On Sunday, January 10, 2021, Peter F. Demers, 79, beloved by family and friends, succumbed to a brief, but fierce, battle with COVID-19 in Los Angeles, California while caring for his partner of 36 years.
Peter was a cherished member of the Chatham community. His generosity and genial presence touched all who encountered him. He lived his life to the fullest and was known by his family and friends as a pillar of support with a kind and compassionate spirit. He loved movies, history, reading, running, had a wonderful sense of humor, and could always be found laughing and enjoying himself.
Peter was born on December 7, 1941 in Chicopee to Wilfred C. Demers and Dorothy (Seyler) Demers. He received his doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts and began his career as an educator. He went on to serve as an aide to a Massachusetts governor and enjoyed a successful career in marketing and business development. In 1974, he founded the Hampshire Educational Collaborative, a non-profit collaboration of public school districts which is still in existence today. Over the course of his career, he served as President of the SoWa Marketing Group, Director of McGraw-Hill School Publishing Company, and created The Plumlife Company. Recently, he was Gallery Director and Business Manager of Steve Lyons Gallery in Chatham.
Peter and his partner, Steve, entered into their Gallery venture together and complemented one another’s skills. Peter loved the job not only because it allowed him to use his management skills, but because he interacted with people every day. The Gallery has proven to be a wild success, not just because of the beautiful and unique artwork created by his partner, but because of Peter's savvy business sense. He enriched the lives of everyone around him and will be greatly missed by all.
Peter was preceded in death by his father Wilfred, and his mother, Dorothy. He is survived by his partner Steve Lyons and his son Eli Seiser, his former spouse, Dorothy Demers of Ramona, Calif., his sisters Donna Petitt of Amherst and Debbie Zatkowsky of Reston, Va., brother James Demers of Chicopee, five nieces, two nephews, several grand-nieces and grand-nephews, many cousins and countless friends. A celebration of Peter’s life will be held in Chatham (TBD) when everyone can once again safely travel and gather. Donations in Peters honor can be made to the brain tumor research program of Dr David Reardon at the center for neuro-oncology at the Dana-Farber cancer Institute.