Of Chelsea, Michigan, age 94, died Sunday, January 22, 2023, at his home. He was born December 2, 1928, in Elkton, Michigan, the son of Nelson & Mary Ann (Higgs) Severn.

Hailing from Elkton, a tiny town in the “thumb” of Michigan, Pete was first a state park ranger, and then owner-operator of a service station, before arriving at the U-M in 1960. Pete was one of a handful of master glassblowers maintained on staff by major teaching institutions across the country. During his tenure, Pete created and manufactured glass objects integral to research through the U-M community. His work also provided items used in the world’s first artificial heart transplant as well as in NASA explorations. Pete retired January 31,1991. After retirement, Pete established his own business, a consultancy to various research and development concerns. He loved golf and put together a little series of golf outings for his department at U-M every summer. Pete also enjoyed playing the guitar and was a member of the First United Methodist Church.

On November 8, 1947, he married Nettie Esther Greenleaf. She preceded him in death on October 11, 2020. Survivors include his daughter, Sandra (William) Kulenkamp of Chelsea; grandchildren, Kristie Centilli, James Scott Centilli (Becky Raines), Laura (Robert) Hoshaw, and Michael (Tammy) Kulenkamp; great-grandchildren, Gavin Centilli, Isabella Centilli, Dylan Raines, Max Raines, Matthew (Tammi) Miller, Christopher Miller, Evan (Catie) Hoshaw, Joseph (Misty) Richards, Laura Richards, Ashten (Adam) Metzger, Nicholas Kulenkamp; great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Fred Severn; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Friday, January 27, 1:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, Chelsea, with Rev. Joy Barrett officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery, Chelsea. The family will receive friends at Cole Funeral Chapel Thursday from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. and at the church Friday from noon - 1:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society,

Click here to watch the video of Pete's funeral.

You may use the form below to share a memory or leave a public message for Pete's family. Please allow 24 hrs. for us to review and post your comment. 


#2 Joanne&Vaughn Mills 2023-02-08 10:02
We are sending our prayers to Pete’s family. Pete was such a good man. His strong faith, dedication & love for his family and his kindness to everyone was inspirational. God bless the Severn family.
#1 James R. Centilli 2023-01-28 15:28
Pete, I always will remember our deer and pheasant hunting trips and excursions, but most of all i'll remember you and Nettie for all the love you shared with us. Tell Nettie we love and miss her too. I know you are happy and truly at rest now. God Bless.

Add comment

Security code