Born: Brockton, MA on 11 June 1934

Passed away: San Diego on 25 October 2016

Aged: 82 years

Funeral Date: 23 January 2017

Service Details

A service will be held on January 23, 2017 at 2PM at Miramar National Cemetary. A small reception will follow (3-5pm) at the Portofino Clubhouse in Tierrasanta (10690 Escobar Drive, San Diego 92124).

The Story

My Grandpa written by Ben Gonzalez

“When someone tells you thank you, you respond with ‘you’re welcome’. Not ‘no problem’ or something like that. Because it shouldn’t be a problem or worry to help someone else out.”

He loved helping us with projects, be it wooden swords, a basketball hoop or homemade go-carts, he loved helping us create something special.

He taught us to carry humor into every aspect of our lives.

He showed us that sometimes you have to let the other man win not for yourself but for them.

He told us stories and jokes that will never be forgotten.

He never made any enemies and was loved by all, making positive interactions with almost everyone he came to know

He expressed the extreme importance of respect of one and ones personal belongings.

He woke up each day with a new joke to tell and a lesson to teach.

He loved his wife, children, grandchildren, friends, duct tape and PVC.

He watched each of his children and grandchildren grow supporting them along the way.

He was a father, husband, grandfather, teacher, coach, engineer, student, jokester, treasurer, outdoorsman and much, much more.

My grandfather’s way of life and attitude upon which he brought into my life everyday has left an everlasting mark within me. I hope to one day educate my children and grandchildren the way my grandfather educated me. The way he could entertain any crowd and always extract the absolute best of anyone he was around was momentous. His passionate sense of carefulness toward each and every person he met taught me to strive for the same. He would always teach my brother and I to try and solve our own problems. He taught us to: consider the situation; try something, then to try again with resilience, until finally if nothing prevailed he taught us to whip out the duct tape. He taught us love the things you love, be positive each day and to never stop learning in your lifetime. For each lesson or message he conveyed to us I am grateful. I am fortunate to have had such a figure in my life and his actions will never be forgotten.
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Some people have asked me to post what I said at my dad's service. It is a bit long, but here it is........

Many of you know I am a fourth grade teacher. For the past few years I have been teaching my students how to write opinion essays. We start with writing a personal essay, and each year I model for them and write along side them my own essay titled My Father is my Most Important Teacher. Although, the audience of my essay has always been my fourth grade students and I have written it at simplistic level for them, i am sure each of you will be able to relate to some part of the stories and anecdotes I tell in my essay. And although I am using I, I am sure it can be replaced with we or you or us. As what he means to me and what I cherish most about him, I am sure I share with many others.

As parents we often worry about who is at school teaching our children and we try to control who they get so we can make sure they have the best possible education, however in my life I have found that my most valuable teacher has been there all along - my father.

My father is my most important teacher because he taught me to laugh every day. We all know my dad has a joke for every occasion and every moment. Quite often I would find myself having a conversation with him, listening to one of his “stories” finally realizing deep in, that he is in the middle of a joke. How he could come up with these jokes so seamlessly transitioning from our conversation, I never could figure out. And he had his all time favorites that we heard over and over but never tired of; such as when we went to pizza and every time WITHOUT FAIL he would tell them, “we want a large, but please cut it into 10 pieces, I don’t think we can eat 12.” or at Thanksgiving when he would say, “Turkey is my favorite kind of chicken except for duck.” Who even knows what that means??? There’s the hot air balloon joke that he told Sam at a young age and then he would get a kick out of listening to a 5 year old tell it just so he could say the word damn. When we were young and my brothers would pick on me or “hurt” me, my dad really never got mad at them and yell, to diffuse the situation he just told me he would hold them down so I could hit them. Many of us know that he should could yell from the sidelines of the soccer field as he would get pretty intense about winning, yet in the end it all ended in fun by piling into the EGG and ending up at Sev for a slurpee. The memories I have of soccer as a child is loving soccer even though our first season we lost every single game (well as my dad would remind us we won one because the other team forfeited), but I remember the fun of soccer because my dad as a coach never made us feel like losers, he laughed with us and made us love the sport. Being around my dad, it was inevitable that you would laugh, he just had a knack for bringing it out in people.

My father is my most important teacher, also, because he taught me how to fix things. He taught me how to change my oil and how to fix a flat, even though he always did it for me. There was a time, on the way to a high school soccer game, that if it wasn’t for my dad teaching me how to fix a flat, we wouldn’t have made it to the game. My dad taught me that you can fix anything with duct tape. Or sometimes electrical tape worked better. My favorite is when I would hear a sound in my car that didn’t seem right, he would ask, “Can you hear it when you turn the radio up?, nope i would say, well there you have it then it’s fixed. My dad taught me how to fix a lot of things and always was there in a second if anything went wrong, but most of all my dad taught me that if something needs fixing, he would be there to fix it for me. Vacuums, kitchen sinks, cars, toilets, broken toys, bikes, chairs, light fixtures, beds, couches. Now that I look back on it, I had a lot of broken things. And my dad effortlessly and happily fixed them all.

Because of the above and so much more, my dad was my most important teacher because he taught me how important family is. My dad was always one who loved the outdoors, his eagle scout days and camping days with us when we were younger is evidence of that. But he probably wasn’t one to go searching out wildflowers or native plants. However, after living in San Diego for quite a few years and hiking the canyons with his bride he was known to point out a flower or native or two and know the accurate name. This isn’t because it was his hobby, but it was that of his wife’s and since she loved it, he grew to love it too. He may of at first tried to send her on her way, but when she I am sure relentlessly did not give up, he gave in and with pride in his voice would talk about their hikes together and all the plants they saw. He taught us how important family is when he would go on long summer trips with mom, exploring together and going back each year to “their” spots. Sharing the stories with us all when they would get back home built a stronger foundation of what family is - having adventures together and enjoying each other’s company just the two of them - - all summer - My dad taught us how important family is when he coached our soccer teams for countless years, swam with us every day after work, took us on long motorcycle rides, had Friday evenings at Round Table so the whole family could get together each week, traveled to come visit us when we moved away, helped us paint our houses or help with renovations, held our children, washed our dogs. He taught us how important family is by being an awesome grandpa. But also, my dad taught us how important family is by being involved in our community, a soccer coach was one way, but as we got older he became involved in Kiwanis, planning community events and showing us the value of being involved, because a stronger community builds a stronger family.

And my dad’s “family” extended to our friends and his friends, and in laws and outlaws and everything in between.

My dad was my most important teacher because he took the time. He didn’t set aside time to actually “teach” me things, instead he gave his time to anyone who needed it. I never heard my dad say “not now honey” or “no, I don’t have time to do that.” He didn’t lecture us, or try to teach us lessons, instead he spent time with us, he listened - well maybe he talked - but he was always available and willing. My job as a teacher is important to me and I always felt that being a teacher is rewarding job, but through my dad and what he is to me through laughing, and fixing “things”, by being him and the time and effort he gave to his family and those around him, he naturally taught me to be a better parent, to be a better person, to love more, to give more, to laugh more.

MaryAnne Morris


Such fond memories of hanging out at the Caswell house in high school and spending time with Pete. His quick wit and easy smile always warmed my heart. He was like a father to me and for all the sweet pieces of advice and affection he showed me, I am a better person. Rest in peace Peter. <3 xoxo

Jacki Cepe Lake


MaryAnne Morris shared a photo.


MaryAnne Morris shared a photo.


MaryAnne Morris shared a photo.


MaryAnne Morris shared a photo.


MaryAnne Morris shared a photo.


My dad LOVED music and I remember him playing his John Denver record when we all went to bed so we could hear it upstairs.

MaryAnne Morris dedicated a song.