At his niece’s recent wedding Peter Doherty sported a loud Hawaiian shirt along with a tasteful sport coat, proclaiming that he was wearing it on behalf of the Groom who had been forbidden to wear one for his wedding. A rebel with a smile, Peter was known as “Doherty the Authority” to his long-time friends for his vast knowledge of many subjects. He was gregarious and colorful, loved Irish music, loved books, and loved helping others. He especially loved his nieces and nephews and was proud to be known as “Gruncle Peter” by his great-nephews and great-nieces. Peter’s interests ranged far and wide and encompassed too much to talk about here, but let’s not forget one more interest Peter had - his legendary love of penguins.
Peter Columb Doherty died peacefully on August 19, 2021, surrounded by his five siblings, a week after being rear-ended in a crash while he was returning from a joyous weekend spent with family and friends in Massachusetts. He leaves behind his brother Frank Doherty, Frank’s wife Linda Doherty, sister Maura Doherty and husband Ken Demo, sister Jo Anne Doherty and partner Mike Steiner, brother John Doherty, and brother Michael Doherty and wife Chris Jagiello, along with many, many loving friends, cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
The youngest of seven children, Peter was born and raised in The Bronx and lived his entire life there. He worked tirelessly to make The Bronx and Greater New York a better place to live, leading the cleanup of parks and recreational areas on his own and as a committed member of The Bronx River Alliance and other environmental organizations. Peter’s corner of the world is a much better place to be now, thanks to his work.
Peter tended bar at a number of iconic New York institutions, including the Penny Whistle, the Lion’s Head, Tavern on Jane, and White Horse Tavern. For the last several years Peter worked for AHRC, an organization devoted to helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, where he developed and ran a training program to teach his clients skills they could master and feel confident in. He loved seeing his clients succeed in their quests to work and live more independently, and his clients loved him in return.
Peter will be missed by all who knew him, and though our hearts are broken, it is with gratitude and love that we say goodbye. A private memorial service will be held at a later time.
If you wish, a donation to one of the many causes to which Peter devoted his time and energy would be an appropriate tribute to his memory. The following non-profits were particularly near and dear to Peter's heart:
Bronx River Alliance and Drew Gardens
· The Bronx River Alliance serves as a coordinated voice for the Bronx River and works in harmonious partnership to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor
· Drew Gardens is a community garden established on land that was an industrial landfill and thanks to community efforts is now home to a butterfly garden, vegetable plots, and a flourishing farmers market
Peter spent many afternoons working on projects for the BRA and Drew Gardens, and if you knew Peter at all, you probably were recruited more than once to help. The team at The Bronx River Alliance were moved to create their own memorial page dedicated to Peter. The link above will take you to it and also provide an opportunity to donate.
Daniel’s Music Foundation
1595 Lexington Ave, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10029
· Daniel's Music impacts the lives of individuals with disabilities by providing the opportunity to celebrate the joy of music together and allowing everyone a chance to shine through a variety of free music programs
Peter loved music and passionately believed in Daniel’s and Ken’s mission to reach into the heart with music
Planned Pethood International
4595 Harlan St
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
· Making a world of difference in companion animal welfare, PPI has provided training services to veterinarians from around the world and offers needed service for low or no cost
Peter loved animals and “Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet” was one of Peter’s favorite TV animal shows. Peter was ecstatic when he finally met him!
88-03 70th Road
Forest Hills, NY 11375
· GallopNYC offers both horseback riding and therapeutic horsemanship programs to New Yorkers, particularly riders with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and at-risk youth.
Did Peter ever tell you that his first job was working in a stable around horses? Of course he did! Peter loved horses, and he loved this organization’s mission of helping people interact with the world through the healing power of the horse
John J. Harvey
100 West 72nd Street
New York, NY 10023
· The John J. Harvey (Save Our Ships New York) is a 501C3 tax-exempt organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the historic retired FDNY fireboat John J. Harvey
Peter often said “A bad day on the water is better than a good day in the office.” Peter loved being a member of this volunteer fireboat crew and was always an enthusiastic participant in whatever gruesome chore was at hand that day. “Fair winds and following seas, Peter”
We miss you Peter.