Peter Jennings Schweizer, a retired banking official who sponsored participants in Alcoholics Anonymous programs, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease Sept. 10 at the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center. He was 75 and lived in Annapolis after residing in Ruxton for many years.
Born in Baltimore, he was the son of Thomas Schweizer, a business investor, and his wife, Esther Halstead White, a homemaker. Raised on Hollins Avenue and on St. George’s Road in North Baltimore, he attended the Calvert School and graduated from Baltimore City College.
“He always had a very clear adventurous streak and at 15 years old, he left home to serve as crew on the schooner, the Wanderer, owned by the actor and sea captain Sterling Hayden,” said his brother, David Schweizer.
Mr. Schweizer remained in Tahiti for several months after the trip.
“The family wondered if he would seek an alternate South Sea life,” his brother, David said. “But Peter ultimately returned home to resume a less exotic but equally intrepid life path.”
He earned a Bachelor of Arts at Dickinson College, where he was a goalie on the lacrosse team. He later received a master’s degree in business administration at Loyola University Maryland.
Mr. Schweizer married Patricia Daly, who lived in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, in 1969.
He joined the Air Force and served as a pilot and flew missions in Vietnam, then was later stationed in San Bernardino, California. He left the military as a captain in December 1972.
Returning to Baltimore, Mr. Schweizer began a series of jobs in the banking and financial fields.
He worked at the old Mercantile Safe-Deposit and Trust Co.’s money management, commercial lending and corporate marketing divisions.
He later joined Alex. Brown & Sons and managed a back office of numerous employees.
“My father had an immense amount of positivity. No matter the situation, he was excited and upbeat,” said his son, Patrick Collins Schweizer. “Even if had seen you yesterday, he greeted you as if he hadn’t seen you in years. He was full of joy. He also had a ridiculous amount of energy. "
From 1985 to 1993 he was chief financial officer and treasurer of the Bank of Maryland. The bank was in downtown Towson.
Mr. Schweizer served as an administrative consultant to the City of Baltimore on financial matters and administration.
Family members said Mr. Schweizer strongly embraced the Alcoholics Anonymous program and became a member of the in-recovery Baltimore community. He sponsored others who needed reassurance and guidance.
Mr. Schweizer was a volunteer sponsor at the AA group at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton.
His sobriety extended for 37 years.
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“It was part of his character to help others,” said his son, Patrick.
His independent spirit was recalled.
“This work would come to define Peter’s feisty, independent and humorous take on life and its challenges,” said his brother, David. “And his many friends and colleagues in the program would become a living testament to his tough love and nurturing, which had made such a difference in their lives.”
Friends recalled that Mr. Schweizer had a heartfelt and healing influence as a sponsor in the Alcoholics Anonymous program. They said he was influential in their lives, and that he was resilient and generous.
Mr. Schweizer was a former board member of the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. He was a soccer coach in a Towson recreation league.
Mr. Schweizer is survived by his children, Patrick Schweizer of Andover, Massachusetts; a daughter, Lauren Schweizer of Baltimore County; two brothers, Tim Schweizer of Stevenson and David Schweizer of New York City; and two granddaughters. His marriage ended in divorce in 1995.
Funeral services are private.