Peter P. Blanchard III



Mount Desert Island

Peter P. Blanchard III completed his life’s journey on Aug. 7 in his Manhattan home with his wife, Sofia, and his son, Theo, by his side. The son of Peter P. Blanchard Jr. and Adelaide Frick Blanchard, Peter lived his life with integrity, kindness and purpose.

His humor and irreverence were never far from the surface. His deep passion for nature and all its creatures led him to be a tireless advocate and supporter of land conservation from the coast of Maine to New Jersey and the Caribbean. Mount Desert Island and the Maine coast held a very special place in Peter’s heart. Aboard the Ruddy Turnstone, the wooden lobster boat built by Ralph Stanley, he and his crew spent countless blissful hours serving as the temporary lifetime caretakers of several islands in Blue Hill Bay. The islands were a spiritual home for him, and his book, “We Were an Island: the Maine Life of Art and Nan Kellam,” was a tribute to island living (University Press of New England, 2010). He was an elegant writer, a prolific reader, a poetry lover and a landscape painter. He was most at home in the woods, or at his beloved home in Maine, but when necessary he donned a tuxedo (or the “Iron Maiden” as he called it) to support the causes he loved.

Born in 1951 in Manhattan, he received his undergraduate degree from Princeton, going on to earn master’s degrees from the Yale School of Forestry and Columbia University’s Teachers College. Early in his career he taught biology at The Chapin School, The Masters School and Hardwood Island. He served for many years on the boards of the Frick Collection, the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Greenwood Gardens, the New Jersey estate where he grew up, and which he and his wife worked tirelessly with others to transform into a magnificent public garden.

Peter married late, and never expected the life he found with Sofia and the pride he felt for Theo. He will be deeply missed by all whose life he touched. His beloved corgi, Ginnie, will miss him too. Peter believed in signs of nature as omens. We will be looking for him. Instead of flowers, please remember him by an act of kindness to others. Donations in his memory can be made to Maine Coast Heritage Trust. A memorial service will be held at a later time.

Know when to pay your respects.