Peter Bellwood Hubbard, second son of four children, was born in Boston on the second day of October in 1955 and raised in Cohasset, MA. Anything but conventional, Peter lived life on his own terms seeking experience, friends, and adventure. He believed in people and doing for others, especially those in need. He leaves a brother and two sisters: John Hubbard, Jr. of Berlin, MA and Bailey’s Island, ME; Sarah H. Krieger of Cambridge, MA; Jennifer H. Alba, of Ashland, NH; three nephews: Josh Krieger, Nicholas Gardner Alba, and Nathan Hubbard Alba; and a niece, Jennifer Krieger Crook; he was predeceased by his father John F. Hubbard, his mother Hellen Bellwood Hubbard, and his stepmother, June Swain Hubbard, as well as his everbeloved niece, Scarlet Hubbard. Every Hubbard, every friend knew his youthful, innocent nature, his wish that life be lived here, lived now. Growing up on Little Harbor in Cohasset, MA, Peter’s adventurous nature brought him friends, often lifelong, and admirers. In school he was quick to show those interested classmates how to find life outside the margins of the schoolmaster’s lined, composition paper, to check out the fun to be had in that hard-to-find liminal space, off the beaten path of rules and instruction outside and down the road a ways, more a Huckleberry Finn for sure than a Tom Sawyer, who regarded books for following rules rather than for adventure or story. Peter was a gift to everyone lucky enough to have known him: a peerless friend, a dedicated son, a loving brother and an ever-doting loving uncle. Peter approached his family with ever-ready interest and unfailing dedication. Birthdays being of utmost importance, cards were always sent on time and presents always delivered, in person if he could help it, with an uncanny insight for the perfect gift for each person ever year and unusual cards that landed uniquely time and again; Peter kept every family member in mind and heart, in all ways and always. At school, Peter’s experience ranged widely. He found more heart and more tooth in unconventional instruction rather than the traditional. He attended Derby Day Academy in Hingham, then several New England boarding schools, graduating in 1973 from The Stockbridge School. Wherever the whole person was considered, Peter excelled, and that way he discovered his love of theatre, acting, music and art. This became his science, this became his math: to read literature, to act in plays, to attend concerts, to make good friends amongst classmates and to approach his instructors as peers. To hear the sublime in music, he steadied himself into the quiet for the silence between notes, where much could be found that would hold him; likewise, he wanted everyone to ‘hear’ Frank Zappa, and find there enough attitude to thumb their nose at the Man, a different yet equally pleasant type of hold. For college he went to the West Coast to attend The University of California at Santa Cruz (1975-1980). He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Social Thought and Theatre Arts. In Santa Cruz he lived off campus, where he and his housemates shared stories, expenses, chores, and prepared meals together. His housemates from then remained life-long friends, remembering his bedroom door always open, his mediation pillow in a square of slanted sunlight, his knack for choosing the music to set the mood. After college, he set about the business of finding himself and moved between east and west coasts, settling for times in Los Angeles in Venice Beach and Santa Monica; in Manhattan on the Upper West Side at the Hotel Commander, 240 W. 73rd Street. In summer, he went to Williamstown, MA, to appear in summer-stock presentations of The Williamstown Theatre Festival, working with actors later to become famous. A member of The Actors Guild, he studied at The Actors’ Workshop and immersed himself in acting theory and experimental film. When not acting in plays in LA or NY, he organized his time working as chauffeur and caterer: in each case it was not the work itself that moved him rather the adventure in meeting new people. No one will ever forget Peter’s one-of-a-kind smile that said in its open countenance, “Yes, it’s splendid to meet you.” It was not in Peter’s nature to discriminate; it was in his nature to welcome, to listen intently so that you felt heard. An expert listener, he would nod his head slowly, acquiescent and understanding, his eye waiting for yours to look up, a smile ready to share. Peter traveled and encouraged travel indeed, he loved to encourage others to join him on local day trips and distant journeys—and as doting uncle, he offered an open-ended gift with no expiration date, promising his nieces and nephews ‘a trip of your choice, wherever you’d like to go.’ He took nephew Josh to Mali, where they journeyed across the desert in an open Jeep for more than 1,000 harrowing miles to attend the remote site of Festival au Desert outside Timbuktu to hear traditional Taureg music; he took nieces Jen and Scarlet to Scotland for the Edinburgh International Festival, a three week gathering of the world’s finest ensembles and performers in dance, opera, theatre and music where they walked the streets, found great pubs and eateries, and looked out over the city from Arthur’s Seat; he traveled to nephew Nicholas in Bozeman, MT, to see his life and share in some warm springtime air, but spring was put off with a thunderous snowstorm that blanketed the region: in a heartbeat they switched plans, grabbed snowboards and hit Bridger Bowl to slide and cut through two feet of fresh powder; they hiked local trails up into the mountains by day and by night bounced from one dinner spot to the next, Peter took nephew Nathan, Nick’s brother, to the Italian Riviera at Genoa and Portofino to stay with old friends, where they saw Galletti’s underwater Christ of the Abyss and the rock carved 10th century cliff dwellings, monasteries of the monks; they water-ferried between villages, cove to cove, from lunch to dinner, and swam everywhere. When it was time for Peter to come back east and home to Cohasset and Cambridge, when it was time to leave Venice Beach and the Upper West Side, leave his 750 Honda motorcycle, Peter let go his acting aspirations and asked himself, “how now?” Soon, he began working at Bridge Over Trouble Waters, a safe house for teens at risk, leading Outward Bound trips to the Boston Harbor Islands and taking over the classroom as teacher for a time, relying on his avidity for fiction and non-fiction; Peter was a natural teacher who synthesized information from the manual of his self, his Huckleberry Finn in play, his Walt Whitman as model, to offer a bigger truth: the self within as text, one to be read and to be referenced as guide while reading books in school, and there reflect and so begin to approach the world, one personal and another professional. A devotee for a time in an ashram in Brighton-Allston, Massachusetts between high school and college, Peter applied time and awareness to the thoughts and life of Guru Maharishi Yogi; Peter integrated the discipline of meditation and found selflessness. While his life later became a walking meditation, at Bridge Over Troubled Waters, he led mini-meditation sessions in class with his students. At this time, he sought and became a court appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children for the Boston CASA Program. His boss there, Cheryl Cox, described him as “a strong advocate who had such a kind heart.” Peter also took part in the Big Brothers program and mentored a little brother for over twenty years. Not soon after his years at Bridge and advocating in the CASA Program, Peter then dedicated his life to one of social work and began at The American Red Cross of Boston, where he first volunteered on the floor, and then learned all aspects of the food division when hired, driving the truck for pick-up; driving the truck for delivery; working the in-take area at the computer, and eventually found himself promoted to manager in the hunger relief department of the Cross’s Boston Food Pantry. From 2008-2020, he gave long hard days without complaint but many smiles to those less fortunate, waking at 4:15 and often returning home late in the evening. He most loved supervising the many volunteers in the Boston Food Pantry’s Volunteer Program. His boss David Avery wrote: “… his great love and most beautiful skill was his interpersonal people skills, which he channeled with mastery with pantry staff and volunteers. He was a confidant to many and had an uncanny way of sensing people’s emotional uneasiness, and with heart he was always ready to listen and help. He was a light that kept the pantry illumined for so many. Many of us will miss his presence at work and his company outside of work. He often closed his written messages with “upward and onward,” and it is this phrase that truly distinguished him and gave him spirit that continues to carry us all.” After so many years of following his heart—from the glistening waters of Little Harbor in Cohasset up to the the White and Green Mountains of New England; to the deep blues of the Pacific and back again to the green Atlantic water of New York and Martha’s Vineyard, with travels interspersed across many parts of the globe, Peter then chose Chelsea, MA, as the place to make his home, again near the water, this time looking over to Boston, which the many who knew him understood as his testimony in action: a best practice to live amongst the people you most care to serve, while holding the fervent wish that others would do so too. Peter B. Hubbard, PHUB, who signed his personal correspondence amongst family and friends, “Love and Rockets,” died on October 6th, 2020 at this beloved home in Chelsea, MA on Winnisimmet Street surrounded by his siblings after a stoic battle with cancer, so stoic he had convinced many he would beat the odds and survive. His family, friends and coworkers all mourn this irreplaceable loss. We miss his humility, his undivided attention, and his indefatigable interest in family, friends and those disadvantaged in life. He loved the world and living in it. He had just turned sixty-five. The world— and ours—is less without him. Because Peter Hubbard discovered and developed his living passion in both theatre and social work as well as in friendship and community service, donations in his name, in lieu of flowers, are found fitting to honor his life: www.appolinairedtheatre. com of the Chelsea Theatre Works www.redcross.org/food-and-nutritionprograms American Red Cross www.emassbigs.org for the Big Brothers program. A virtual memorial will be planned for a later date.
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