Peter Sturtevant

Peter Albert Sturtevant

1930 - 2019
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Peter Albert Sturtevant died at his summer home on October 9 in Brooklin, Maine. A resident of Sanibel, Florida, he was born on September 5, 1930 in Washington, D.C. to William North Sturtevant and Elizabeth Wheeler Sturtevant Dunn. He lost his older brother, North, a Yale graduate and Navy flier, in 1944. He attended St. Albans School in Washington and graduated from Choate. He later attended Harvard and Rollins Colleges (BA), George Washington Law School (JD) and the University of Vermont (MA).
Peter was an avid fly fisherman, bird hunter and sailor. A superb athlete, he pitched in the NCAA tournament for Rollins College and for the Single-A Cody Red Sox in Wyoming. He was a former Commodore of Center Harbor Yacht Club in Brooklin, Maine, where he sailed his sloop, Cachalot, and a member of Chevy Chase Club in Maryland.
A beloved and revered teacher and educator, he retired as head of the Maret School in Washington, D.C. in 1994, after serving for 24 years. He led the school’s successful transition from a nearly bankrupt, relatively unknown institution to one of the most respected independent schools in the Washington area. He was passionate about developing the full intellectual, artistic, and athletic potential of each student in his care. At Maret, he earned the moniker, “Big Sky,” playfully bestowed upon him by colleagues and students who enjoyed his strong leadership and oversized personality. He was ever a champion for students and teachers, especially the underdog. He began his teaching career at the all-boys Landon School in Bethesda, Maryland, where he taught and coached from 1958-1966. He is revered by those men he taught as boys at Landon, as well as by his former Maret students and faculty.
Preceded in death by his wife, Janet Knox Sturtevant, he leaves his wife, Linda Webber Sturtevant. He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Sturtevant and husband John Eckhardt of Battleground, Washington; and three sons, William North Sturtevant III and wife Carol of Durham, N.H., Peter Albert Sturtevant Jr. and wife Amy of Washington, D.C., and Thomas Knox Sturtevant and partner Dianna Raedle of New York City. He also leaves his stepson, Phillip Wheeler Marriott and wife Susannah of Brooklyn, New York, and stepdaughter, Brooke Bartletta and husband Simon Bartletta of Hingham, MA. In addition, he is survived by seventeen grandchildren.
A service for Peter will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, October 26 at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Blue Hill, Maine. The family requests that gifts in Peter’s memory be sent to the Brooklin Fire Department PO Box 17 Brooklin, Maine 04616.
Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St. Ellsworth
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Farnham Blair

Posted at 02:58pm
I first met Peter around 65 years ago when I was 10 and my mother started coming to Haven Colony in summers. I spent many hours at the tennis court, and that was where I often saw Peter, who was an excellent player—and a first-rate athlete in general. I looked up to Peter right away because he was big (larger than life), loud, and, most of all, a LOT of fun. It would be a few years before I had the pleasure of playing tennis with him. The first time we played, I was his doubles partner. Big excitement for me, as he was about ten times my superior. He gave me constant, witty encouragement, even setting me up to smash a few winners that he could easily have taken care of himself. A very generous guy in every way. There were a couple of summers when a membership in Haven that included tennis privileges was more than I could swing. Peter found out and asked me for just few bucks in cash, saying “I’ll take care of this. You gotta be able to play!” Generosity! Reading about the rest of Peter’s life, at Maret and elsewhere, I saw exactly the same spirit. A deeply good person. I count myself very lucky to have known him. And I was only one of many beneficiaries of his generosity and joy in living. R.I.P., Big Guy. You are greatly missed.
Farnham (Mike) Blair
P.O. Box 385, Blue Hill
18 October, 2019

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 06:17pm
Peter made our time at Maret innovative, exciting, and fun. We will miss our mentor, colleague, and friend. May his memory be a blessing to us all.
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Nick Brattan

Posted at 05:19pm
I recently met North through in business group hosted by Goldman Sachs. North, I did not know your father but I can only imagine he was proud of your accomplishments. I am sorry for your loss and offer my condolences to you and your family. Hope we can connect in the near future. Life is precious and short and molded by our surroundings and the people we surround ourselves with. You are a good soul. Nick B.

Jonathan Sams Edelman

Posted at 01:49pm
Dear Linda, Elizabeth, Will, Stick, Tom and the entire Sturtevant family:

It was with profound sadness that I learned of the passing of the remarkable, unique and wise Peter Sturtevant. You have all been in my thoughts and I wish to offer my sincere condolences to the entire family.

There are no simple words or phrases that can convey the profound impact Peter had on my life (and many others). Peter had faith in me when I needed it most.

When I moved to DC in 1979 at the age of 14 to live with my Dad, Peter not only accepted me into Maret when others there doubted my merit, he physically and psychologically gave me many much-needed bear hugs of support during my high school years. Who can forget sitting in Peter’s office at Maret, expecting to be chastised for this or that “offense”, and instead he would chat you up about some idea he had or something he thought you should do next year at school. It was mesmerizing, it was magical, and it was inspirational.

Peter and my Dad (Richard “Dick” Edelman) were classmates at Harvard and their friendship was re-kindled when I applied to Maret. As a single Dad dealing with a challenging son, Peter kept my Dad at peace with my ups and downs, and promised him my time to shine would come – that gave my Dad great hope due to his immense respect for Peter and his innate genius in dealing with adolescents.

I got to enjoy many dinners at our house in those years where Peter and my Dad would spend hours telling stories and quoting from philosophers, poets and historical figures (which they both so loved to do). “Bring out the good stuff, Dick” Peter would bellow with that remarkable deep voice (And I think we all know to what Peter was referring).

When I became interested in attending Bowdoin my junior year at Maret, in no small part due to Peter’s admiration for the college (which of course Stick attended, as did my senior year physics teacher, and Stick friend, Scott Nelson), Peter spent a great deal of time coaching me on how I might get accepted. Regardless of what I did, there is not a sliver of doubt in my mind that I would never have been accepted at Bowdoin without Peter’s great confidence in me, his support and of course his recommendation. I did my very best to justify Peter’s confidence in me at Bowdoin.

Peter’s impact on my life is by no means a one-off. Two of my closest friends to this day were classmates at Maret, and I know they feel the same way about Big Sky (as do many more people I know). Yesterday Pierre Rovani, one of those special Maret friends said, “I hope Peter realized how loved and admired he was.” I missed a last opportunity to express to Peter that very sentiment, so it is my great hope that the entire Sturtevant family know how many people (and there are so many) feel the loss of such a remarkable and impactful man – he will be missed. He will be remembered with great love, respect and thankfulness.

Jonathan Sams Edelman
Maret Class of 1983
Bowdoin Class of 1987

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