Shared by Margaret Joffrion on October 12, 2019
Van and I met Peter in 1984 in Madagascar when we adopted each other!  Then we adopted Mary! Marija, Tiana came along and we all met up again in Virginia and North Carolina.  Peter designed our home in Blowing Rock, which became the center of our family and friends' gathering place for 18 years.  Peter's joy, kindness, friendship, deep Faith, have enriched our lives more than I can begin to say.  Our trips to Ocracoke with Mary, Tiana, Pepper, were the highlight of the year.  I am so grateful for the time we have had together, and it is hard to think about facing life without his physical presence.  May God be with all of us as we try.  God bless you, dear friend and brother.   Margaret 
Shared by Curt Laub on October 10, 2019
The tributes here show much Peter loved and cared for others and had such zest for all things life--he is our heart and soul.
One day in 1992 the new neighbors moved into the upstairs apartment. Early (like 6 am early) the next morning there was a frantic pounding on the door. As I sleepily opened it this whirlwind on a mission dashed past explaining, “Hi I’m your new neighbor I have to borrow your bathroom our toilet’s clogged!!”. After that introduction there was no need for formalities and I was lucky to have a friend, neighbor, conscience, and brother for the next quarter century.
Sometimes Peter’s enthusiasm got him in a pickle, like when he was proudly showing off his new trimmer mower: “Watch this, it even cuts this sapling tree!”, which happened to be the prize rose of sharon that Mary had just planted. Or when he turned on the quite noisy new whole house fan: “Look how fast this cools the house!” only to have Mary come around the corner in disbelief that we had woken her from a deep nap with such racket!
When I most needed a pal, Peter showed up with beer, cookies, compassion, and humor-a perfect combination!
Dear friend Peter, we CAN see you from all our houses!

Remembering a great friend and collegue

Shared by W. David Gibbs on October 10, 2019
I just learned of Peter's passing last night and I'm so very saddened.  He became such a special friend while we worked together on multiple projects at Hollins U.  I was able to help him establish his independent practice after recognizing his special talents - and there were many.  Peter brought light and enlightenment to every encounter.  His special humor was often the highlight of any day when we spent time together.  I had occasion to visit "the farm" and meet Mary and the kids (long time ago).  Peter had endless stories about his wife, kids and family; he was so proud of them all.

After we became acquainted, I said to him: "You are too young to have had all those experiences."  I was truly impressed - then and up to now.  One of my favorite personal stories was about how he learned Spanish while working illegally in Paris with Colombians - managing bike rentals, I think.

A mutual friend just wrote of Peter: "I consider myself very fortunate to have worked closely with Peter during the last few years. His humor always made me laugh. What a brilliant man and a fine architect! I miss him."

I miss him too, very much!  Love and prayers for Mary and for all his close and extended family.
Shared by Liza Bakken on October 8, 2019
Peter was an amazing brother-in-law and Uncle to his nephew Mateo. Peter, Mary and cousin Tiana opened their home the past few summers for Mateo to attend camp. He loved this time with his Virginia family, spending time on the farm and this summer at the new city digs.
We have had so many wonderful family memories during holidays, reunions and more recently to celebrate Marija’s and Erik’s wedding in Marrakech. A trip of a lifetime of course made better by our guide and translator Peter.
Mary and Peter together were quite a team raising their beautiful daughters. Together with Marija and Tiana the farm was such a special place for us to visit. I feel so fortunate to have also spent time with Andrew and Dina and their families.  My heart goes out to all of Peter’s friends and family.  Peter was hilarious, kind, smart, witty and talented. Sending love to all who is feeling the loss of my amazing brother- in-law. 

From Robin Scully, neighbor and friend

Shared by Marija Ozolins on October 8, 2019
"Even though we never built the beautiful home addition that Peter designed (my daughter also loves those plans and looks at them often),  I did get a study bar that Peter designed at his new job and it is right outside of the gallery where I work all week.   It is a comfortable gathering place and the students fill it all day long, talking, eating, studying."

From Carol Crawford Smith and Garland Smith

Shared by Garland Smith on October 7, 2019
Peter was a very important part of my family; he was the godfather of my children Hunter and Garland, and he was a very important part of the dance community. Peter and I worked very closely to design the first Center of Dance and I am told that he was very instrumental in the Extreme Makeover of The Center of Dance, as well.. Peter and his family are much loved and much cared for by the community, by my family. He is truly missed.. 

From Dina Lisovskis

Shared by Dina Lisovskis on October 6, 2019
He was my little brother Petsie.  I loved him from the day he showed up.  What will I do without him?

From Sarah Gaylord Ratsimbazafy, friend and "short term daughter"

Shared by Sarah Gaylord on October 6, 2019
Hearing the news about Peter, I was saddened by the loss of a person as great as Peter. Then, I started remembering the beautiful memories I shared with Peter and his family. Back in the early 2000s, when I was 13. Peter, Mary, and Marija welcomed me into their home for 6 months as I was attending the Achievement Center in Roanoke. Peter was always goofy, loving, and caring to me, as I was adjusting to life in the US. Peter made me feel at ease by speaking to me in French and sharing his memories and love of Madagascar.  I was very intrigued by his work, and one day I walked down to the basement to ask him a lot of questions. I remember when Peter was working on a project for a research center in Madagascar, he was having issues in designing a building, as it was falling off the cliff. I suggested to angle the building in a certain way, and he thought this was a great idea and made the structural adjustment. Another memory was when Marija, Mary, Peter, and I were looking at old pictures of our families. There was one picture of Marija and me, and Peter and Mary wanted Marija, and I, to reproduce the image 13 years later. That day, we had a lot of laughs, and Peter was imitating Marija, and I poses. We had such a fun time, and it was one of the best memory I had with Peter.  Peter, you always brought love and joy into everyone's life, and you will be missed. 

From Molly Grimes, friend

Shared by Marija Ozolins on October 6, 2019
“This loss is devastating. Peter was a jovial, kind and unapologetically goofy person who dedicated much of his life to helping others. He and his amazing family, Marija, Tiana and Mary have been my dear friends since I was in 6th grade.”

From Imant Lisovskis, nephew

Shared by Marija Ozolins on October 6, 2019
"Peter greatly influenced me throughout my life. His travels throughout Africa to work and live inspired me to not think twice about exploring parts of the world less traveled. He showed me my first Bruce Lee movie. He gifted me my first subscription to the Economist, which helped foster my interest in international politics. Most importantly though, Peter had the goofiest sense of humor that he passed on to his daughter Marija, the only other lawyer in the family besides me. Marija and I just happened to attend law school at the same time, where we would constantly threaten suit against one another over the most frivolous matters. Peter would just love it if one of these days Marija and I followed through on our frivolous threats and made fools of ourselves in the courtroom."

From Emma Hileman, neighbor and friend

Shared by Marija Ozolins on October 6, 2019
"I will never know how to express my gratitude for having had Peter in my life. Growing up in a rural neighborhood your community makes you who you are and I would not be who I am today without Peter, his wife Mary and daughters Marija and Tiana. I was lucky enough to be raised by a neighborhood community that valued love, hard work, patience and humor. Peter was the most wonderful example of what it means to be a good neighbor, man, father, husband, friend and total goof. Our hearts are broken and we will miss your laughter and smile always but we keep all of what you taught us forever. You brought so much love and joy to this world Peter."

Share a Story

Illustrate your story with a picture, music or video (optional):