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Peter Joseph Binkert

October 3, 1942 February 10, 2015
Peter Joseph Binkert
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Obituary for Peter Joseph Binkert

After a protracted battle with cancer, Peter Joseph Binkert passed away peacefully on February 10, 2015 at home in Milford, Michigan surrounded by family and friends. Peter was born October 3, 1942 in New York City to Joseph and Raye Binkert.
After spending his early childhood in New York, his family moved to Fair Lawn, NJ. Peter was the eldest of six; big brother
to Sally, Michael, Kenneth, Colette, and JoAnn. While the house was at times crowded, it was always filled with love and music. Peter had a lifelong obsession with opera that was nurtured there.
In 1960, Peter matriculated to Rutgers University; he married Carol Marchuk in 1963 and he graduated in 1964 with a BS in Biological Studies. Peter then moved to Ann Arbor, MI where he attended the University of Michigan, initially earning an MA in classical studies and finally graduating with a PhD in Linguistics in 1970. Following graduation, Peter joined the Linguistics & Classics faculty of Oakland University in Rochester, MI. In 1971, Peter's elder son, Kevin, was born.
In 1976, Peter married Jacqueline Facchinato, and the following year, his younger son, Nathan, was born. Peter and Jackie both loved nature; they took their kids camping every year. They also loved dancing and in particular line danced with their fellow Dickweeds for many, many years.
Peter loved teaching and working with students. He taught at Oakland University for 43 years and was linguistics department chair for 19. Peter founded The English as a Second Language Center to provide ESL certification for teachers and ESL classes for students and the community. Additionally, he founded the Hispanic Outreach Program to provide free English classes to residents of Pontiac. Peter truly had a passion for studying language and in particular English syntax. He spent most of his time trying to understand how language worked and even spent many years working on human language theory. He won the Teaching Excellence award in 2000 and the Faculty Award in 2006.
After Peter and Jackie's children had grown, they moved from Troy to Milford. They enjoyed the more rustic life, surrounded by trees and gardens, with a river nearby to kayak in and watch their grandkids play. Peter enjoyed vacationing in familiar places, regularly going "up north" with friends, retreating to his condo in Ft. Lauderdale and visiting his six grandchildren in California and Colorado. Peter adored his six grandchildren Olivia, Fiona, Fletcher, Alexander, Bennett, and Liliana.
Peter was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, and teacher. He will be sorely missed.

A Memorial Service will be held at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 404 E. Liberty St., Milford, on Saturday, February 14, at 4PM. Friends may gather from 2PM until the time of service. Memorials may be made in his name to St. Jude Children�s Research Hospital. For further information please phone 248-684-6645.


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