LAWRENCE A. PETER, 1945 - 2019

Lawrence 'Larry' Peter passed away Sunday, April 14, 2019, at his home surrounded by loved ones. He was 74.

Larry was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 9, 1945 and spent his early years there. After receiving bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Cincinnati, he attended Ohio State University and earned a master's degree in social work. He knew very early in life that he wanted to pursue a profession that would help others. That career began with Children's Services of Cincinnati.

In 1976 he moved to Tucson, Arizona. During the next 42 years he provided behavioral therapy and counseling services to children, adults and families as a member of group medical practices, and after 1997, through his private practice. 

Larry lived a life with purpose and touched many during his short time on earth. He will be remembered as a remarkable, compassionate man who had a zest for living and a disarming sense of humor. Above all Larry understood the important things in life - the beauty of nature, the great outdoors, and living a life centered around the ones he loved most - his family and friends. That is his legacy, and he will be greatly missed in this world.

He is survived by Gayle Townsend, his wife of 24 years; daughters Kimberly Mayfield and Shannon Kent (Carey) of Tucson; granddaughter Ashley Andrews (Josh) of Show Low, Arizona; grandchildren Courtney and Chase Kent; great granddaughters Avery and Lainey Leech; Joe Townsend of Tucson; Derick Townsend and Tori Townsend Jordan of Austin, Texas.

A Celebration of Larry's Life will be held Saturday, May 18, 2019, from 9:30 am to 11:30 am at the Oro Valley United Church of Christ, 1401 E. El Conquistador Way (see directions below).  In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in his name to the No Place for Hate Initiative of the Arizona Anti-Defamation League https://support.adl.org/give/174715/#!/donation/ch.or to The Nature Conservatory at https://support.nature.org/site/Donation2?df_id=15...

* Go north on Oracle Road to 10,000 N. Oracle Road (the entrance to the Hilton El Conquistador Hotel). Turn right onto El Conquistador Way and follow it for 3/4 of a mile. The entrance to the church will be on the left, just outside the gated entry to La Reserve. 

After the service please remember to gather on the outdoor patio where we will inscribe tributes to Larry on river rocks that will be used for a memorial garden.





Posted by Edith Bailey on June 12, 2019
I worked with Larry over many years. He was compassionate and caring. I think this poem summarizes my memories- and I suspect those of many of his patients. His afterglow.....
Afterglow
I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.
Helen Lowrie Marshall
Posted by John Curtiss on May 18, 2019
I often referred children and families in my pediatric practice to Larry during more than 21 years we worked at GHMA. I never got other than positive feedback from those he counselled. His knowledgeable skill, candor, authenticity, and availability were outstanding. I missed him when he moved from Tucson, and I am saddened by his loss now.
Posted by Sol Grossman on May 11, 2019
I first met Larry at the Tucson Child Guidance Center in 1976 in his role as an adult although as much a kid as those he served in counseling. Larry was always committed to the clients he served although at work and in his off hours, Larry was quite off--the wall and zany and funny. His jokes, spontaneity, faces and pranks have enriched my life and those he touched. And his loyalty to family, friends, clients and others was his reward to humanity. 
And, as we would sing together to Monty Python's "I'm a Lumberjack":
Larry's "a lumberjack and he's O.K. He sleeps all night and he works all day. 
He cuts down trees, he eats his lunch and goes to the lavatory. On Wednesdays he goes shopping and has buttered scones for tea...." Thanks, Larry for singing and living along with me and the many who have known and loved you. Good night, my friend.
Posted by Jeff Ronstadt on May 6, 2019
Larry will be missed. He was one of the very good ones.
Posted by Jill Bullock on May 5, 2019
Dearest Gayle, i’m So sorry to hear of the passing of Larry. I was not fortunate to meet Larry in person. Only through you did I know Larry. Just know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
All my Love, Jill Bullock
Posted by Katie Maass on April 30, 2019
Oh my Dear Friend, Larry - you listened, made me laugh, built up my strength intuitively. I promise to continue to smile and laugh in your memory (after my tears dry up).
Dear Gayle - Let us continue to love our families, nature and the world, continuing with the exuberance of Larry.
God bless you, dear sister.
Posted by Kimberly Mayfield on April 29, 2019
Oh, my daddy. It was our heaven here on earth with you...nothing will ever be the same now that you are gone. You would frown at me for saying that - and you would tell me that you will always be all around us, all the time. In the mountains, in the trees, in the streams and lakes...and in our hearts. In all of our hearts, and souls. You taught me so much. You opened my eyes and my heart to nature, you taught me to love and appreciate the outdoors.
You took me on many a "forced march", although I as grew older, the forced marches became wonderful hikes. And cross country skiing! You saw the abysmal failure that I was at downhill skiing, so you turned me on to hiking on skis. We hit some beautiful trails on the mountain! You introduced me to the amazing adventures that could be had through books. You taught me that it is ok to be silly (but I have never been as good at it as you were!) You taught me how to be kind and to love animals. You allowed me to have dogs, cats, and horses - even though you were horribly allergic to them all! Oh, and snakes. And rabbits. And Guinea Pigs, birds...and rats. You went to watch me at horse shows. You took me to heavy metal concerts! You introduced me to John Denver, to classical music, to silly tv shows like the Smothers Brothers and Monty Python. You blessed me with your gift of listening. You taught me to be accepting of people, even when I didn't understand or agree with them. Most importantly, you taught me how to love. How to accept others for what and who they are. How to forgive. You showed me how important family is, how deep that love goes. You always loved us, no matter what. You loved us. Thank you for being my daddy. My Papa, Pops, Padre, Dad, Daddy. I love you. Thank you for being in my life and blessing me with so much of yourself....
Posted by Gayle Townsend on April 25, 2019
Larry was my husband, best friend and soulmate. Our marriage was a gift that kept on giving during our 24 years together ...we had a life filled with incredible experiences and happy times. No one made me laugh so much or love so freely as Larry. We shared the same beliefs, interests and passions, and found it uncanny the times when we often finished each other's sentences or thoughts. We completed each other.

Next to our children, our biggest passion was travel. We created bucket lists from time to time, and overseas travel always topped our list. So we made it a point to see as much of the world as we could and pursued it with gusto - starting with our first trip to Thailand in 1995 and ending with our last trip to the Netherlands in 2017. Our favorite places were the Provence region of France and the Tuscany countryside in Italy where we often rented a villa or home with family and close friends. Larry especially liked Stockholm, Amsterdam, and of course, Paris. 

No matter where we went It was a given that Larry would always make friends and keep them laughing with his zany sense of humor. I was always his biggest fan and enabler.

He also loved fine art, and we visited museums and cathedrals wherever we went. We made art a centerpiece of every home we lived in. There was scarcely a bare wall to be found.

But being outdoors was always his favorite 'home', so hiking, fishing, golf, skiing and camping filled many of our days in the White Mountains. Larry loved everything in nature.... the mountains and streams; star-filled nights around a campfire; wildflowers in Spring; Summer monsoons; the adrenaline rush of skiing all day. His greatest joy during the last summer of his life was sitting on the back porch of our cabin in Pinetop and listening to the wind in the pines.

I was truly blessed to have had Larry for 24 years of my life...yet I wanted him forever. He was the love of my life. I will miss him terribly.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Edith Bailey on June 12, 2019
I worked with Larry over many years. He was compassionate and caring. I think this poem summarizes my memories- and I suspect those of many of his patients. His afterglow.....
Afterglow
I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.
Helen Lowrie Marshall
Posted by John Curtiss on May 18, 2019
I often referred children and families in my pediatric practice to Larry during more than 21 years we worked at GHMA. I never got other than positive feedback from those he counselled. His knowledgeable skill, candor, authenticity, and availability were outstanding. I missed him when he moved from Tucson, and I am saddened by his loss now.
Posted by Sol Grossman on May 11, 2019
I first met Larry at the Tucson Child Guidance Center in 1976 in his role as an adult although as much a kid as those he served in counseling. Larry was always committed to the clients he served although at work and in his off hours, Larry was quite off--the wall and zany and funny. His jokes, spontaneity, faces and pranks have enriched my life and those he touched. And his loyalty to family, friends, clients and others was his reward to humanity. 
And, as we would sing together to Monty Python's "I'm a Lumberjack":
Larry's "a lumberjack and he's O.K. He sleeps all night and he works all day. 
He cuts down trees, he eats his lunch and goes to the lavatory. On Wednesdays he goes shopping and has buttered scones for tea...." Thanks, Larry for singing and living along with me and the many who have known and loved you. Good night, my friend.
his Life

Some of Larry's loves...

Larry had a passion for the great outdoors and loved nothing more than being part of nature; hiking with his "girls" (strolls, walks, forced marches, and hikes!), fishing, cross country skiing, exploring and spending quality time with family. Being outside in nature was his peace.He loved the mountains, the trees, rivers, streams, lakes, forests, wildlife of all kinds. He found beauty everywhere he went. Larry’s favorite place to be was with Gayle at their vacation home in Pinetop, Arizona.

Larry loved to travel, and took many trips with Gayle to destinations all over the world.

His sense of humor brightened many lives. He loved comedy such as MONTY PYTHON, Steve Martin (he did the BEST imitation of Wild and CRAZY Guy!), The Smothers Brothers, and Robin Williams.

He was an animal lover and adored his dogs Skye and Woody.

Larry was an AVID reader and loved biographies, autobiographies, anything political..

He loved music of all kinds, but his favorites were Classical and Jazz.

One of his favorite foods was Skyline Chili, and it was a tradition for many years to watch the Indy 500 and eat Skyline.  He and Gayle loved Thai food and would pick it up most weekends as they headed to their home in Pinetop.

His granddaughter Ashley called him Papa. When she was little, they spent many hours at the Zoo and parks. His great granddaughters called him "UberPapa" (yes, he made that one up!) and he would sing silly songs to them (brusha brusha brusha, use the new Ipana, for one…).

FAMILY, FRIENDS, ANIMALS, NATURE, MUSIC, FOOD, ADVENTURE, TRAVELLING, READING, LAUGHING, LOVING.



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