On Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, Pete Prentice of Sandwich, New Hampshire, departed this world after a short battle with cancer.
Those who knew Pete will recall his tireless work ethic, his ingenuity and thrift, and his boundless generosity. The ever-present twinkle in his eye and his knack for conversing happily with old friends and complete strangers made him an approachable man. He loved to learn, from the world around him as much as from others. He was a trial and error sort of guy who could make useful and beautiful things from not much at all.
Pete was born on July 8, 1943, to Natalie Ames Prentice and Lawrence Prentice in Rochester, New Hampshire. He lived most of his younger years in Berwick, Maine, before going to boarding school at High Mowing in Wilton, New Hampshire. There, he felt for the first time that his way of approaching the world was valued; his curiosity was nurtured, and his confidence bolstered. It was at High Mowing that he met his future wife, Katherine “Kit” Whittemore. After a stint in the Air Force, stationed in Korea, he and Kit married, had three kids, and moved to Sandwich, New Hampshire, where they built their own log home in a hemlock and beech forest. Pete lived in this house, forever tweaking it in his tireless and precise way, until his final breaths there.
Pete worked several jobs in his life, from lineman for Ma Bell to estate caretaker for Joan Cave in Tamworth. He really grew, though, in his role as road agent for the town of Sandwich. His service of more than 20 odd years was marked by his indefatigable nature and a penchant for welding rod. He put in long hours before and after his crew went home, often making the rounds of every town road — cleaning driveways here and there — before heading home himself. He was proud to be one of the first nine road agents in the state to launch the Technology Transfer Center Road Scholars Program at the University of New Hampshire, sponsored by the DOT and Federal Highway Administration, annually taking classes and participating in seminars around state-of-the-art technologies and processes for road maintenance and management.
This interest was directly tied to his life-long belief in not only caring for the upkeep of the man-made world but for preservation and managed use of the natural environment.
From his earliest years, Pete was a fisherman and hunter, learning from his dad and passing on these interests and skills to his children and grandkids. He had an understanding of balance and was a member of several conservation and sportsman groups which did work important in caring for our northern woods and waterways. He loved nothing more than to spend what little free time he had before retirement — and many months on end after — at his family camps in Wakefield, New Hampshire, and at Clifford Lake in Maine.
Pete often told his kids how proud he was of them, and they were sure proud of him. Peter Prentice of Deerfield, New Hampshire and his family — Jen, Katie, Maggie and Leah; Alan Prentice of Effingham, and his family — Gretchen, Emma and Peter; and Lianne Prentice of South Tamworth and Chris Moneypenny of West Ossipee and their children — Madeline and Henry, Hilary and Abby — will miss this man who in his way made an enormous impact in their lives.
All are welcome to join in the celebration of the life of Pete Prentice to be held Saturday, February 29, at 2 p.m. at The Community School in South Tamworth. There will be food and music and stories to share as we remember a life well lived.
Gifts may be made in Pete’s name to the Grand Lake Stream ATV Club at 15 Water Street, Unit 2, GLS, ME 04668; or Downeast Lakes Land Trust, GLS, Maine 04668; or the New England Forestry Foundation at newenglandforestry.org.