Life Story Service
Friday, February 9, 2024
12:30 PM EST
1565 North 2nd Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
SPCA of Southwest Michigan
6955 West KL Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
As family and friends can surely attest, Pedro Moreno truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times. Nothing brought Pete greater joy than surrounding himself with his loved ones, no matter how simple the moments. His solid work ethic formed the foundation of all that he did, and his insatiable zest for life could be felt by everyone around him. Deeply loved, Pete will be forever missed by those who knew him best.
At the turn of the 1940s, new musicians, especially guitar players, were making waves. They wanted to get noticed and instruments like the Gibson ES-150 Electric Guitar, with more modern guitar pickups and amplifiers, made it possible for them to show off a completely new sound that would soon influence the likes of Chuck Berry, B.B. King, and Elvis; none of whom had even begun their rise to fame. Closer to home, Pedro and Maria (Liceaga) Moreno of McAllen, Texas, were eager with excitement of their own as they anticipated the arrival of their baby boy. On April 16, 1941, their wait was over, and they welcomed their son, who they named Pedro Jr. Little did they know then just how much music would influence the life of their son.
Growing up, Pete was a typical young man of his generation in many ways. He was raised in the family home alongside his siblings, Yolanda, Willy, Joe, Gil, Rosemary, George, Rene, and Gloria. Pete had a passion for music from a young age, and he developed a talent for the guitar throughout his childhood, especially blues music. During his teen years, the Moreno family made the move to Orangeville, Michigan. Pete attended Martin High School and began working for Gibson Guitars where he found great joy in building and repairing guitars. His steadfast work ethic and refined skills after years of practice earned him the respect of many famous musicians.
All who knew Pete can certainly agree that, of all the things he loved in life, he treasured his family above all else. Over the years, he was overjoyed to become a father to Rita, Pete, and Tim. Pete thrived in his role as a father and went above and beyond to care for his children. He would travel from Kalamazoo all the way to Lansing to pick them up from their mother’s home, and they enjoyed spending weeks at a time together. Pete was impeccably calm tempered, and he was very supportive of his kids. His encouraging words of advice linger all these years later. He was thrilled to watch his family tree grow to include many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Pete never missed a birthday or special occasion and would often send cards ahead of time, with a little surprise of a $20 bill tucked inside. He adored his grandchildren and doted on them whenever he could. Pete considered himself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
Pete was never afraid to work hard when it came to providing for himself and his family. After Gibson Guitars asked him to move to Nashville, he decided to start his own business so that he could remain in Kalamazoo with his family. He poured his heart and soul into Moreno’s Guitar Clinic. His reputation followed him, and he was delighted to work with new musicians and develop friends with old ones. His first shop was in an old schoolhouse on Red Arrow Highway. Pete was later able to build a pole barn at home and work from there instead. Throughout his career, he met and earned the trust of several stars, including Eric Clapton, Elvis, and B.B. King.
Never one to sit still for long, Pete pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. His pool parties at home were the stuff of legend, complete with good food, fireworks, and of course live music! His thirst for worldly adventure took him on several cruises and trips to places like Jamaica, Aruba, Peru, and Florida. Cars were one of Pete’s passions in life. He owned a ‘69 Corvette, a Chopper called, Strange Brew, and his Mercury named, Low Fat Fanny, which he displayed in several local car shows. He was a member of the Neon Night Cruisers Car Club where he made many lasting friendships. Pete was an avid fan of Michigan State, the Detroit Tigers and Lions. A highlight was attending Barry Sanders’ final game at the Pontiac Silverdome where the cheers of the crowd were simply electrifying! Pete also had a great love for Marilyn Monroe. Often though, it was the simple things in life that brought him the greatest joy, like breakfast at LaRue’s every weekend with anyone who wanted to join him, or just taking care of his pool. Pete welcomed everyone as a friend, and with open arms.
When reflecting on the life of Pedro Moreno, it is easy to see both his unwavering strength and his unconditional love for his family. His heart of service allowed him to touch the lives of countless others. A devoted father and grandfather, Pete was a friend to many and beloved by all. He brought a spark of joy to every room he walked into. Though he will be missed, the music of his life will be continued in that of his children and grandchildren for generations to come.
Pedro “Pete” Moreno, Jr. of Kalamazoo, age 82, died on February 5, 2024. He is preceded in death by his granddaughter, Kristina “Krissy” Bouffard; and sister, Yolanda Mena. Surviving are his children: Rita (Mark) Ray, Pete Moreno III, and Tim Moreno; grandchildren: Taylor (Chad) Logan, Mark Ray II, Ashley (Darius) Boyd, Alexis Ray, Tyler Moreno, TJ Moreno, and Drew Moreno; great-grandchildren: TJ, Eliana, Greyson, Aubrielle, Kaiah, Gabriel, and Abel; siblings: Willy (Mary) Moreno, Joe Moreno, Gil (Marcie) Montez, Rosemary (John) Visscher, Jorge Mena, Rene Mena, Gloria (Joe) Mena-Diaz; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 10 AM - 11 AM Friday, February 9th at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A Life Story Service will begin at 11 AM. Burial at Hill Cemetery. Visit Pete’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign his guestbook.