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Coastal Cremation Services
471 Deering Avenue
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 699-6171
Celebration of Life
Saturday, Sep. 29, 2018
11:00 AM
Portland Country Club
11 Foreside Road
Falmouth, ME
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PETER BULLIS


1932 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
PETER BULLIS Obituary
BULLIS, Peter Peter Eberth Bullis of Falmouth, ME passed away peacefully on September 4, 2018, the day before his 86th birthday, surrounded by much love. He was born in New Haven, CT on September 5, 1932 to Dorothy Barnes Eberth and Donald Perkins Bullis. As a bright, active young man growing up in New Haven and spending summers at his beloved Camp Becket in the Berkshires, Peter developed a passionate curiosity with the natural world around him. He had a deep fascination for astronomy, and also began to study and collect butterflies thinking he would study entomology in college. It was soon after arriving at Dartmouth College, however, that his thoughts changed. He enrolled in an architecture course, was quickly hooked, and set upon a new path. He graduated with a BA in the illustrious class of 1954, and continued on to Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he earned his MArch in 1958. His strong academic performance and true love of design then afforded him the honor of studying church architecture as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany. His time at Dartmouth would set the stage for two parallel, fulfilling careers. It was after his second year in Hanover when Peter traveled to New Orleans where he was introduced to Traditional New Orleans Jazz. He fell in love with the exciting, raucous sounds of Louis Armstrong and Jelly Roll Morton, and knew at once he had to be part of it. He taught himself banjo, first strumming with his college jazz band, The Indian Chiefs. They had a successful run, performing at Carnegie Hall and on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen. This was the beginning of what became a lifelong passion for the music, and his talent kept him playing professionally for the rest of his life. In 1971, he began a 45-year partnership with the celebrated New Black Eagle Jazz Band as their banjo player and manager. The Black Eagles released over 40 recordings and videos, earned a Grammy nomination, and traveled the world spreading their joyful sound. As an architect, Peter worked on a variety of buildings in the Boston area with several firms including his own awarding winning, Finegold and Bullis. He specialized in preservation by creating new uses for old buildings along with residential and commercial design. None of this stopped him from being a beloved husband and father, raising his family in Marblehead, MA over the course of forty years. Besides his professional pursuits, he loved to marvel at the sky and the natural world. He loved starry skies and butterflies, lucky rocks and red socks. He carried a plethora of obscure information in his brain: entomology, astronomy, sports history, along with many puns and naughty jokes. He was proud to have been an Eagle Scout and took the pledge seriously. His family and friends loved him for his kindness, loyalty, and charming quick wit. His relationships were deep and lasting: band friends, Dartmouth and Harvard classmates, the Ryans, neighbors, co-workers and Ocean View bridge partners. He is survived by wife M. Patricia "Tricia" Bullis, children Pamela Mentuck (Michael) of Marblehead, MA, Peter C. Bullis (Mauricio Zuleta Vega) of Jamaica Plain and Provincetown, MA, Penelope Bullis of Pepperell, MA, Eliza Bullis, MD (Gus Crothers, MD) of Portland, ME, Joseph Seremeth (Katharine Gable) of North Yarmouth, ME and Stephen Seremeth (Lindsey Willis) of So. Burlington, VT, grandchildren Michael Mentuck (Traci Lyons) and Allison Mentuck, Jake Bullis, Wilder and Maddox Seremeth, Owen and Paige Seremeth and great-grandchildren, Jackson and Madison Mentuck. He leaves his sister, Susan Harris (Frank) of Piedmont, OK. He is pre-deceased by his best friend of 47 years and New Black Eagle Jazz Band leader, Tony Pringle. Special thanks to Elizabeth Mazza of Framingham, MA, a devoted friend who "chauffeured" him to band gigs for three years after he moved to Maine in 2015, and to his gifted home care nurses, Michael Boutin, RN and Kim Rexrode, RN. Donations can be made to his beloved Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA, 748 Hamilton Road, Becket, MA 01223. A celebration of his life will be held at Portland Country Club, 11 Foreside Road in Falmouth, ME on September 29th at 11am. To share a memory or condolence, please visit www.coastalcremationservices.com

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Published in The Boston Globe on Sept. 9, 2018
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