Peter Nils Brostrom of Third Avenue died suddenly of a heart attack in late March while working at the Salton Sea as a consultant helping Southern California water districts execute a dust mitigation plan through planting native flora and fauna.
He had recently retired as a state water resource scientist. He was 58.
Peter is survived by his wife of 18 years, MaryClaire Robinson; daughters Teaghan and Piper Brostrom; brother Nathan of Berkeley; and sisters Molly of Oakland, and Natalie of Santa Cruz.
Peter spent part of his childhood in Ethiopia, where his parents were Lutheran missionaries. After college, Peter returned to Africa with the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso.
Peter received a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in soil sciences at UC Davis.
Peter’s family became residents of Curtis Park in 2006. They relished the fact that most of their lives could be lived within a two-mile radius. Peter loved riding his bike to the state Department of Water Resources offices at 10th and P streets. The girls chose the public Spanish-immersion Language Academy of Sacramento charter school at 2850 49th St. The family’s church, St. John’s Lutheran Church on L Street, is within biking distance during good weather.
Some years ago, Peter attended a meeting organized by McClatchy High School students who told horror stories about the danger they faced trying to ride their bikes to school. Peter joined the effort to get traffic calming and bike lanes installed on Freeport Boulevard.
While attending UC Davis, he competed on the rowing team. Later, he had no place to continue his sport, so he helped start the River City Rowing Club. Peter could be spotted on his porch often at 5 a.m. working out on a rowing machine.
Through the rowing club, Peter met the late Sacramento Bee political cartoonist Rex Babin, who was also a rower. They became fast friends.
“Pete was a gift to everyone who knew him,” said Kathleen Babin, “and he was there for Rex and for me during and after my husband’s difficult fight with cancer.”
MaryClaire said Peter organized Rex Babin’s memorial service at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Gifts in Peter’s memory may be made to the Teaghan and Piper Brostrom Education Fund (www. gofundme.com/f/teaghan-and-piper-brostromeducation- fund).