Peter Claus Haensel

January 19, 1942 ~ March 13, 2020 (age 78)

Obituary Image


HAENSEL, Mr. Peter Claus (Retired Teacher at Adam Scott Collegiate)

With his family by his side on Friday, March 13, 2020 at Toronto General Hospital in his 79th year.  Beloved husband of Marisa (nee Miotto) for 50 years. Loving father of Toby and his wife Rebecca, Heidi Haensel and her husband Don Bull, Lara Murray and her husband Steve, and Corina Pogue and her husband Matt.  Cherished Opa of Baxter, Estella, Silas, Rosalie, Mika, Lily, Ayla and John.  Dear brother of Christine Donner. Predeceased by his parents Arthur and Mary and stepfather Bruno Scheel. 

At the age of 14, Peter immigrated to Canada from post war Germany with his mother and sister, to start a new life and contribute to the country that accepted him with open arms. Upon settling in Peterborough with his new bride Marisa, in many ways, his life became about giving back to his community and enriching the lives of those who had the pleasure of knowing him. For 33 years, Peter taught German, French and, later in his career, English at Adam Scott Collegiate. As a supply teacher, Peter enjoyed his time in the Learning and Life Skills classroom. His love of teaching resonated every day; not just because he enjoyed being an educator, but mostly because he loved to witness personal growth in the lives of his students. He pioneered and grew the German program at Adam Scott and introduced the German language, culture and traditions to hundreds of students over his career. But just educating within the confines of the classroom was not enough for Peter. As the German program grew, Peter started “German Spoke” and combined his passion for his vocation with his with his love of cycling. He organized and led 10 bike trips through Germany, taking 16 to 20 high school students each time, cycling over 40,000 kilometers during his tenure as a teacher. To this day, many of the students who participated in the German Spoke trips say that it was one of the greatest experiences of their lives and that “Herry” was a big part of making the experience so special. In addition to teaching his students, Peter loved coaching throughout his career. Whether it was soccer, skiing, football or lacrosse, Peter coached towards excellence but also loved to foster new interest in sport and other things he was passionate about. His organization of the “Wednesday Night Ski Club” allowed students to try a new outdoor winter activity that they could love. Peter’s love for photography has filled his home with beautiful photographs and his involvement in the “Ascovian” at Adam Scott gave him the opportunity to further his students’ interest in photography. His skills as a photographer continued outside of the walls of Adam Scott as he photographed many weddings for past students. Every day, he said that teaching was what he was put on the earth to do and he never once regretted going into work. His students, colleagues and community blessed his life immensely and he did his best to reciprocate every day.

Throughout his life, and into his retirement, Peter loved travelling, the theatre, the symphony, sailing, cycling the Rotary Trail, going to Peterborough Lakers games and babysitting his grandchildren. He and Marisa were very active members with the Peterborough District Italian Club, where Peter sat on the executive. They made many great friends through the various events the Italian Club organizes, and Peter loved calling Friday Bingo for the club members. He never missed a dance or music recital, soccer game or any other activity that his children or grandchildren participated in. He was so proud of his family’s accomplishments and was everlasting in his level of support, love and guidance. Most of all, Peter was a storyteller. It was his way of teaching through his experience and he always took the opportunity to inject a little humour into his stories. His dry sense of humour, zaniness and dad jokes will be greatly missed. His passing leaves a tremendous hole in our family and he will be deeply missed.

Friends will be received at the HIGHLAND PARK FUNERAL CENTRE 2510 Bensfort Rd., Peterborough on Sunday March 22nd from 2:00-4:00 PM and 7:00-9:00 PM.    In memory of Peter, donations to Peterborough Community Living, Heart and Stroke Foundation or Lakefield Animal Welfare Society are appreciated.  Online condolences may be made at


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March 22, 2020

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Highland Park Funeral Centre, Bensfort Rd.)

March 22, 2020

7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Highland Park Funeral Centre
2510 Bensfort Rd.,
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 1C5


Community Living Peterborough
223 Aylmer Street Peterborough, ON K9J 3K3,
Tel: (705) 743.2411

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
105 Consumers Drive Unit 2, Whitby ON L1N 1C4
Tel: 1-888-473-4636

Lakefield Animal Welfare Society
P.O. Box 9 Lakefield, ON K0L 2H0, AL
Tel: 1-705-652-0588

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