PEYROT, Jan B.
Jan B. Peyrot, 87, of Glastonbury, CT, died peacefully with family by his side at Salmon Brook Center on December 29, 2011. His presence, stories, intelligence, and humor will be truly missed by his family, friends, and neighbors. Born in Semarang, Java, Indonesia in 1924 to Jean Bernard Peyrot and Hermance (Smalt) Peyrot, Jan lived in Indonesia until age 6 when tropical illnesses forced him to a cooler climate to recover. He lived in Holland for four years with the Beversluis family and, at age 10, returned to his family in Indonesia (then, on Billiton). At age 13, he returned to Holland to attend high school, living primarily with his sister and Grandmother Smalt in Amsterdam. In May 1940, his parents joined them, one day before the German occupation of Holland. Attempting to return to Indonesia, the family left Holland October 1940 and arrived in America in February 1941; Jan, then 15, and his family traveled from Holland, through Germany, Switzerland, France, across the Mediterranean to North Africa, then on to Portugal, and then America. The family never continued to Indonesia as an airplane accident killed Jan's father's coworker; this kept Jan's father working in New York, allowing Jan to attend and then graduate from Scarsdale High School in 1943. Jan joined the Princess Irene Brigade of the Netherlands in Guelph, Canada in order to free his family and Dutch high school friends and teachers trapped in occupied Europe. The brigade shipped off to England for preparations and then came ashore in Normandy, France on August 8, 1944 to then fight in France, Belgium and Holland. Two brigade members became lifelong friends. Following the war, Jan attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Automotive Engineering in 1949. After graduation, he worked for two years at J. I. Case, in Rascine, WI and became a United States citizen in 1951. In 1952, Jan moved to Connecticut where he found employment with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft (later United Technologies Corporation). In 1953, he married Carolyn Coleman of Newton, MA. Jan's career included work in both jet engine and diesel engine controls. In 1994, he was awarded a US patent. Although he formally retired in 1987, having worked for United Technologies for 35 years, he continued to consult through 2006 (Power Systems Division), enjoying every minute. The volumes of resources he left behind are still used to this day. Had he not become an engineer, Jan would have followed his love of classical music. As a boy, he enjoyed concerts in Amsterdam conducted by Willem Mengelberg; as an adult, he continually expanded his knowledge and never tired of listening to anything Beethoven composed. Jan was a member of Buckingham Congregational Church, and served as president, deacon and trustee. He was also a long standing member of the American Legion Post 56, and served as historian. Jan took great pride in his US citizenship, often remarking that Americans place such a great emphasis on respect for their fellow man. Jan is survived by his wife of 58 years, Carolyn (Coleman) Peyrot, his sister Manon Beukema Peyrot (The Hague, Netherlands), his two daughters, Suzanne Peyrot (Manchester, CT) and Louise M. Peyrot (Glastonbury, CT), and his son, John B. Peyrot (San Diego, CA). His family would like to thank his numerous care givers through the years (doctors, nurses, companions & homemakers) and, during his last 6 weeks of life, the staff of Salmon Brook for their kind, competent care and loving community.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 7 at Buckingham Congregational Church, 16 Cricket Lane, Glastonbury, CT 06033. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Buckingham Congregational Church, Jan. B. Peyrot Memorial Fund.