Brooklyn, New York- Peter-Lawrence “Peter” Pope, a graduate student and care partner for the elderly, died on June 26 at the home he shared with his partner in the Cobble Hill area of Brooklyn, New York. He was 42 years old.
Born in Paterson, New Jersey in 1979, Peter grew up in Richardson, Texas, graduating from Richardson High School in 1996. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies on academic scholarship at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he took on many leadership roles including within Jewett House, the Queer Coalition of Vassar College (QCVC), and the Class of 2000. He remained active as an alumnus, working on reunion planning, class correspondence, and as a class officer.
Peter began his career in New York City, where he worked as a television producer at the Oxygen Channel and later, a legal assistant. In recent years however he had found his calling working with the elderly as a Care Partner at Renewal Memory Partners – work he found extremely rewarding. He also found deep fulfillment in hearing the stories of elderly members of the LGBTQ+ community – specifically regarding their personal experiences of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 – and had aspired to one day create a compilation of these stories for a documentary. He had recently begun studies towards his master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Washington, and had hopes of continuing a career serving others in non-profit management.
Peter was an avid writer with a devastating wit, as well as a thoughtful observer of and commentator on television, pop culture and current events. He was also a talented singer and performer – it was not uncommon to spot him performing his favorite showtunes at piano bars Don’t Tell Mama and the (now shuttered) Rose’s Turn in the West Village of Manhattan. Peter was well-known for his unique karaoke version of Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” – he also knew the words to every song on the “Sound of Music” soundtrack.
Peter’s many friends will remember his quick and quirky wit and his spunky creativity, as well as his willingness to debate any topic – always from a place of relentless logic, tempered with a unique ability to empathize with anyone affected. For the past three years he has lived in Brooklyn with his devoted partner of five years, Steve Asher, with whom he enjoyed living a life together, and playing with their dog Lily.
Peter is preceded in death by his grandparents, Walter and Willene Stokes, Roy Pope and Helen Wesson. He leaves to mourn his passing his life partner Steve, of Brooklyn, New York; his mother, Naomi Wesson of Houston, Texas; father, Juan Wesson (Genee) of Dallas, Texas; father, Larry Pope (Kimberly); siblings, Daja Pope (Riccardo Davis), Joshua Wesson, Andrew Wesson, Courtney Johnson, GeKai Halton, GeKhara Hurt, Portia and Morgan James; nieces, Jace Wesson, Jada Davis, Kazleigh Wesson, Gisele Hurt, McKinney and Karrington Vines; nephews, Londell and Joshua Wesson, Jr., and Timothy and Ethan White; grandmother, Willie Thomas; uncles, Nathaniel Stokes (Cynthia), Joseph Stokes (Elizabeth), and a host of god-siblings including Corey Strickland, Christian Smith, Margaret Walker, Anica Duke, and Shawntele Pringle-Foy; a host of cousins, relatives, and loving friends who will miss him dearly, and his beloved dog, Lily.
A first memorial was held on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at Fresh Oil Point Church, Balch Springs, Texas.
A second memorial celebration of Peter’s life will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2021
at the Cobble Hill Chapels,
171 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
from 2:00 – 4:00pm ET.
Finally, a memorial service and dedication ceremony will be held on the
Vassar College campus,
at 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY on
Sunday, August 15, from 2 – 4pm ET.
Family and friends are invited to visit the memorial website in his honor at https://www.mykeeper.com/events/PeterLawrencePope/, where updates on arrangements will be shared.
The family encourages memorial contributions to SAGE (Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders) USA, where Peter served as a volunteer.
Donations in Peter’s memory may be made here.
Please join us for a Memorial Service honoring Peter's Life
on Saturday, August 14, 2021,
between the hours of 2:00-4:00pm,
at Cobble Hill Chapels,
located at 171 Court Street,
Brooklyn, New York 11201.
In Lieu of Flowers,
please consider making a donation to SAGE USA
providing advocacy and services to LGBT Elders