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Peter Dollard

January 23, 1953 ~ August 8, 2023

Posted 8/15/23

Peter Dollard, age 70, of Hurleyville, a lifelong resident of the area and the son of the late Vincent and Kathryn Dollard, passed away at Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown surrounded by his …

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Peter Dollard

January 23, 1953 ~ August 8, 2023


Peter Dollard, age 70, of Hurleyville, a lifelong resident of the area and the son of the late Vincent and Kathryn Dollard, passed away at Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown surrounded by his family.  We feel very fortunate to have all been able to say goodbye and tell him how much we loved him. Special thanks to the ICU doctors and nurses at Garnet Health for their care and sensitivity. 

Peter grew up in a family of seven boys and one girl. Peter was the fifth child. His ability to navigate the trials and tribulations presented by a large family, and a hierarchy of older brothers who outranked him by age molded Pete into the versatile, creative, outgoing person he became.

In 1979, Peter graduated from S.U.N.Y College at Buffalo, with a Bachelor of Science in Technology Education and in 1986 from Columbia University, Teachers College with a Masters in Special Education. Over the years he held a variety of positions in Technology Education, Special Education, rehabilitation and administration. Most notably, he taught Technology at Watertown High School in Connecticut and Rhinecliff Union School District.  He was Director of Clinical Services at United Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County for five years, but the bulk of his career was spent at The Center for Discovery where he held a variety of positions during his 30 years there. Peter loved working at The Center. It inspired him.  He loved the work, the staff and most of all, the students.  He dedicated his career to improving the quality of life for all those who attended The Center.

The administration at The Center for Discovery (TCFD) sent the following tribute to the entire staff. It illustrates the importance of Peter’s work there and how they felt about his many contributions: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved colleague Peter Dollard Chief of Assistive Technology and Universal Design at TCFD and a clear unforgettable friend to all. Peter was instrumental in bringing universal design and assistive technology to The Center , along with other invaluable projects during his 30 years here. His deep commitment to accessibility for all inspired us and will continue to do so as we carry on his legacy. Peter changed thousands of lives and his contributions will have a profound and lasting impact. We are so thankful for his leadership, vision, and most of all his heartfelt kindness and friendship.”    

Peter met his future wife Daria when he was teaching in Connecticut. They just began dating when Peter and a couple of friends took off on a devil-may-care trip across the country.  They were Pete’s free spirit days. They had no plans, just travel from place to place and see what life had to offer. When he returned and got the wanderlust out of his system he reconnected with Daria and the rest is history.  

Pete and Daria raised three wonderful sons, Sean, Erik and Noah. They were Pete’s pride and joy. He loved taking them on camping trips, building big bonfires and swimming in the ocean. He coached their youth sports teams and even became a member of the Roundout Valley School board where the boys attended. Like any good father, he tried to participate in all aspects of their lives. He was most proud of the men they all became. When Peter was in the hospital, his sons were driving from Colorado to be with him. Pete knew his time was short and could not wait for them. He was able to speak to each of them individually on the phone. Those final conversations gave Peter a feeling of contentment which made it much easier for him to say goodbye.  

Peter was a wonderful photographer. He had a very special eye. He took all the pictures for family events.  When anyone of us posted a picture online Peter would send it back to us with all kinds of enhancements. He would make it brighter, block out things in the background, whatever it took to make it perfect.

Peter was very unique, particularly in how he dressed.  He had his own style. It was a combination of shabby chic and a sophisticated rummage sale look that he made work very well. He incorporated old sport jackets, funky glasses, a large variety of hats, scarves and patterned shirts. He always stood out from the rest and looked better than anyone in the room. We always said Peter was the brother who got the party gene. He was always the first guy who got up and danced. He added life to any room he entered. He was an outgoing, gregarious guy who had a voice that got your attention. It was a deep baritone that would put most DJ’s to shame.  To say the least, Pete made an impression when you met him. To know Pete was to like Pete. Once he gave you one of his big hugs and you endured his good natured jabs, you knew he was your friend.

Some of Pete’s most special times were with his best buddy Joe Rausch. Joe built a “field of dreams” golf course across the road from his house. It was a place to go to forget your worries and have a good time. Joe and Pete were frequent playing partners. We all have fond memories of our heated matches on that little course.  All golf decorum went out the window when we played.  Peter was the leader of the pack when it came to ways of interfering with his opponents concentration. There was always lots of banter and loads of laughs as we all pursued the illusive course record. No round was complete without sipping prosecco and enjoying a nice charcuterie board down by the river.

Peter is the kind of person who is going to be hard to forget. His optimistic attitude and how he related to everyone he met was an inspiration. It made him the best dad, brother, uncle and friend you could ask for.  Sadly we have to say goodbye to someone who meant so much to so many.

Peter is survived by his wife Daria, his sons, Sean, Erik and Noah. His brothers Mike (Adrianne), Patrick (Arlene), Tim (Susan), sister Alice (Glenn) , brothers- in -law Drew Saitta, Dean Saitta (Martha) and his many cousins, nieces and nephew who were very dear to him.  Peter was predeceased by his brothers John, Vince, Ed and his niece Lindsay and nephew Justin.

The family would like to recognize Peter’s circle of very close friends who are far too many to mention, and his fellow employees at The Center for Discovery. You all were very important to him. We know we speak for all of you in saying you feel fortunate he was part of your life. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming number of people who shared their condolences, and very kind words. We will be forever grateful.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations in Peter’s name to The Center for Discovery. Peter did not want a formal funeral. He wanted something more casual. The family invites you to a celebration of Peter’s life on Sunday, September 17th at 1:00 pm at The Big Barn, 103 Mitteer Road,  Hurleyville 12747.  

Arrangements are under the direction of VanInwegen-Kenny Funeral Home of Monticello, NY. For additional information or to send an online condolence, please visit www.kennyfuneralhome.com.