Rotarian Spotlight: Peter Zeuthen

 
 
Rotary Member Spotlight is here!
Each month we will feature one of the many Glen Ellyn Rotary members that make such a difference in our communities. These are people that fill many roles in their day to day lives and apply Rotary values in everything they do. This month’s member is Peter Zeuthen. Peter is a fascinating person to speak with, widely traveled and has a great sense of humor.
 
When did you become a Rotarian?
I first was exposed to Rotary in the mid-50s when my father became a charter member of Odense Øster Rotary Klub, D-1460. It was a group of very distinguished, cigar-smoking and at my young age, very old business men in my home town of Odense, Denmark. After I was transferred to Chicago in 1973, I was approached by a Glen Ellyn Rotarian, John Rosch, to consider joining Glen Ellyn Rotary Club. On June 30, 1979, during the final days of the reign of Club President Bob Williamson, the pharmacist at the Glen Ellyn Clinic, I was inducted.
Why did you join Rotary?
My upbringing was somewhat internationally-influenced. My father was known to occasionally bring home a hungry foreign hitchhiker for a home-cooked meal and without warning, much to my mother's surprise; this plus hosting a Rotary GSE member from Bureau County, Illinois in 1968 coupled with my European travels as a teenager, and later my fantastic experience as a foreign exchange student in Ohio all widened my horizon and whetted my appetite to be a Rotarian. I wanted other youths to  experience being a foreign exchange student, and the hosts to experience hosting. (President Les Sommers asked me to be his Youth Exchange committee chair in '80-'81, it was the kick to get involved), and our Club had many exciting years hosting foreign students and raising funds for it. Our years of fun Cheese & Wine parties in Rotarians' homes are still remembered by some of us, with Les Sommers the fantastic raffle ticket salesman. Simultaneously, we sent local high students abroad; one of those students has been a big citrus customer of mine for a good number of years as a Wheaton Rotarian.  
 
What is your best Rotary memory?
Rotary has brought me many unforgettable memories and friendships, both here in Glen Ellyn and elsewhere as it has others. Rotary's international conventions that Beth and I attended were all highlights. Being told by District 6440 to find a host family to a foreign exchange student in 1988 presented a challenge. I finally pushed this young girl from Brazil on my neighbors down the street, the Fondas, and a beautiful exchange experience followed for all involved. The student had a wonderful year, partially warmed by a winter coat from Don Fischer, and we became friends with the Fondas and with other Rotarians through this. In November 1999 we all attended the wedding of our exchange student daughter in Brasilia, Brazil. In 2006 I proposed Roy Fonda as a potential member, he was accepted and the rest is history. Roy's induction and Beth's introduction of him in song (with revolvers present) was an unforgettable Rotary event.
 
 
What are some of your hobbies/interests outside Rotary?
Outside our 7 grandchildren and their parents scattered throughout the Midwest, I am interested in travels with my wife, Beth, in good foods and good wines, in history and in genealogy. 
 
 
What is one fact about you that no one might know?
When traveling to Brazil for the wedding of a former Glen Ellyn Rotary Club foreign exchange student, don't let a future Glen Ellyn Rotarian talk you into diving into a Sheraton swimming pool with an elevated bottom.....you will immediately incur a blemish on your forehead.
 
 
 
 
 

Rotary Club of Glen Ellyn  P.O. Box 3510 Glen Ellyn, Illinois 60138