Cover photo for Peter Smars's Obituary
Peter Smars Profile Photo
1954 Peter 2024

Peter Smars

January 19, 1954 — April 15, 2024

Dr. Peter Alf Smårs, age 70, passed away on Monday, April 15th, 2024 at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, after a courageous battle against lung disease and complications following a second double-lung transplant. His loving wife Miriam was at his side and his adoring daughter Brooke was on the phone with them. His loss is devastating and felt profoundly by those who knew and loved him. Peter was a strong and resilient man with a tender and kind heart. He was always friendly and full of life, and could easily talk to anyone, and he often did. He was generous with his time, his gifts and talents, and especially his love. One of his favorite sayings was "If there's room in your heart, there's room for your butt" and he would always invite people to join family dinners and holiday celebrations, especially if they didn't have somewhere else to go. He had a faith in God that could move mountains and spoke often of the "still, small voice" that guided his faith. His ability to touch people's lives is something we are only just beginning to understand the magnitude of its impact in people's hearts all around the world.

Peter was born on January 19, 1954 in Uppsala, Sweden to Gunnar and Vivian Smårs. He grew up in the countryside in Nyhyttan Sweden along with 4 brothers and one sister. He was enthusiastic about the outdoors and animals and he developed a life-long passion for adventure, dogs, horses, farming, and skiing. He attended schools in Järnbås, Ekebyholm, and Lindesberg Sweden. After graduation from high school at Lindesberg, he moved to Beirut, Lebanon, to attend Middle East College for a year to begin his college studies and learn English. He then moved to the United States to attend La Sierra University and Loma Linda Medical School in California, graduating with his Doctor of Medicine in 1982. His internal medicine training took him to the University of North Dakota, Lindesberg Regionalsjukhus in Sweden, and eventually to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After residency, he was hired by the Mayo Clinic, where he continued to practice medicine, conducted research, and held the rank of Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine for 35 years. In the early 1990s, Peter moved to rural Oronoco, naming his farm along Lake Zumbro "Bear Brook Farm" and affectionately declared it the "Oronoco Riviera." He found great solace in this idyllic place, raising his five children and numerous animals including Alaskan husky sled dogs, bison, horses, cattle, goats, and many others there. Throughout his life, he was an avid skier, dog-sled musher, and horse-back rider. He loved cross-country jumping and trailing riding, especially in the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming and Custer State Park in South Dakota. He had a passion for farming and enjoyed traveling, nature, and good company. He loved preparing for magical Swedish Christmas celebrations with his family, baking sometimes hundreds of "pepparkakor" cookies, several types of Swedish bread, and preparing a Christmas Eve stew called "Dopp i grytan" with his homemade bison potato sausage.

Peter is survived by his loving and grieving family - his wife, Miriam Smars and their children Finn (11), Vivian (8) and Erik (7); his adult children from his first marriage: daughter Brooke Smars (Kale Langley) and son Bjorn Smars (Shanoah Maine); grandchildren Ronja and Ravelle Langley and Morwynna Maine-Smars; his siblings in Sweden: Gunnar, Stefan, Sven (Pia), Annika, and Krister (Kersti) along with numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and dear friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Gunnar and Vivian Smårs.

On Sunday, May 5th 2024, there will be a memorial service celebrating Peter's life at Dodge Center Seventh Day Adventist Church (410 3rd Ave SW, Dodge Center, MN 55927) with doors opening at 12:00PM and a service beginning at 1:00PM. There will be a Swedish inspired "Fika" with light refreshments following the service. For those wishing to attend from afar, please use the following Zoom information:

Zoom ID: 382 739 8514

Passcode: 473724

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Peter's memory to the following organizations that were near and dear to his heart and that he supported during his life:

○ Tropical Health Alliance Foundation

○ ASI Ministries

○ Mayo Clinic

The family also asks that you consider signing up to be an organ donor. You may do so online at or by designating your choice on your driver's license when you get or renew your license. Peter was given a second chance at life 5 years ago when he received his first lung transplant which was such a precious gift to him and those who love him.

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Smårs Family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Peter Smars, please visit our flower store.


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