral history, and archaeology. For the past 35 years, he taught as a Professor at NMSU-A, with a variety of courses in Anthropology, Native American Literature, the History and Philosophy of Science, and Native American Film among them. He continued to innovate each year of his teaching tenure, designing and offering a variety of unique classes. He never thought of himself as a professor but one who loved learning and sharing knowledge. This was his passion, joy, his way of life. And this is why when he was not in the classroom you could find him volunteering in the community, giving lectures and tours of important local sites, from Full Moon Night at White Sands National Park to his annual reading of Eugene Manlove Rhodes at Rhodes’ gravesite to his tours of the La Luz Pottery Factory. Pete was always either reading or writing – taking in new knowledge or sharing it with others. All who knew Pete knew him with a book in hand - this was his essence, his true sustenance, his “Friday night Pizza”! Throughout his life Pete taught others not just book knowledge but also wonder, and adventure, and curiosity. Throughout his life, he shared his knowledge, creativity, and generosity with everyone he met. He sponsored folks struggling with addiction, mentored young people, and served as the community sage. He leaves his wife, Sara, of 44 years; daughters, Kirstin Eidenbach of Tucson, Arizona and Samantha Harjula of Oulu of Finland; and granddaughter, Liisa Harjula of Oulu, Finland.
Go Gently Dad/Pete/Tiopete, on your journey. Not by our sides, you are always in our hearts. A memorial celebration in the Tularosa Basin will be held when we can all gather together again.