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PETER GROTJAN COOK


1949 - 2019
PETER GROTJAN COOK Obituary
COOK, Peter Grotjan Passed away on January 12, 2019. He was surrounded by family at his home in New Paltz, NY, overlooking the Shawangunk Mountains. He had fought the rare, degenerative neurological disorder MSA-C for many years with hope and bravery.

Peter was born in Boston on June 5, 1949, to Charles Davenport Cook and Sheila Gamble Cook. He had three siblings, Andy, Heidi, and Charlie. He grew up in Cambridge on Coolidge Hill and attended nearby Shady Hill School and later Belmont Hill School. In 1964, he moved with his family to New Haven, CT, where he attended Hopkins Grammar School. He went on to attend Swarthmore College where he met his first wife, Ljiljana Milosavljevic. They graduated in 1971, and were married the following year. Peter and Ljiljana bought a house on Kennedy Road in Cambridge where they lived together for 35 years. They had two children, Aleksandar (Sasa) and Mirjana (Jana). Peter was an avid photographer and created a dark room in the basement of their home, where he printed black and white photographs of nature and his family. He and Ljiljana purchased land in Ossipee, NH in the mid 1970's and later built a house overlooking the White Mountains. Ossipee provided a weekend sanctuary escape to the abrasions of everyday life.

Part of every summer was spent "Downeast" in Sorrento, ME, a cherished and important focal point for the extended Cook/Gamble/Chafee family that has been part of Peter's family since 1896. Peter loved Sorrento and the offerings that only an ocean can provide. He grew up sailing on the waters of Frenchman Bay with cousins, which would provide the foundation for life long relationships. Moreover he spent numerous summers on Calf Island, exploring the island by day and reading by the fire at night or during rainy weather.

Peter received a law degree and practiced personally until the early 2000s. He was a savvy investor and financial strategist, and enjoyed monitoring the markets and identifying new investment opportunities. He could often be seen walking his Samoyeds on Brattle Street or around Fresh Pond.

In 2008, Peter remarried to Thea Duell, a longtime friend and fellow Swarthmore graduate. He lived with Thea in Greenwich, CT until 2018. They traveled around the world to places such as Peru, India, Bhutan, Israel, South Africa, Vietnam and Cambodia. They spent every summer at Thea's house on Martha's Vineyard. In Peter's words they were on top of the world before he and Thea both developed terminal illnesses in 2014. Thea passed away in June of 2018 and Peter's daughter Jana moved him up to New Paltz to be near them that year. He will be remembered for his kindness, sense of humor, way with words and the ever present twinkle in his green eyes.

He is survived by his ex-wife, Ljiljana, children, Aleksandar (Sasa) and Mirjana (Jana), four grandchildren, Sofia, Vivienne, Mila and Caspian, and his siblings, Andy, Heidi and Charlie.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the MSA Coalition in Peter's honor.

Private services will be held in New Paltz, NY.
Published in The Boston Globe on Jan. 20, 2019
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