Peter was born October 9, 1957 in London, England to Howard and Jean John, and brother Stephen. He shared a birthdate with John Lennon, and identified with the Creative Rebel for much of his life, but lately had been resonating more with George, the Philosopher Gardener. We can all take comfort in knowing that he was listening to The Concert for George when he left us.
The family moved to California when Peter was young. There, Peter soaked up the music culture of the 60's and added it to the repertoire of show tunes, classical music, and opera that he absorbed from his parents. We all know he continued loving and sharing music his whole life, both as the orchestrator of background music he wanted to provide for everyone's lives, and as he played music solo or with friends.
He worked as a plumber before getting his PhD in History (but he never would fix the downstairs bathroom at home). He taught college in New York, Washington, Oregon, and California, and always inspired his students to find the Good, the Beautiful, and the Truth.
He wooed Linda with the wonderful English cooking skills that he learned from his mother. It worked and he married her under a tree with a reception overlooking the ocean. Their journey together took them to New York, England, Europe, and up and down the west coast, and included a trip to Belgium where they followed a giant mechanical elephant as it paraded around Antwerp. The next step on his journey was to have been a move to a beautiful quiet space with a view that Linda had found for him, where he planned to garden and make music with all. His friendships have spanned decades and distance. Peter's music, his desire to make the world a better place, his intelligence, and his appreciation for outrageousness and beauty drew like-minded people to him wherever he was. Peter left us on March 4, 2014, but we know he has gone into the light.
If you really knew or appreciated Peter and want to honor him, do as he so loved to do, and perform one completely unexpected, outrageous and lovely act in front of people you do not necessarily know, in order to lift at least one person out of their focus on mundane concerns by drawing their attention to the wide array of alternative and beautiful possibilities that are always available around us if only we take the time to stop and look.
Arrangements under the direction of Caldwell's, Hennessey, Goetsch & McGee Funeral Home, Portland, OR.