Cover photo for Willard "Pete" Lester Moline's Obituary
Willard "Pete" Lester Moline Profile Photo
1928 Willard "Pete" 2023

Willard "Pete" Lester Moline

April 18, 1928 — April 5, 2023


Pete Moline passed away on Wednesday, April 5, just days short of his 95th birthday. Born and raised on a farm with no electricity or in-door plumbing and educated in a one-room school, Pete rose to executive leadership at a global engineering company. A man of mathematical formulas, he fittingly perfected the circle of life passing peacefully in the home of his birth in Harris, MN.

Born April 18, 1928 to Reuben and Eva Moline, Pete graduated a three-letter athlete with academic honors from North Branch High School. Drafted into WWII before the end of his senior year, a truce deferred his service the day prior his departure. With two years of army service during the Korean conflict and support from the GI Bill, he enrolled in the U of M’s rigorous mechanical engineering program at age 24. Upon graduation, he married his high school sweetheart, Mildred Colliander, and began a career at Rosemount Engineering. They settled in Bloomington, their home for 47 years and where they raised 3 children.

During his 21 years at Rosemount, he designed and managed projects found on nearly every commercial and military aircraft, on most lunar missions including Mars, and the space shuttle. He was particularly proud of his work engineering the pitot-static tube (“Pitot Pete”) and the first four feet of the world’s fastest airplane, SR-71 Blackbird.

Pete exemplified the simplicity of children of the Depression. He believed there are few truly important decisions and they shouldn’t be made too quickly. Gifted with an engineer’s mind, he could repair nearly anything. In retirement, he rebuilt the home of his birth from the basement up. Into his 90’s he could be found under the engine of an old tractor.

Pete is survived by his children Lori Moline (Steve Olson) of Minneapolis, Joan Moline Evans (John) of Golden Valley, Craig Moline (Rhonda) of North Branch; grandchildren Evalin Olson of Washington, D.C., Kristian Evans of Minneapolis, Ana Evans of New York, NY, and Erik Evans of Golden Valley, Cody and Chloe Moline both of North Branch, Jacob Lane (Amanda) of Little Canada; 4 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Marvin Heller of New Brighton; many relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Reuben and Eva Moline; wife Mildred Moline; brother Girard (Edith) Moline; sister Arleen (Royal) Tillman; brother Orville Moline; nephew Girard Scott Moline; in-laws Arthur (Doris) Colliander, Dagmar Christine Heller, Lloyd (Lois) Colliander.

Funeral services at 11 AM Saturday (4/29), Fish Lake Lutheran, Harris. A gathering of family and friends is planned for one hour prior to the service. Live stream available at Interment following service at the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated to Fish Lake Lutheran Church.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to: Funeral and Cremation Service of Rush City ~ Olson Chapel

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Willard "Pete" Lester Moline, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, April 29, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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