Hall of Famer Pete Veldman passed away on January 14th. He was 86 years old.
A native of Hollandale, Minn., Veldman was a 1951 state champion for Albert Lea. He went on to wrestle for the Minnesota Gophers in college placing third and fourth at the Big 10 Championships and was a member of The Gophers’ l957 and l959 Big 10 Championship teams.
Veldman contributed greatly to the sport of wrestling in Minnesota as a wrestler, coach, athletic director, official, scholarship coordinator, and as part of the MSHSL management team at the State Tournament.
He was inducted into the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Association Dave Bartelma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Minnesota Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009
More on Pete Veldman: Former South St. Paul AD Pete Veldman dies at 86
Peter Veldman Obituary:
Pete went home to be with the Lord on January 13th, 2020. Preceded in death by his loving wife of 61 years, Arlene; parents, Hemmo and Titia; brothers, Wilbur, Albert, Bill, Bert; sisters, Ann and Ella. Survived by sons, Gregg (Stacy), Steve (Kris), Mark, and Bruce (Christine); 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
Pete grew up on a farm near Hollandale, MN. He attended Albert Lea High School and graduated in 1951. Pete was a 3-sport athlete who won the state heavyweight wrestling championship his senior year. Pete attended the University of Minnesota where he was a member of the 1957 and 1959 Big Ten Championship teams. Pete served two years in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1954 to 1955 then came back and finished college, graduating in 1959 with a degree in physical education and health. He received his master’s degree in educational administration and physical education in 1968. Pete began his professional career at South St. Paul high school as a teacher and coach in 1959. In 1964 he became the athletic director at South St. Paul high school.
Pete was actively involved with wrestling as a referee and official of high school and collegiate wrestling tournaments for 45 years. Pete was also the co-coordinator of the Minnesota State High School Wrestling tournament for 25 years.
Pete’s other endeavors included being President of the University of Minnesota M Club, serving on the board of directors of the Minnesota State High School League, serving as executive secretary of the Minnesota Athletic Administrators Association. His accomplishments and service to others have been well recognized. He has been elected into the Minnesota Wrestling Hall of Fame, and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the Minnesota State High School Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, the Albert Lea High School Athletic Hall of Fame, and the South St. Paul High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Pete was proud of his Dutch heritage, The University of Minnesota, South St. Paul High School, his career, his students, his friends, but most of all, his family. Pete loved attending countless athletic events of his children and grandchildren. Pete loved the outdoors and his time spent at the family cabin on Leech Lake with his wife, Arlene.
Services will be held on Sunday, January 26th, at First Presbyterian Church; 535 20th Ave. N. South St. Paul. Visitation from 1:00-3:00 pm with a 3:00 pm service.
Memorials to the South St. Paul Open Foundation or Shriner’s Hospitals for Children.