Dr. Peter J. Hauri

Born: Sun., Jun. 25, 1933
Died: Thu., Jan. 31, 2013


5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Fri., Feb. 08, 2013
Location: Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Sat., Feb. 09, 2013
Location: The Congregational Church

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Dr. Peter J. Hauri, PhD

Dr. Peter Hauri, PhD, passed away unexpectedly in the early morning hours of January 31, his death caused by a fall on the ice the day before.  He developed bleeding in his brain, which caused the surrounding tissue to swell, severely damaging his brain. He passed away peacefully with his wife and youngest son present.

Peter was born in Switzerland, in the town of Sirnach, Canton Thurgau. His birth date was June 25, 1933.  He was the 4th of 6 children born to Rudolf and Verena Wirz Hauri.  He served in the Swiss Army, an all-civilian army as a young man, gaining the rank of Lieutenant quickly.  He attended Teacher’s College and taught junior high school students for three years at the International Children’s Village.  He taught a lot of subjects, but mostly taught science, math, and German language to orphaned children from many European countries that had lost their parents in World War II. During that time, he had a chance meeting with a visiting teachers group from the United States, and was invited to attend college for one year in the Chicago area to explore whether he liked Psychology as a career. He fell in love with one of his host family’s daughters, Debbie Jo Rea.  He and Debbie decided to work together to allow Peter to get a PhD in Psychology at the University of Chicago. To pay student loans, he found a job in the first sleep study lab in the United States, with Dr. Allen Rechtshaffen, MD, (at the University of Chicago).  Since Peter had been in the Signal Corps in the Swiss Army, he knew how to solder wire, and this was the primary reason he was hired.
Peter began to study a number of aspects of sleep that are now well-established and understood, like REM (dream) sleep, insomnia, narcolepsy, parasomnias, etc. It was in the area of insomnia and its treatment for which Peter became well known. He wrote a practical book for patients called “No More Sleepless Nights”, co-authored with Shirley Linde, PhD.  He also wrote a clinicians’ book called “The Sleep Disorders”, a very readable book that allowed any type of doctor to grasp new (at the time) research easily. In fact, Peter’s great gift was in taking more complex topics and making them easily understood.  Peter’s sense of humor, enthusiasm, and grasp of what each type of audience wanted to learn made him a popular speaker in a variety of settings. Because sleep disorders were such a new topic in the 1960’s, Peter saw the need for new researchers to meet regularly; he either formed or helped to form all of the professional sleep societies in the United States today. The sleep societies include the Sleep Research Society, the American Sleep Disorders Association, the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, AASM, ASDC, ABSM, and the National Sleep Foundation. He also served on a number of the boards of these organizations over a great number of years. He was a true problem solver, and he brought together people in the basic science area with clinicians to gain from each other’s knowledge.
Peter was also instrumental in developing the classification of sleep disorders; this has been pivotal for doctors’ understanding and treatment of a number of diagnoses in sleep.  Peter met his second wife, Dr. Cynthia Cleveland, when they pursued a study to look at how doctors who were new to Sleep Medicine viewed diagnostic criteria compared to long-term sleep professionals.  He was honored with an “Excellence in Insomnia Research and Education Award” in March 2011 by the National Sleep Foundation. He has received numerous rewards in sleep, as a college professor, and as the Co-Chairman of the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorder Center. Peter is considered by his colleagues as one of the founders of Sleep Medicine.

Peter was as much a clinical psychologist as a sleep researcher. He taught psychology and abnormal psychology at the college level. He also supervised master’s level psychologists in Behavioral Medicine. He was the Head of the Behavioral Medicine Section of the Mayo Clinic Department of Psychology. Peter was a Professor in Psychology at the University of Virginia, Dartmouth University Medical School, and Mayo Medical School during his career.

Another truly amazing task Peter took on was raising a second family with his second love, Cindy.  They realized it might be crazy to start a family when Peter was 23 years older than Cindy, but, of course,  they did it.  Peter’s final child was born when he was 62.  Peter took a big part in taking care of his second son, Matthew. He didn’t have the traditional retirement lifestyle; looking out for Matt, and always looking for something productive to do in his free time.

Peter was dedicated to a number of charitable organizations, such as Project Hope, Doctors without Borders, Planned Parenthood, The Sierra Club, and Habitat for Humanity. A passion from his early years was involvement in Boy Scouts. From being a leader as young as 14 in Switzerland, to seeing his son David become an Eagle Scout, he was very dedicated. He also volunteered for most of his children’s interests and activities. This included helping to build the Soldier’s Field play ground for younger kids; coaching soccer, and volunteering regularly to judge the junior high and high school science fairs. He was an active member of the Congregational Church and was involved with the Stewardship and Benevolence Committee.

Peter is survived by his wife, Cindy Cleveland Hauri, his former wife Debbie Jo Rea- Hauri, his daughter Heidi Hauri-Gill, grandchildren Conner and Christopher Gill, son-in-law Robert Gill; his son David Courard-Hauri, grandchildren Kayleigh and Julianna Courard-Hauri, daughter-in-law Frederique Courard-Hauri; daughter Katrin Kasper, grandchildren Grant and Grace Kasper, son-in-law Kent Kasper; son Matthew Hauri, his older sister Rosmarie Saxer, and younger sister Dorothee Hofer; eight nieces, nephews and their spouses and children.

A Funeral service will be on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the Congregational Church in Rochester with the Revered Garth Schumacher officiating.  Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 8, 2013 at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Homes and one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church.

Peter requests, in lieu of flowers, that memorials be sent to Ronald C. Petersen, MD who is the head of Alzheimers Disease Research, 200 1st Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905.

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Condolence Booklet

Teri Rummans
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
CIndy and family,
My heart felt sympathy is with you.
May God be with your during this very painful time of loss

Julie (Stamschror) Smith
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
Dear Cindy,

I was so sorry to hear about Dr. Hauri's sudden death. He will be missed by so many, as I'm certain you already know. One of my favorite memories of him is that everytime I would see him, I asked him how he was doing, and he would say "I'm tired!" and then get that usual sheepish grin. Please know that you are in many people's minds and hearts at this time and that Dr. Hauri will not be forgotten. He was a wonderful man. Take care. Julie (old secy in P&P at MC)

Deb Thompson
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
Dear Cindy and family,

I am so sad to hear that Dr. Hauri is gone. He was such an incredible man and will be missed by so many. I truly enjoyed all the years I had working with him. He was a terrific boss and leader. He was warm and gentle with a great sense of humor, too. My prayers are with you and your family in this time of such sadness. He will always hold a special place in my heart.


Katherine Kainz
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
Dear Cindy and family,

My deepest condolences for your loss. I worked with Peter over 20 years ago at Mayo. He was truely a bright light and a friend. To this day, he remains a great influence on my work--never to be forgotten.

Katherine Kainz

Dr. James "Chris" Henderson, MD, Col (ret), USAF
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
Dear Cindy and Family,
Reading the news of Dr Hauri's passing away raised so many emotions within me. I was the third Mayo Sleep Fellow. I remember the hours I spent at "the Master's feet", being challenged, cojouled, encouraged, supported, and taught. There has rarely been a week that would go by when I wouldn't mention something he'd said to my own fellows. I guess I felt both a sense of immense loss, sadness at how I'd wish I'd committed more time with him, and thankfulness for the time I had spent with him. He was a great teacher, clinician, researcher, and role model. And...he made us all laugh, especially when we needed it. He is and will be immensely missed. I pray Blessing and peace on you all during this difficult time.

Karl Doghramji, MD
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
Dear Cindy and members of the Hauri family:

On behalf of the staff and physicians of the Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center in Philadelphia, I would like to express our most sincere condolences to you and the extended Hauri family on this great loss. I had known Dr. Hauri since 1986. Although he was a giant in our field, he touched the hearts and minds of all whom he met. I will always remember him for his sincerity, empathy, dignity, and wonderful sense of humor. We have all lost a great man.

Milton Erman, MD
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
I am saddened by the news. Peter was an old friend; my fondest memory of Peter is of skiing with him at an "Advisory Board" (term used loosely) sponsored by a pharma company at Snowbird many years ago. We were foolhardy enough to follow our Instructor's lead as we skied into chutes that were essentially vertical; still one of the most challenging runs I have taken.

I will miss his wisdom, sense of humor, and core Swiss practicality.

Milt Erman, MD

Barbara Bruce
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
Cindy, I too am so saddened by your loss. Peter was such a generous and kind man. My prayers are with you and your family. Barbara

Pat Rainey
   Posted Fri February 01, 2013
Cindy and Family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know he was such a wonderful husband and father and your best friend. Please know that I am thinking of you and you're in my prayers.

Adrienne and Stuart Dormody
   Posted Sat February 02, 2013
Dear Cindy,
I was shocked to hear the news of Peter's passing. How can it be? Words cannot express how sad I am for your and Matt's loss. Peter was one of the most elegant and distinguished gentleman I have ever met. A wonderful match for you. I am so grateful we were able to spend a wee bit of time with you two last winter. Will not forget the magic of the candlelit tree or the sweetness of your and his hospitality. God bless you, my friend, during this difficult time. Let Matt know there are many people praying for him---and you. Love, Adrienne and Stuart

Jim and Jean Nordly
   Posted Sat February 02, 2013
Our deepest sympathies are given to you and your family at this difficult time. We will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers. We enjoyed Peter and our Christmas dinner at your house with the dinner group a few years ago. The tree was wonderful as was the food and most of all, the company.

Misty Hathaway (and Kevin Reid and Liam and Ian)
   Posted Sat February 02, 2013
Dear Matt and Cindy -
We are so very sad to hear about Peter and incredibly sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers - we send lots of love and hugs.
Misty (and Kevin and Liam and Ian)

Deb Barreto, BS RCP RST
   Posted Sun February 03, 2013
To Dr. Hauri's Family,

I cried when this news came through my phone, still have his first little book that really taught me everything about sleep medicine on which to build the foundation of a very long career. Your loss is great, our loss is great, the world has lost one of it's best. May God comfort you in this time and keep you encouraged.


Dirk Pevernagie
   Posted Sun February 03, 2013
Dear Cindy and family,

The sad news of Peter's passing away came as a shock to me and my wife Kristien. We have met Peter back in 1990-1991 when I stayed at Mayo for a training in Sleep Medicine. We learned to know him as a warm, charming person whose enthusiasm encited not my interest for this field, but also gave way to a lasting friendship. Words fall short when I try to express our sadness. Please accept our feelings of sympathy.

Dirk and Kristien Pevernagie, Bruges, Belgium

Jill and Jim Caid
   Posted Mon February 04, 2013
I was very saddened to hear of Peter's death. Peter was my high school teacher in the Pestalozzi Childrens Village in Switzerland from 1956 through 1959. A wonderful teacher who made learning challenging and fun. My deepest sympathies to his extended family, and especially to Cindy and Matt who I never met but feel I know through Peter's letters and photos. I am so glad his flight from Phoenix back to Minnesota was cancelled due to bad weather a few years ago, and he took the time to visit me and my husband. My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him. Jill and JimCaid

Donn Dexter, MD
   Posted Mon February 04, 2013
Cindy, family and friends,
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr Hauri. He was a great man. An inspiring teacher, leader and role model for many, he will be greatly missed. It comforts me to know that his memory and works live on by the many lives he touched and positively influenced.
Donn Dexter
Eau Claire, WI

Lois Krahn and Eric Gordon
   Posted Mon February 04, 2013
We will cherish our mental images of Peter on your wedding day, tending the garden or being the ever attentive parent. We thoroughly enjoyed your visit when you embarked on an ambitious road trip to the American SW with a welcome side trip to our place. Personally I feel very fortunate to have had Peter as a professional mentor who inspired me to pursue sleep medicine as a career. We are saddened by his unexpected death but are intent on celebrating all that he accomplished during his life. Take care. Lois and Eric

Bob Gaffron, Pharmacist
   Posted Mon February 04, 2013
Dear Cindy and family,
I was shocked to see Peter's obituary in the Post-Bulletin today. I will always remember him as the first professional that took an interest in my condition. I will always remember him as a compassionate, loving man. So sorry for your loss.

William (Bill) Moorcroft, PhD
   Posted Mon February 04, 2013
I was deeply saddened to hear the Peter is no longer with us. I first knew of Peter because of his wonderful Current Concepts booklet on sleep disorders. Then while I was a visiting clinician in Sleep Disorders at Mayo in1988 Peter arrived. He was supposed to have a few months to settle in before seeing patients but within a few weeks he saw a “special patient” and invited me to sit in. Needless to say I learned much from that experience and other interactions with Peter.
I few years later, after I returned to my teaching position at Luther College about 90 miles south of Rochester, I invited Peter to come to speak at the Iowa Psychologists meeting which was being held at Luther that year. He graciously accepted and gave up a Saturday to enlighten the group about behavioral treatment of insomnia although he could not accept payment.
Peter was a truly kind and wonderful man. He will be missed.

National Sleep Foundation
   Posted Tue February 05, 2013
All of us at the National Sleep Foundation are saddened to learn about Dr. Hauri’s unexpected passing. We wish to express our deepest sympathy to Dr. Hauri’s family.

david a. cleveland
   Posted Tue February 05, 2013
Cynthia & Matt
My deepest sympathy, Peter was one of a kind. He treated me immediately as one of the family.
Uncle Dave

Sandy Melville
   Posted Tue February 05, 2013
Dr. C and Matt,
I was so sorry to hear of Dr. Hauri's passing. I want to share with you my heartfelt condolences, if there were words to share I for one would know them, however there are not, there simply are no words.
I just chatted briefly in Dec. with Dr. Hauri at the Foundation House while he attended the Emeritus Christmas event. I had asked him where Dr. C was, he just looked at me grinning and said " someone has to bring the bacon home" !

Please know I am thinking of you both at this time, you are in my thoughts and prayers!

With my heartfelt sympathy Sandy Melville

Shawn Mintey
   Posted Tue February 05, 2013
Dr. Cleveland,
Thinking of you and your family at this time. I am so sorry for your loss.
Shawn Mintey

Steven Zorn, MD
   Posted Tue February 05, 2013
Dear Family-

At night, when it's quiet and the sleep books are put away, memories of Peter come back. I smile and am filled with joy. He showed me a career path--and I am forever grateful. He may be gone, but my memories remain and together we laugh (as we did then) at my attempts to understand sleep.

Thank you Peter.


Peggy McCarty
   Posted Wed February 06, 2013
Dear Cindy and family,
So sorry to hear of Dr. Hauri's passing. I remember him so well when he first came to Mayo. I worked with him many times in the early days. What a great guy and such great work! I have thought his book was the best on sleeplessness, and have recommended it often. So, so sorry...

Paul Teman
   Posted Wed February 06, 2013
My condolences to the Hauri family for your loss. I feel blessed and honored to have had a chance to learn from Dr. Hauri.

Sharon Hanson
   Posted Wed February 06, 2013
Dear Cindy,

I never knew your last name. I am in FL and happened to be going through the obituaries on-line. For some reason I decided to read about his death. And then I read your name and remembered seeing pictures of he and your son Matt at your office. I feel so sad for you and your family. I will be thinking of you.

Sharon Hanson

Catherine Weiler
   Posted Thu February 07, 2013
Dear Cindy,
Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss. May his memory be eternal. Catherine and Salah

Heidi Boettcher
   Posted Thu February 07, 2013
I spent my first few years at Mayo working for Dr. Hauri. He was a very special man. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Wendy & David Nelson
   Posted Thu February 07, 2013
C-Ann, you have my deepest sympanthy. You and Matt are in our thoughts and prayers.

Cousin Wendy

Vonnie (Wiersbeck) Schwab
   Posted Thu February 07, 2013

I am so sorry for your loss...


Colonel and Mrs. Andrew J. Terzakis
   Posted Sun February 10, 2013
It is with profound sadness and sympathies that we extend our prayers to you all for healing and understanding. Heidi was a devoted daughter, who loved her dear Father with all her heart as did her husband and two beautiful sons. May his memory be eternal.

Mike Johnston
   Posted Tue February 19, 2013
You don't know me. I just happened to Google Prof. Hauri tonight because I have just had a sleep study done, and I was telling a physician friend of mine that one of the best courses I ever took at Dartmouth in the 1970s was taught by a gifted teacher I had never forgotten named Dr. Peter J. Hauri. I hope it is apparent that he made a big impression on me, even though sleep study is well outside my own field and I took the course to satisfy an elective. I've been interested in sleep as a layman ever since that course. I have many memories of Prof. Hauri and all I learned from him. I'm very sorry to discover the news of his recent passing and wish to send my condolences and convey my respect.

--A former student

Kristi L (Litzinger) Dahlman
   Posted Sun February 24, 2013
It has taken me this long to put myself together enough to write a note for you and your family re: your beloved Peter. His sudden passing has been such a shock to me that I can only imagine the loss you are feeling. I was one of the masters level therapists that Peter supervised in the Behavioral Medicine/Health Psychology section. I was at Mayo from 1993-2006 so have many fond memories of Peter. Mostly I remember his love of sleep, his fairness as section head, his humor, his great stories, examples, anecdotes and his love for life. I don't think I ever saw him in a bad mood and he always had time for me and my fellow therapists despite being a very busy man. I have much admiration and respect for him and I truly know everything I do about sleep because of him. Working with patients who have sleep difficulties became one of my specialties as I moved to the West Coast and private practice. I take comfort in knowing that I will think of Peter fondly every time I am working with someone's sleep issues and will continue to use many of his examples to allow his work and my memory of him to live on. I'm so sorry for your loss...

Gary L. Coats, Ph.D.
   Posted Sun April 21, 2013
Peter was simply the most significant mentor in my professional life. While a young undergraduate student at Dartmouth, I was hired by Peter to work in the Sleep Lab at Mary Hitchcock Hospital. I like him had earlier military experience which enabled me to operate the EEG equipment. I assisted him in the preparation of the subjects for study in one of the earliest insomnia studies. Peter introduced me to the area of clinical psychology and was my strongest supporter to begin graduate training. Peter was a wonderful and supportive human being who had a great sense of humor and a deep and sincere sense of humility. My sincere condolences to the family. I will always hold Peter's memory close to my heart.

Gayle Greene
   Posted Thu February 20, 2014
I'm so very sorry to hear of Peter Hauri's death. He gave me a long, generous interview at the beginning of my research for the book Insomniac. I think he was the only sleep researcher who had a clue what the disorder was about, really, perhaps because as he told me he "had a touch of it himself." Anyhow, I will always be grateful for the time he took with me, a total stranger and somebody out of the field; his research and that interview helped me so much to get me going in the direction the book took. He was one of my heroes.

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