Peter Norbeck Wegner was born in Rapid City, SD on August 20, 1927. He grew up in Pierre, graduating in 1946. He was a devoted reader, an avid debater, loved to speak publicly—traits that he carried with him for the rest of his life.
After serving in the U.S. Army and attending the University of South Dakota, Peter returned to Pierre to work full time with his family members at Wegner Auto Company, founded by his grandfather, Henry J. Wegner, back in 1907. During those years, he became a devoted member of the Pierre Toastmasters Club, continuing his interests in public speaking.
Peter then matriculated at the University of Northern Arizona, graduating when he was about 40 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Peter unfortunately experienced the gradual onset of difficulty in walking which became increasingly severe, necessitating the use of canes and then of a wheelchair. By the time he finished college, gradually increasing neurological problems that compromised his mobility, restricted Peter from pursuing a career in journalism and he retired to Tucson, AZ. Progressive neurological problems led to Peter moving to a nursing home in Sioux Falls, where he died in December 1999.
Almost to the end, Peter retained a strong interest in reading and speaking. He continued membership in Toastmasters, even winning several small awards during his later years. He never forgot his interest in high school debating, so his family and friends started the Peter Norbeck Wegner Fund with the Pierre Educational Foundation to sustain his name and interest.
Former students, friends, past debaters and those wishing to support debate at T.F. Riggs High School may send a tax-deductible donation to the Peter Norbeck Wegner Debate Fund, Pierre Educational Foundation, PO Box 94, Pierre, SD 57501.