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Peter Petty

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Peter Spencer Petty

1942 - 2015 WESTMORELAND, N.H. Peter Spencer Petty of Townshend, Vt., died March 9, on his 73rd birthday, at Maplewood Nursing Home of Frontotemporal Degeneration, a disease with no known cure, which challenged him for more than ten years. Pete was born March 9, 1942, in Theresa, N.Y. to Oliver W. Petty and Doris Neylon. He grew up in Patchogue, N.Y., graduating in 1960 from Patchogue High School where he lettered in track, cross-country running and basketball. He received BS and MEd degrees from Springfield College and did advanced studies in Life Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of Vermont. In 1964, he married Elisa (Lee) Ruland and they moved to Vermont, making their home and raising their children on East Hill in Townshend where they lived for 30 years. He taught Chemistry, Physics, and Biology at Leland and Gray Seminary in Townshend and then Life Sciences at Bellows Falls Union High School. He coached both track and cross country running at the high school level. Pete loved living in the country and spent much of his time in the outdoors. For many happy summers, Pete worked as an ocean lifeguard at Fire Island, N.Y. He later taught cross country skiing in Vermont. Upon his retirement from teaching in 1996, he and Lee moved to Westport, N.Y., on Lake Champlain for 12 years, returning to Townshend in 2008. From 2007-2011, they spent winters in North Port, Fla. Pete loved hunting above all, but also enjoyed surf casting, sailing, paddling, relaxing at the beach and spending time with family and friends at his camp, Eagle Watch, on the Saranac River near Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks. Pete is survived by his wife and best friend of more than 50 years, Lee; three children, of whom he couldn't have been more proud, Kristen Petty Bills, Kirk Petty (wife Margaret Nixon) of Townshend, and Kerrin Petty-Nilsson (husband Jorgen) of Forshaga, Sweden; four grandkids he loved so much, Karson and Katelyn Petty, and Filip and Nick Nilsson; his sister, Karlann (Kay) Monahan; and niece, Marjorie Monahan, both of Langdon, N.H.; his nephew, Martin Monahan, of Keene; his favorite aunt, Betty Rudd, of East Longmeadow, Mass.; as well as cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father, his mother, and younger brothers, Spencer and Jordan. The family wishes to express heartfelt thanks to the dedicated staff and volunteers at Maplewood Nursing Home and HCS Hospice for their loving care and compassion for Pete over the past three and one-half years. A celebration of Pete's life will be held later at the family's convenience. ETERNAL BLESSINGS OF GUILFORD is handling his cremation. Gifts in Pete's memory may be made to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD), 290 King of Prussia Rd, Radnor PA 19087, the Activities Department at Maplewood Nursing Home, Westmoreland, N.H., or the "Aging Gracefully" initiative at Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Mar. 12, 2015
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