Peter James Coe‚ age 43‚ was a volunteer firefighter and safety officer with Shoreham Volunteer Fire Department in Shoreham‚ Vermont‚ for six years. In this time‚ he was valued as a dependable and vital part of the department‚ while serving his community with a dedicated commitment to those in need. Peter worked with professionalism and kindness equally in training sessions‚ meetings‚ and responding to calls. His constant smile and easy laughter are among his qualities that will be missed forever.
Peter died Sunday‚ December 27‚ 2009‚ while helping a stranger by the side of an icy road.
He grew up in Bethesda‚ Maryland‚ the seventh child of Bebe and Charles Coe. After high school‚ he spent time traveling before returning to Maryland. He attended Lynchburg College and St. Mary’s College and met Valerie Ortiz‚ whom he married in 1990. They became a family with the birth of their daughter‚ Genevieve‚ in 1990 and their son‚ Nicholas‚ in 1997. In the summer of 2003‚ the family settled in rural Vermont and quickly adopted the community as their own.
Those who knew Peter say he was most dedicated to his family’s happiness. He chose Vermont as his home after 36 years of living in the Washington‚ DC‚ area because its environment reflects his values of family‚ work‚ and community. He always spoke of how much he loved the Vermont lifestyle‚ where he could put in a full day of work and later drive to watch his son’s ball game.
The people of Shoreham‚ Vermont‚ embraced Peter as much as he embraced them. His children were the pride of his existence‚ and his wife‚ Val‚ was the love of his life. As one of his friends wrote‚ Peter was an ‘upper’‚ and made every situation better-from bad to good and from good to great. His innate happiness‚ humor‚ and love of life filled every aspect of his home‚ work‚ and friendships. Whether it was golfing‚ fishing‚ working‚ hunting‚ or just hanging out‚ he could make anyone laugh in any circumstance.
Peter had the work ethic of a farmer‚ the intellect of a scientist‚ the heart of a social worker‚ and the bravery of a soldier.