PETER FENNEL SR. Peter J. Fennel Sr., M.D., a retired anesthesiologist, passed away peacefully April 9, 2014, after a brief illness. He was 85. Pete's final days were spent in the kind and loving care of his family and the staff at Nathan Adelson Hospice. Dr. Fennel was born Nov. 28, 1928 in Alexandria, La., the son of Lawrence Fennel Sr. and Ruth C Fennel. Dr. Fennel's father worked for Standard Oil and was stationed in Central America at the time, so several years of his life as a young boy were spent in Venezuela before returning to Louisiana. He was educated at Cornell University, where he obtained his medical degree in 1952. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in U.S. Navy
in 1954, and stationed in Portsmouth, N.H. until his honorable discharge two years later. After his service, he remained in the northeast United States, practicing in Portland, Maine for a time before making his way back to Louisiana. Working at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, he met a young nurse, Ruth Kettenring, whom he married New Year's Eve, 1965. The couple moved to Las Vegas in 1968, setting down permanent roots in the valley. Dr. Fennel earned board certification in anesthesia in 1960, and thereafter exclusively practiced that specialty. He served as chairman of the Anesthesia Department at Valley Hospital in 1977, and served in the same role at Desert Springs Hospital in 1984. He practiced anesthesia until 1993 when he retired, but maintained his medical license and continued as a part-time staff physician for 21st Century Oncology for many years. Dr. Fennel had many interests and passions. In his younger years, Pete loved to dance. He and Ruth were long-time members of the local square and round dance community and owned a retail store catering to its needs. Gardening was an interest as well, especially growing camellias in the backyard. He also liked to take his family on the road in their motor home. Pete also loved dogs, training and showing Boxers and Rottweilers, winning several awards and ribbons along the way. Late in life, he and Ruth rescued a Golden Retriever named Berkley, who became his best friend and companion even while in hospice. He was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother, Lawrence Fennel Jr. Dr. Fennel is survived by his wife; two children, Peter J. Fennel Jr. and Tracy (Troy) Morris; granddaughters, Nadia and Taylor; and three great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday April 19, at First Christian Church, 101 Rancho Drive, Las Vegas. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to an animal rescue charity or to First Christian Church.