SCPA member Kai-Peter Koenig immigrated to the United States from Germany at age 10, just seven or eight years after WWII. Eager to fit into his new country, Kai-Peter adopted the first name “Pete,” Americanized the pronunciation of his last name, and quickly learned perfect, unaccented English. In his early 20s, Pete served as an officer in the US Army in Korea, where he met his wife Lillian, also a US Army officer. He subsequently made a career of healthcare management for the US Department of Defense. In 1977, deeply inspired by the groundbreaking mini-series Roots and its exploration of assimilation versus heritage, Pete reclaimed his German name, Kai-Peter.
Today, Kai-Peter and Lil split their time in thirds among Frisco, North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and travel. They plan a big trip each year with their sons, Jurgen and Sean, and Sean’s wife, Denise. In August of 2017, the family joined fellow SCPA members Linda Bush and Terra Lee to raft the Grand Canyon (main photo above). The trip leader, with 20+ years of guiding Grand Canyon trips, said he’d never seen a closer family.
Kai-Peter discovered pickleball at the Silverthorne Rec Center in 2014, building on his years of competitive table tennis and racquetball. His and Lil’s newest passion is disc golf. But travel seems to really be their love. See photos here of Kai-Peter in the Cinque Terre region of Italy, Antartica and Arizona. Kai-Peter will celebrate his 75th birthday later this year.