Peter Hughes Westigard

December 28, 1933 - October 2, 2011

Peter Hughes Westigard, long time resident of Ashland, Ore., passed away peacefully on Sunday morning at his home in Ashland. He was a devoted husband, extraordinary father and grandfather, and renowned entomologist, whose primary focus was the pear crop of the northwest.

Born in San Mateo, Calif., to Clarence Westigard and Ona Hughes Westigard, he came from strong Norwegian and Scottish stock. With the early passing of his father, Peter was raised by his loving mother, Ona, along with two additional siblings who are still alive, Dan Westigard, of Paso Robles, Calif.; and Nina Fohner, of San Mateo, Calif.

Peter graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a PhD in Entomology. Upon his graduation in 1961, he began his career as a Professor of Entomology for Oregon State University, working at the Southern Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station until his retirement in 1997.

Peter was a leader in the arena of integrated pest management, conducting extensive research on the leading edge use of pheromones as an alternative to pesticides in the treatment of pear scilla, aphids, coddley moths and other pests common to the pear crop of southern Oregon and the northwest. Peter also provided research supervision for a multitude of graduate students in the field, who today serve many of the fruit growers in the region and beyond.

Peter and his wife, Ashland artist Betty LaDuke Westigard, shared a wonderful marriage of 46 years filled with family, work, friends and embraced by the environment of Southern Oregon, where they enjoyed getaways to the Oregon Coast and drives through the Rogue Valley pear orchards. Betty captured this time together in her art exhibit, aptly named "An Oregon Love Story." He was also an incredible father whose kindness, wisdom and generosity deeply influenced and inspired his children.

Peter possessed an excellent sense of humor, a love of opera, and of both fine and cheap red wines. He is survived by his wife, four children, ten grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He will be sorely missed, but will find a peaceful place in the spirit world, where he will tell many fine tales and enjoy good wine, peppercinis and blue cheese.

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