Euclid Joseph Ed Peltier (90) died peacefully January 11th, 2012 at the Rose Monahan Hospice in Worcester, MA after complications from a fall. Ed was raised in Worcester, one of three sons and two daughters born to local businessman and store owner, Euclid Napoleon Peltier of Quebec Canada and Catherine (Friel) Peltier of Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland. After graduating high school in 1939, he volunteered for the US Navy and was recruited as a cryptographer, stationed in Washington DC, Melbourne, Australia and in Hawaii breaking codes in World War IIs Pacific Theater. Thanks to the GI Bill, he was able to pursue his lifelong passion for film, theater and the arts and attend Boston Universitys brand new School of Public Relations and Communications, earning a BS in Cinema Studies as part of its inaugural class in 1950. He earned a Masters degree in Communications shortly thereafter. In 1952, the Boston Public Library was searching for a suitable candidate to create and curate its very first Audio-Visual Department, and Peltier, having obtained Masters of Library Science degree from the University of Rhode Island, Ed stepped up for the job. At the time, the BPL was one of only 13 libraries in the United States to include films and recordings as part of its collection and in the beginning, Ed would often travel the Boston subways with a 16mm projector, bringing films to screen at local branches and earning the nickname, The Movie Man. Peltier went on to become one of the movements most influential pioneers, sponsoring many new or local filmmakers, founding the Rabb Lecture Hall public film series that continues today, and receiving awards and accolades from organizations such as the American Film and Video Association, the American Film Institute and the Mayor of Boston for his efforts. During his BPL years, he also taught Library Science at URI and Bridgewater State College. After retiring from the BPL in 1991, Ed embarked upon his fertile second career, as a lecturer in film, music, and theater history at the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement, where he earned honors for distinguished service in 2007 and 2011. He was scheduled to begin teaching his 18th course (on Sirens of the Silent Screen) for HILR on February 6 of 2012, at the age of 91. Ed loved his family as much as his movies. His wife, Felicia Judith Langdon Peltier, a librarian he met while working at the BPL and with whom he lived in Wellesley, MA for 25 years, passed away in 1984. He leaves behind a daughter, Melissa Jo Peltier, son-in-law John Thomas Gray (both filmmakers), and a step-granddaughter Caitlin Gray of Nyack, NY; nephews Edward Peltier and Martin LaPrad and nieces Frances Roy, Catherine Engle, Marcia Dyer and Gail Gully, as well as many grand and great-grand nieces and nephews, all of whom he was immensely proud. A Memorial Celebration of Life for Ed will take place on Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 PM at the Paulist Center, 5 Park Street, in Boston with reception to follow. Parking is on the street and in the Boston Common garage. The Paulist Center has access for the handicapped.
Published in The Wellesley Townsman from Feb. 11 to Feb. 18, 2012