HARWICH — By all accounts, Peter Luddy was a man of community. He stood out under his pink ball cap. He loved Harwich and its people. Mr. Luddy, 66, who served as a selectman for seven years, passed away at home on Friday.
Mr. Luddy moved to Harwich from Waterbury, Conn. in 1989. He established his painting business and shortly thereafter opened a paint and decorating shop. He was a gregarious character always ready with a compliment and a helping hand, and those characteristics opened a gateway to local politics. Mr. Luddy was elected to the board of selectmen in 1995.
“He always had his pink hat and he sat in the CVS parking lot and greeted his constituents,” Town Clerk Anita Doucette reflected on Monday.
While Mr. Luddy was a selectman, he joined with fellow board member Peter Hughes and town administrator Wayne Melville on a trip across the pond to Harwich, England to keep the sister town relationship thriving. The Harwich contingent joined with Harwich Mayor David McLeod and members of the Harwich Society in refreshing the bond.
“Peter was a good friend. His service in the community, his campaign, and his tenure as a member of the board of selectmen were all about the same thing … he wanted to help people and he spent his life doing just that,” Melville said.
Mr. Luddy was always willing to lend a hand and devote his free time and materials to community projects. Selectman Ed McManus said Mr. Luddy did a lot of volunteer projects for the town such as work on Brooks Academy and the recreation building across Parallel Street.
“I’ve known Peter Luddy for a long time. He was a wonderful guy, a great person and he gave a lot of his life to this town,” Selectman Stephen Ford said.
“He was probably one of the more engaging selectmen we have had in this town over the years,” added Selectmen Chairman Larry Ballantine.
Mr. Luddy helped out with a number of civic organizations, and in the weeks heading into the holiday season he could often be found in a Santa Claus outfit in Brooks Free Library and other gathering spots.
“I knew Peter and the extended Luddy family most of my life, and went to high school with Peter and his twin brother,” Harwich resident Bill Riley said. “Peter loved his children, loved the residents of Harwich, and dedicated much of the past 30 years in service to his community. He left an indelible impression on everyone he met and will be missed.”
“He loved life and loved people and was friendly to everybody,” said his former wife and friend, Petra Luddy. She indicated there are no services scheduled yet. A cause of death had not been established at press time.
Mr. Luddy, a Navy veteran, leaves behind his daughter Katrina Luddy in Harwich and daughter Justina and son James in Austria.