Submitted by his Wife
Peter Beebe-Lawson‚ 50‚ volunteer fire fighter from Springfield‚ Maine‚ answered a call‚ responding to a fire at a cedar mill in neighboring Prentiss Plantation on May 7‚ 2007. He arrived at the scene‚ spoke with the owner of the mill‚ took photos of the fire on his cell phone‚ promised a reporter he would e-mail him the photos‚ returned to the fire house in Springfield to get the tanker truck‚ and called home to let his wife Selby know which of the two cedar mills on Mud Pond Road was burning. ‘It’s Jim’s. Gotta go.’ Those were the last words she heard from Peter.
On the way back to the fire Peter lost control of the tanker truck and was killed in the crash. He was buried with full honors following a funeral Mass at St. James Catholic Church in Kingman‚ Maine.
Peter was a friendly and outgoing person‚ who could remember the name of every person he had met since moving to Springfield with wife Selby and stepchildren John‚ David and Christa in 2005. Together Peter and Selby administered Mary’s School‚ a tuition-free private school for special needs children K-12. They also founded a religious community called Mary’s Ward‚ whose aim is the adoption and education of special needs children and sibling groups.
Peter was well known throughout Southern Maine for his involvement in musical theater. Frequently appearing in leading roles opposite Selby‚ Peter was a community theater favorite for Portland area audiences‚ appearing with Portland Lyric Theater‚ Embassy Players‚ and others. In the Springfield area‚ Peter was already in demand as a soloist at funerals.
His community involvement did not end with theater and fire service. Peter was on the Board of Directors of the Hank Beebe Music Library and SonLight Incorporated. He volunteered regularly at St. Mary’s Food Cupboard in Lincoln and was a member of the Knights of Columbus‚ John Paul II Council in Portland.
His favorite activities at home were being a stepfather‚ raising goats and chickens and living out his Catholic faith with his family. He was most proud of learning to cut wood for building animal pens and for heating the house. He also loved being a fire fighter.
Peter is survived by his wife Selby‚ stepchildren John‚ David and Christa‚ father Albert Milo Lawson‚ six siblings‚ in-laws Hank and Nancy Beebe and the Springfield Fire Department. He is buried on land owned by SonLight Inc.‚ called Mary’s Wood.
‘He was always my hero‚’ remarked Selby to a reporter at the funeral‚ ‘but now he’s a lot of people’s hero.’