Judith A. Peter
Raising four children might have been enough for some women, but Judith Anne Peter was a wonder woman. She worked 40 hours a week at a biotech company, made lunches, cooked dinners, and constructed award-winning Halloween costumes each October.
On the weekends, the activity continued, as she made seven loaves of bread at a time in her industrial size mixer — sourdough, wheat and rye — or tended to her gardens, where she and her husband would listen to the Red Sox on the radio as they harvested tomatoes, lettuce, corn, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and string beans from the stubborn New Hampshire earth.
Each Christmas she would send out homemade raspberry jam, made from the fruit she and her family had picked behind the house, as presents for friends and colleagues.
Mrs. Peter was 79 when she died on Saturday, April 13, 2019, after a valiant six-year battle with ALS. After spending her early adult life in New York City, she had lived in Gilsum for 53 years.
Mrs. Peter was born on Aug. 12, 1939, to Dr. James Sutton Regan and Martha Jane (Baer) Regan, the eldest of their three children. She attended the Buffalo Seminary, Cornell and New York Universities, and the Tobe Coburn School for Fashion Careers. She met her husband, Ernest N. Peter, when they both lived in Greenwich Village and she was the campus marketing editor at Mademoiselle Magazine. They had three children while living in New York, and then moved to Gilsum in 1965 where their fourth child was born.
She was active in the establishment of the Surry-Gilsum kindergarten and the Gilsum Summer Recreation Program, serving as treasurer and publicity officer for its annual Rock Swap. She was also a trustee of the Gilsum Public Library for most of her time in Gilsum, serving as its chairman for several years. She helped oversee the construction of the current library and the planning for its expansion to meet the information needs of the 21st century.
After retiring from Schleicher & Schuell, where she had worked in marketing, Mrs. Peter joined her husband in running his business, Pathway Book Service, which fulfilled orders for small publishing companies. Mrs. Peter’s husband died in 2011.
During her long illness, Mrs. Peter was blessed with wonderful caregivers, including Jayne Ballou, Eve Lloyd, Holly Malcolm, Maureen Baker and in particular, Mercy and Lily DeMasi and their family, who brought great joy, faith and peace to Mrs. Peter’s last years.
She is also survived by her children, Marc of Denver, Michael of Keene, Gretchen of Sun Valley, Idaho, and Jennifer of Boston; her brother, Jay Regan; and her sister, Kathleen Dalzell; her sister-in-law, Amy Regan; her daughter-in-law, Ann Peter; and her sons-in-law, Joel Mallett and Andrew Ryan; six grandchildren, Alexander and Graham Peter, Harper and Ellis Mallett and Clara and Cormac Ryan; and her beloved Red Sox.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated in St. Bernard Church, 185 Main St., Keene, on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in the Centennial Cemetery, Centennial Road, Gilsum. Family and friends are invited to call on Friday evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Fletcher Funeral Home, 33 Marlboro St., Keene.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ALS Association of Northern New England at http://webnne.alsa.org; Compassionate Care ALS, 752 West Falmouth Highway, Falmouth, MA 02540; Gilsum Fire and Rescue, 5 Church St., P.O. Box 37, Gilsum, NH 03448; or Brotherhood of Hope, Joan of Arc Chapel, Andrew DeMasi, 532 Aten Road, Munsonville, NH, 03457.
To offer online condolences to the family or to share special memories, please visit www.fletcherfuneralhome.com.