In addition, Peter made a specialty of photographing the work of other artists, including folk painter Ed Johnson and sculptor Walter Dusenbery, among others, and worked extensively with Scottie Baker of Natura Productions for many years. With his wife Jane, a potter and writer, he formed Heatherspray Studio, and also enjoyed
producing limited editions of books of his photographs.
One of the books documented his building of “Winslow,” a wooden sailboat reminiscent of the boats he had enjoyed in his youth on Cape Cod, a project he decided to take on to counter the negative effects of chemotherapy. He finished the boat in May 2009, and was able to sail it occasionally on Fourth Lake in the Adirondacks for three summers.
An outdoor enthusiast since childhood, Peter enjoyed sailing, downhill skiing, hiking, backpacking and canoeing, but he was also a computer geek, stereo buff, movie aficionado, and a fan of all kinds of music, which he loved hearing in live performance and on his own sound system. He was an early fan of Justin Bieber and followed the young singer on Twitter using the handle “Senior Biebs.” He even received a shout-out from Justin after a newspaper article in Canada profiled Peter’s interest and its therapeutic impact on his illness.
Peter is survived by his wife and best friend, Jane, of 48½ years; his children, Emily Ward and her husband, Bob, and Michael Johngren and his wife, Jeanne Muller Johngren; his granddaughter, Maia; his brother, Carl Alton Johngren; his nephew, Dana Johngren and his wife, Rachel and their children, Bart, Erin and Brianna; his sister-in-law, Susan B. Schaefer; and his niece, Rebecca Schaefer Kohl and her husband, Nate.
His family would like to express their gratitude to the entire staff of Bassett Healthcare Network’s Cancer Institute, especially Dr. Eric Bravin and Dr. Tim Campbell, and to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, especially Sharon Kinch-Mead and Anne Bishop, among others.
The family will be pleased to welcome friends to remember and celebrate Peter’s life by calling at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, from 3 to 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Peter’s memory may be made to the Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network, 1 Atwell Road, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.