ForeverMissed
On Wednesday, April 28th 2021, Peter Wilensky, loving husband, son, brother and father, passed away peacefully from ALS at the age of 70. He was surrounded by family in his home in Orange, California. 

Pete was born on February 14th, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York to Albert and Molly Wilensky.  He is survived by his wife Hiroko, four daughters Sydney, Hannah, Leah and Alex, mother Molly, brother Mark, cousins Judy, Linda and Rhoda, and family cat Charlie-boy.  

He is remembered for his big personality, big mouth and even bigger heart. He was loved and will be deeply missed.

A service will be held on Saturday, May 15th in Santa Ana, California with immediate family members. His family is asking for privacy during this time. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in Pete’s name to the ALS Association - Orange County Chapter.  

Please share your own memories and stories of Pete by going to the "Stories" tab and writing your message there.  Please share any photos by going to the "Gallery" tab and selecting "Add a photo".  We would love to hear from you here.
Posted by Lilly Anne on May 25, 2021
Peter was the best family I ever made. As being a friend to Sydney he always welcomed me into their home and life. He was a very kind soul that invested so much love into his daughters as well. He always had a lively spirit when it came to storytelling, film, and he’d bashfully chuckle every-time I reminded him that he looked like Seth Rogen in his younger years. I don’t think he liked that too much. I wish we had more time for the jokes and stories. I whole heartedly believe he was too good for this world. May his spirit live on through his family.
Posted by Aileen Suzuki on May 16, 2021
I met Peter when we both were teachers at Saddleback High School which seems a very long time ago. What impressed me about Pete was that he was so empathetic, kind and helpful with everyone. He almost always talked about his family, the girls and how they were doing. And he really was so proud of Hiroko who may have been juggling work and the girls lives at the same time.
I remember him to be a great guy, teacher and family man. He will be missed...
Posted by Ed Lapal on May 5, 2021
Pete was my best friend during high school years. Words cannot express my deep sadness and condolences to Molly, Mark, Hiroco and all his family and friends. Mark got it exactly right - there wasn't a mean bone in his body!
I have written extensively about Pete, our stories together and my love for him on Facebook. Go to the Facebook groups Top of the Court, or I Grew Up In or Around Bell Park Gardens or to my personal page (and I will honor your friend request).
To Molly and Mark, I am so sorry.
Posted by Gloria Cox on May 5, 2021
I first meant Peter thru SGI organization like everyone has
said he is the most friendly person and kind person. Even thou we did
not get to see each other that often when I did I felt we had seen each
other just the other day. Hiroko was very lucky he was an a very nice
person and i will miss our conversation.. 
Posted by Joshua Ho on May 2, 2021
I can go on and on about all the trademark Pete mannerisms that I’ll forever remember him for, but above all else, his authenticity and warmth towards everyone he met will be what left the most impact on my life going forward.

Almost 8 years ago, when I was just a nervous boyfriend about to meet my future wife’s parents for the first time, Pete’s down-to-earth demeanor instantly vanquished any and all sorts of apprehension and quelled all the butterflies in my stomach. At one point during the conversation, to Hannah’s utter disbelief, Pete pulled out his iphone without a word and started snapping consecutive photos of my equally puzzled expression. Only after firing the photos off to the various contacts in his phone (with all the texting notifications on full volume) did he ask for my permission. “A lot of folks back in New York are curious about how you look....I hope you don’t mind!”, he said with the classic Pete smile. As we climbed into the Uber after the meal, I recall Hannah apologizing profusely for Pete’s paparazzi act and unfiltered banter, but I remember leaving that Jewish deli in LA with complete peace of mind. There was no doubt that Pete and I were going to get along.

Looking back at this moment now, these glimpses into Pete’s true personality were what gave me the confidence I needed to be my true self when visiting my in-laws in Orange County and the extended Wilensky family over in New York City. Over the next couple of years, Pete and I would bond over the small things in life. From ranking spicy Mexican and Indian meals by the number of ice creams we would both need to devour afterward to debating the accuracy of some of the exhibits at the Richard Nixon Library - there was truly never a dull moment and the car rides were always filled with laughter.

Pete and I shared our last basketball game on Sunday, April 25 as we watched the Kings demolish my hometown Warriors. Although he had limited mobility and impacted speech, he insisted on controlling the remote to the DVR and would skip all the commercials with pinpoint accuracy, and let me know that he absolutely disagreed when I suggested that Steph Curry might be this year’s MVP. The Warriors lost that day, but that game will always have a special place in my heart. I will forever be grateful that I was able to kick it with Pete in the comforts of his home whilst doing what he loved.

Thank you Pete for welcoming me into the family and for all the random texts and acts of kindness you’ve shown me over the years. My future son in-law(s) owe you big time. Love ya Pete!
Posted by yack Jeannie on May 2, 2021
  Everything said was so true! Pete was kind, without a mean bone in his body. We loved his intellect and had stimulating discussions about so many subjects! He had a wicked sense of humor.
  He and Hiroko introduced us to live theater at the Gem. 
  He introduced us to Mark and his mom, who were fun, say-it-like-it-is New Yorkers. Peter had so much to be proud of - a loving family and having raised 4 wonderful children. We will remember Peter always and send our love to the entire family. What a devastating loss! Peter will be missed greatly.
Posted by Mark Wilensky on May 2, 2021
Peter was my brother. He was a wonderful person who always saw the good in everybody. There wasn’t an evil bone in his body

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Lilly Anne on May 25, 2021
Peter was the best family I ever made. As being a friend to Sydney he always welcomed me into their home and life. He was a very kind soul that invested so much love into his daughters as well. He always had a lively spirit when it came to storytelling, film, and he’d bashfully chuckle every-time I reminded him that he looked like Seth Rogen in his younger years. I don’t think he liked that too much. I wish we had more time for the jokes and stories. I whole heartedly believe he was too good for this world. May his spirit live on through his family.
Posted by Aileen Suzuki on May 16, 2021
I met Peter when we both were teachers at Saddleback High School which seems a very long time ago. What impressed me about Pete was that he was so empathetic, kind and helpful with everyone. He almost always talked about his family, the girls and how they were doing. And he really was so proud of Hiroko who may have been juggling work and the girls lives at the same time.
I remember him to be a great guy, teacher and family man. He will be missed...
Posted by Ed Lapal on May 5, 2021
Pete was my best friend during high school years. Words cannot express my deep sadness and condolences to Molly, Mark, Hiroco and all his family and friends. Mark got it exactly right - there wasn't a mean bone in his body!
I have written extensively about Pete, our stories together and my love for him on Facebook. Go to the Facebook groups Top of the Court, or I Grew Up In or Around Bell Park Gardens or to my personal page (and I will honor your friend request).
To Molly and Mark, I am so sorry.
his Life

Early Life in New York

Pete was born on February 14th, 1951 in Brooklyn, New York to Albert and Molly Wilensky.  Family and friends describe him as a rambunctious kid who had a lot of fun but avoided trouble.

He spent many fond childhood summers at Camp Cummings and later worked as a counselor at Camp Leah with his brother Mark. He went to Queens College, while working as a taxi driver, and received his degree in Sociology in 1974. He stayed in touch with life-long friends Lennie, Richie, Dave, Rob, Mike and Al from Queens.

Adventure and Raising a Family in California

He was a Queens boy who moved to Orange County California for warmer weather and a new adventure, but never lost his New Yorker accent.

In 1978, he met his wife Hiroko and they celebrated 42 years of marriage. Their first date was square dancing in Hollywood and they enjoyed many trips along the California Coast.  He especially loved their visits to historical landmarks such as the Winchester House and Madonna Inn.

Pete and Hiroko raised four daughters together: Sydney, Hannah, Leah and Alex.  He was a very dedicated father who never missed a school celebration and was eager to cheer on his daughters at each moment in life. Every message to them was signed "Luv, Dad."

Career in Education

In 1974, Pete began working as an Instructor Aide for United Cerebral Palsy of Brooklyn, which started his passion for education and mentorship.

In 1982, he received his special education credential from the University of California Irvine and his Masters in Education from California State University Fullerton the following year. Pete had a 30 year career as a teacher for children with special education needs in Fullerton and Santa Ana.

He spent many years as a Special Olympics Coach and Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop for youth with special needs.  He also served for over a decade on the Council for Exceptional Children Orange County Chapter.
Recent stories

Peter’s road to California. Story from his big brother Mark.

Shared by Mark Wilensky on May 30, 2021
  1.      In the late 1970s Peter got very sick. He got hit with a double whammy, mononucleosis and hepatitis. This really wiped him out. Instead of staying in New York for the cold winter (which he always hated) he decided to spend the winter months in Florida. 

         Our mother’s sister, my aunt Gladys was living in Fort Lauderdale. She was able to get Peter a motel room that had a totally private entrance and patio. It was also only 2 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. The large room had 2 beds. He was able to barbecue in private every night. 
          
          Peter invited me to come south and stay with him. I took advantage and moved in for two months. Peter thrived in the mild south Florida winter (even though it was one of the coldest winters ever in Florida). 

         I have a number of memories of the time I was there. There were two restaurants across the street. One had a sign that said “always open”. The other place’s sigh said “never closed”. However the most interesting place to visit in the area was Everglades National Part. This beautiful wonderland was about 70 miles southwest of where the motel was located. We drove down to the park three or four times. But most memorably we decided to go camping. It turned out to be the coldest night in the history of Florida. In fact it was only day it ever snowed in Miami. Even though it was very cold we were warm in our sleeping bags. 

         Pete spent the whole winter in Florida and decided never to live in a cold weather climate again. He ran into a friend of his from New York and they decided to drive to SoCal to check it out. Upon his arrival he fell in love with the L.A. area. On the phone I asked him what he liked best. Was it the drought? The traffic? The earthquakes? The landslides? The Santa Ana winds? But I actually knew what it was. Mild winters and minimal rain and thetens of thousands of drive-thru eating places

  2. i already miss him terribly 




Shared by Amy Bui on May 2, 2021
Peter Wilensky was truly a kindhearted individual who really cared about others. He was a very warm loving and patient individual who always had a story to share. I’ll forever have fond memories of him making sure we were all well fed with pizza and lasagna on study nights. His love for finding good Thai food and community theater won’t be forgotten!  He really did care about making sure everyone felt included and there was never a dull moment in his shared company. I feel so lucky to have grown up knowing him and he will truly be forever missed.