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Peter Rowntree

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Peter D. Rowntree

1939 - 2012 SHEFFIELD Peter Dwight Rowntree of Salisbury Road, Sheffield, died peacefully at home on Aug. 28 following respiratory complications from a fall on July 21.

Peter was born on March 23, 1939, in Scarborough, England, and he moved with his family to Rochester, N.Y., in 1948. He graduated from St. George's School in Newport, R.I., in 1957 and Harvard College in 1961. Following graduation from Harvard Law School in 1964, he joined the law firm Milbank Tweed Hadley and McCloy in NYC where he became a partner and chairman of the Banking Department. For 33 years, he was passionately involved in the practice of international financial law and he particularly enjoyed mentoring younger colleagues. He was also deeply committed to his children and their education and with a group of friends he started a progressive elementary school where he was chairman of the Board before he moved his family to Scarsdale, N.Y., in 1978. Peter enjoyed his interactions with the people he met in all aspects of his life. He was a longtime supporter of Amnesty International.

Peter and his wife, Ellen, purchased their home in Sheffield in 1991 and Peter spent increasing amounts of time in his new community after retiring from the practice of law in 1997, finally moving fulltime to Sheffield in 2003. He embraced his new community fully, serving on the Conservation Commission and the Zoning Board of Appeals. He was a prolific reader, particularly in the areas of history and international affairs, and he served as a trustee of the Bushnell Sage Library. He continued on as a member of the Friends of the Library until his death. He helped found the Sheffield Association and the Sheffield Times for which he wrote regularly until recent years. He was particularly interested in informing the community about the workings of local government, the library and the school committee. He appreciated having more time to develop his interest and talent in oil painting and having more time for both international travel and time at home, developing the property he loved. One of the highlights of the past nine years has been a week of "Camp Gramp" each summer with his grandchildren here in Sheffield.

Peter leaves his life partner and wife, Ellen, to whom he was married for 49 years; his son, David, and daughter- in-law Christina Rowntree; his daughter, Elizabeth, and son-in law Norman Beck and three beloved grandchildren, Brian Rowntree, Samantha Beck and Katherine Beck. In addition, he leaves siblings, in laws, nephews, nieces and friends who were all very special to him.

MEMORIAL NOTICE: A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 11 a.m. at Old Parish Church in Sheffield. All are welcome. Contributions in his memory may be made directly to the Friends of the Bushnell Sage Library, 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA, 01257.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Sept. 2, 2012
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