Peter Tadej celebrated his 90th birthday by returning to Fort Benton, Mont., where he was born, Aug. 20, 1925. Many of his Montana relatives joined him. Upon returning to Walla Walla, Wash., where he lives with his wife, Jeanie, there was a second birthday celebration with his three living children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
After serving in World War II, Peter worked on a farm near Fort Benton, where he lived with his late wife, Lorine. They had three daughters and later two boys.
One day, a Walla Walla College student came by selling books and left a free Bible correspondence course card. The Tadejs were not attending any church, but Lorine enrolled in the course and soon started attending the local Adventist church. When she asked Peter to study with her, he replied, “Well, it didn’t hurt you, so maybe it won’t hurt me.” They both were baptized in 1951.
Peter felt impressed to help others find the same happiness he found. He became a literature evangelist and served the church in different capacities for 35 years. His leader told him, “Remember it is easier to succeed than to explain why you didn’t.”
That motto kept him going on many days, even when it was 40 degrees below zero. He recalls a night in Shelby, Mont., when the wind was blowing, it was snowing, and he knew it would be impossible to drive the 30 miles back home, so he just kept knocking on doors.
A middle-aged couple listened to his canvass on Drama of the Ages for a few minutes, then the man said, “It’s hard to turn a man down on a night like this.” Peter quickly wrote up the order and thanked God for the storm.
Peter still tries to give literature to many of the people he meets — once a literature evangelist, always a literature evangelist.