Thursday, August 23, 2007


Peter Irsfeld attended St. Francis de Sales grammar school in Sherman Oaks. He graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1957. Peter earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics degree from Stanford University in 1961, after which enrolled at the University of California Los Angeles where he completed a Master of Science degree in Physics.
After completing his studies at UCLA in 1963, Peter Irsfeld went on to law school, "mostly to get it out of my system - my dad and granddad were both lawyers. Peter practiced with his father and grandfather for several years in Hollywood and in Glendale, California. He retired from the practice of law in 1997, "frankly, it wasn't fun anymore."
Carol Ann Rando and Peter Irsfeld were married in 1961. They lived in Sherman Oaks for nearly 30 years. They share four children who now "live all over the place. Anthony (NDHS 1981) is in Boston; Monica and Daniel live in Camarillo California; and Anne lives in Unalakleet, Arkansas. The Isfelds have 8 grandchildren (4 boys and 4 girls; ages 2 ½ to 21).
In 1977 Carol Ann and Peter went on a Marriage Encounter weekend that was a life changing experience. "From 1976 to 1981 we presented weekends, were involved in leadership and trained couples and priests to give the weekend. We gave training weekends all over the US, in the Philippines and South Africa. We “retired” from active involvement when we adopted Daniel in 1981."
"In 1991 we bought the Olallieberry Inn; a 6 room Inn in Cambria, CA. We expanded it to 9 rooms and made it into one of Frommer’s top 10 categories. I learned how to telecommute. I can remember talking to clients while making crepes. I did most of the cooking and wrote a cookbook. We fulfilled a lot of dreams but it’s a 24/7 business and 10 years was enough. We sold the Inn in 2001."
The Irsfelds, after visiting Alaska for a number of years, decided to live there in November of 2001. Their children Anthony and Anne spent a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Juneau and Nome. Carol Ann and Peter were in Anchorage awaiting the birth of Anne's first child, when they made the decision to make Alaska their home. "In May of 2002 we bought a house and in June loaded all our c--- in the biggest U-haul they make and drove up the AlCan highway. What a great adventure!"
The Irsfelds are retired and in good health. They are both CASAs (court appointed special advocates.) They advocate for children who are in state custody, usually through abuse and neglect. "We try to put a face on an otherwise impersonal system and present the court with a perspective as to what is in the children’s best interests."
Both Peter's and Carol's dads are still living. They are now respectively 95 and 97. Peter says, "We visit them and family about 4 times a year; or, as we Alaskans say, we go 'outside'." How they feel about living in the far North, "We love living here!"

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