Ithaca Blog

Friday, February 20, 2009

Peter DeMott, Man of Peace, Rest In Peace

Peter DeMott of Ithaca died yesterday in an accident while working. He was 62.

Peter was a veteran of both the U.S. Army and Marines who became one of the leading anti-war activists in America.

Peter once told the New York Times he could not remember how many times he had been arrested for civil disobedience. "I usually round it off to a couple of dozen times," he said.

Most recently, Peter was imprisoned for participating in a non-violent protest on March 17, 2003, at the start of the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq.

The protesters, known as the St. Patrick's 4, included Peter's sisters-in-law, Clare and Teresa Grady, and Daniel Burns of Ithaca.

Peter leaves behind his wife, Ellen Grady, and their 4 daughters.

News of Peter's death was broadcast nationally this morning on the Democracy Now program.

A memorial service is planned for Sunday, from 3 - 7 pm, at the Women's Community Building. A funeral Mass will be held at the Immaculate Conception Church on Monday, at 12:45.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog


Louis said...

I didn't know Peter personally, but he was an example and an inspiration to me. People often ask if civil disobedience is wort it, when I see a life devoted, as Peter's was, to a cause he really believes in, there is no question it makes a difference. His actions reflect who he is and what he believes.

I feel so much gratitude for his actions and his life, weather we new him closely or not, he will be greatly missed.

Central New York said...

Peter was a man of great integrity, resolve, and singularity of purpose. The world is better for his having been here. My heart is with Ellen, all the girls, and the whole Grady clan.

Anonymous said...

Peter was an encouraging peace activist. He will be missed by many. Our love to Ellen and the girls.
Ana Villa and family

govind said...

I didn't know Peter, but he is an inspiration for those seeking peace and justice throughout the world.

Anonymous said...

Though I didn't know Peter personally, I was touched immensely by his life's work. It is rare to see a person truly stand up for their convictions. I doubt I'll ever have half the courage Peter did, but I strive to follow the example of Peter, the Gradys, and the Catholic Workers in my own community.

My prayers and thoughts are with Peter's family. It is so sad to see him go.

Anonymous said...

Our love and prayers go out to Ellen and the kids. Peter was a man of high ethics and integrity who lived his words and worked his whole life against violence.

Thanks, Steve for posting this.

Love, John Whalen and family, spokane WA

Lynn Chittick said...

Ellen,Marie,Kate ,Nora and Siercia,
Today, February 23, 2009, heard about dearest Peter- your beloved husband/father.
The grace of the day was three rainbows in the sky, the lightly gentle rain and my questions for the last few days with heart deepened by my questioning my faith, human nature and care. When I heard, I have spent the last few hours in vigil for your family, my love for each of you and Oryah and I here with candles of light for each- of you -coming to you from us here in California.
I will write soon and send you the thoughts and images that came this week that surrounds me in the heart of this vigil!- your husband, walked the actions of Christ, our lord in all his love. Peter dedicated the creative peace as he met each and every soul and embodied through his heart- a deepening in me each time I saw him over the years.
Your family was one of the first families we met when coming to Ithaca. After passing for years, last year was do dear to Oryah and I in how you shared in our families pain and stuggle of violence and injustices done to us.
I do feel your loss this evening and our loving father is dearly touched me this day with the week of my discernment of our Catholic faith. I had spent time with 7th and 8th graders as the Director of Religious Education here in SF area and in sharing about the Catholic Workers, the times spent this week about all of you- touched me in missing Ithaca, the Ithaca parade with all of you =Catholic Workers- only to find this today!!
I will bring more sharings to each and every one of you in the next couple of weeks, yet will you all know, the light of our worldly actions is what we all strive to set in this life and Peter, your husband/father was dearly touched by the holy spirit of peace!!
With light love and peace to you this evening and through the earthly walk you each will take independently as well as a rich forum of family and community that will surround you in Ithaca and the world. May you walk with Jesus and our holy family as dearest Peter is- through light- !!!!
Blessed are the Peacemakers!!
Lynn Clair Chittick