Peter James Dietz, 63
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PORTLAND -- Peter James Dietz lost his nine-year fight with cancer and leukemia on May 5, 2013. Peter was born Oct. 4, 1949, in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., one of eight kids to Gloria Lawlor Dietz and Donald E. Dietz Jr.
Pete grew up in Pelham, N.Y. and graduated from Pelham Memorial High School in 1967. He spent his summers sailing and swimming on Pea Island in the Long Island Sound. Pete also was a sailing instructor at Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club, Long Island, N.Y. for a couple of summers. Pete spent several summers working as a deckhand on merchant vessels; The Skarborg, an ore carrier that took him to Argentina and Brazil, and on the Nea Tyke, an oil tanker that took him to Venezuela, Morocco, Holland and Germany.
As a kid (unbeknownst to his parents), Pete loved walking down through the Bronx to the Dyre Ave subway station and taking the train into Manhattan and roaming the streets of Times Square, Greenwich Village, and the rest of Manhattan. He would walk around the city for miles looking for adventure, and he found plenty.
Pete attended Franklin College in Franklin, Ind. for two years before transferring to Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., where he earned his B.A. in English in 1972.
The summer of 1969 was a huge turning point for Pete when he and two buddies, Chopper and Kenny, headed to Woodstock to join the celebration. They got there several days before the festival began, watched the stage go up, the fence come down, the arrival of the Hog Farm and all the rest. They also stayed for a couple of days after and watched it all go away.
While at Hofstra Pete met Susan Jaffe and the two were married. They moved to Carbondale, Ill. where Pete attended Southern Illinois University and earned his M.A. degree. With school done, Peter and Sue decided to move back East and chose the Boston area and New England as their new home. Pete graduated from The Executive Training Program at Jordan Marsh Department Store in Boston and became an Assistant Buyer. Then Pete accepted a job as Campus Bookstore Manager at New Hampshire College in Manchester, N.H. He spent ten years at NHC during which time his son Ben was born. During this time he also attended Vanderbilt University in the Doctorate of Education Program. Peter married Teresa Tomaskovic in October of 1984 and they soon had two children, Sarah and Adam Dietz. Pete ended his stay at NHC as Associate Dean of Administration before moving to Portland, taking a position as Director of Corporate Services for The Union Mutual Life Insurance Co., later to become Unum. His career at Unum lead him in several directions, eventually ending up as Full Vice President and Head of Underwriting and corporate services for the individual disability division.
Pete then struck out on his own and started his own small business specializing in his love of the outdoors by landscaping and snowplowing. He then accepted the position as Director of Facilities at Point Sebago Resort in Casco. He then moved to position as Director of Facilities for Ingraham, a non-profit located in Portland, and found what he was looking for; a job in which he could use his knowledge and experience, but also help people at the same time. He held the same job as Ingraham and Youth Alternatives merged to form Youth Alternatives Ingraham and then merged with PROP to become The Opportunity Alliance.
Pete had many friends and colleagues; he loved Maine and especially the summer. He was a beach nut and spent countless hours at Old Orchard Beach and most recently with his daughter, Sarah, at Pine Point.
Also known 'Deetzy,' Pete has a diverse group of friends throughout the Portland area. Pete loved playing golf and spent many an evening after work and many a weekend chasing the little white ball. His closest buddies were Portland West Enders, Joe, Jimmy, Steamer, Big Al, Paul and Laurie and the rest of the Thursday Happy Hour Dart Night Crew. And of course his best buddy Lucky D.
Pete is survived by his son Benjamin and his wife Heather of London, England, his daughter Sarah of Portland, and his son Adam of Windham. He also had an extended family including his brother Donald and his wife Linda, of Scarsdale, N.Y., sister Elizabeth of No. Andover, Mass., sister Carla and her husband John Carroll of Fairfield, Conn., sister Rosemary and husband Tom Bartsch of Madison, Conn., sister Dorothy of Larchmont, N.Y., brother Christopher and his wife Maura of New Jersey; and cousin Tom Ackerly of Kansas. He was predeceased by his brother John. He was also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Friday, May 10, 2013 from 3 - 6 p.m. with a time of remembrance at 5 p.m. at the Wilde Memorial Chapel at Evergreen Cemetery, 672 Stevens Ave. Portland.
Arrangements are under the care of Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services, 981 Forest Ave, Portland. Please visit www.advantageportland.com to sign Peter's guestbook.
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on May 7, 2013