Peter Altobelli

Peter Altobelli

Aug 12, 1954 - Aug 19, 2020
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Peter Michael Altobelli, son of Eugene (Gene) and Isabelle (Belle) Altobelli was born in Yonkers. Peter lived an active childhood along side older brother Gene. The two brothers were more mischievous than most - driving motorcycles at the age of 14 , with their parents receiving more than one phone call from the Yonkers police.

Peter, following in his father’s footsteps, was a very hard worker. While his peers were sleeping in and shopping at the mall, Peter was up early working in his father's moving business. It was demanding physical labor which taught Peter the value of hard work. He enjoyed working with the motley crew who worked for Alto Bros and who, in many ways, took Peter under their wing and taught him many life lessons (not necessarily lessons you might want your children to learn).

Peter met the love of his life at the age of 14. His love for Diane never wavered through the ups and downs of life and through countless hospital admissions as Diane suffered through painful bouts of Crohn’s disease. Peter would visit Diane faithfully each day at the hospital (after attending early morning mass) and then returning after a full work day to spend the last hours of the day by her bedside. Peter was truly her 'Rock'.

Peter attended Manhattan College where he earned a degree in Civil Engineering and pursued a career as a Safety Engineer Consultant. Peter used his knowledge of engineering coupled with an innate gift to fix anything to build his home in Cape May Court House, NJ with his own two hands. The home is a creative masterpiece in many ways with ingenious methods of wiring and circuitous plumbing routes.

In November of 2011 after the tragic loss of Diane's brother, Stewart, Peter and Diane moved to VA to raise his children. For the following seven years Peter worked in NY and commuted to VA every weekend (a treacherous 6 hour drive) to father Maddie and Sam, taking on the responsibility of a new family (complete with Golden Lab, Sonny) and a third lawn to mow . Peter said of Christmas that year, “Santa gave me two children and a dog!”

After seven years of watching Maddie and Sam on the sidelines of their sporting events, faithfully taking Sam to CCD each Sunday (followed by the promised breakfast at IHOP, an enticement to encourage Sam to go to church), and mentoring the children through the travails, joys and challenges of the teenage years, Maddie and Sam were successfully launched off to college. Peter and Diane then settled into a life of leisure spending time between their homes in Putnam Lake and Cape May Court House.

Peter had many loves and enjoyments in life: skiing with his brother Gene, teasing Maddie and Sam (along with all of you who are reading this), bobbing in the waves in Stone Harbor, watching 'American Pickers', enjoying coffee and danish with Uncle Pete and Aunt Maddy, helping Aunt Mill 'organize' her house, crumb buns with Aunt Rose, and making mojitos for Chris and Will.

No memory of Peter would be complete without mentioning his gift of comic relief. There was a lens of humor through which Peter perceived life. He had the ability of getting even the most dour of people to illicit a chuckle.

Peter had a rare ability to 'savor the moment', to truly live in the present - whether he was fascinated with a hummingbird getting nectar from a flower or watching sandpipers running to and from the waves. He would drive 45 minutes out of his way to buy a roast beef and mozzarella sandwich at Fiore’s Deli in Hoboken. Peter would savor every bite - and all the more if you were indulging with him.

In Peter's honor - STOP - take a moment - look at the beauty around you - whether it is the smile of a loved one, a dog playing with a ball, or a babie’s laughter - stop. Enjoy the moment. Peter is looking down on you - and probably laughing.

Peter is survived by his wife Diane; brother Gene and his wife Catherine, nieces Liz, Amanda (and her husband Matt), Gabrielle, and his nephew Gene; and his brother David and his wife Marybeth and nieces, Carolann, Jill and nephew Dave; and his sister Debra Frost and her husband Greg, and their daughter Jess (and husband Kevin Woodford); his niece Maddie Chase and nephew Sam; his dearest friend Carrie Gazzetta, his Godsons Chris (and wife Maggie) and Will; and his precious 4-legged children Heidi and Gretel.

In lieu of flowers the family ask that you give a donation to The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (

As a result of the recent resurgence in COVID, we have decided to postpone the wake and funeral for Peter. Peter, always the king of procrastination is getting quite a chuckle out of this...We will update you as soon as we reschedule the funeral to a time when we can safely gather.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Beecher Funeral Home
    1 Putnam Avenue
    BREWSTER, NY 10509
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    As a result of the recent resurgence in COVID, we have decided to postpone the wake and funeral for Peter. Peter, always the king of procrastination is getting quite a chuckle out of this...We will update you as soon as we reschedule the funeral to a time when we can safely gather.
  • Service

    St. Edward's 'The Confessor' Church
    21 Brush Hill Rd.
    new fairfield, CT 06812
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    As a result of the recent resurgence in COVID, we have decided to postpone the wake and funeral for Peter. Peter, always the king of procrastination is getting quite a chuckle out of this...We will update you as soon as we reschedule the funeral to a time when we can safely gather.


Donations are being accepted for: STEPHEN SILLER TUNNEL TO TOWERS FOUNDATION.


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Private Condolence

Posted at 09:21am
Peter Michael Altobelli I don’t think I ever called him that he was just rock to me growing up he did everything I did playing sports in the neighborhood swimming and ice-skating at Tibbetts Brook Park throwing eggs at the pain in the neckneighbors on Halloween We had summers in Stoneharbor and Wildwood and how could I forget working for our father in his moving business through our teenage and college years we are many valuable lessons were learned I was so proud of my brother when he graduated as a civil engineer from Manhattan College Rock was a tremendous Uncle to my children and godfather to my son Gene he was my ski partner for 40 years we had so much fun with the many family beach outings in Stoneharbor and dinners at my moms house in the courthouse and a great Fourth of July parties on Rock deck we both worked in New York City Rock as a civil engineer and I a master riggerAlthough we cross paths many times but not nearly enough I will never stop loving my brother and my friend have a good ride Rock

Camille Mele Purpura

Posted at 11:09am
Or this: I still remember (vividly) the first time I met Peter. My sister Vicki was dating Peter's brother-in-law (soon to be my brother-in-law) and we all gathered to meet for the first time. In a matter of just minutes, Peter had us all roaring with laughter. Over the course of many years to come, our family looked so forward to visits with Peter and Diane. Peter would light up the room with his personality and humor. When Peter would make the long trip back to VA, he would take time to go and visit my dad who was in a nursing home with Alzheimer's. The Mele / Purpura family will never be able to adequately express the love and gratitude for the sacrifices that Peter (and Diane) made after the deaths of my sister and Stewart. As my husband Bruce always says, “Petey is one of the good ones”. We are heartbroken that Peter is gone but feel so blessed that such a great man was in our lives. Until we meet again, Petey.

Camille Mele Purpura Posted at 11:14am

I"m sorry...I don't know why it starts with "or this"

Robert Stewart

Posted at 11:45am
I had gotten to know Peter really only relatively recently and that will now be my own profound loss. I wish I had known him longer, and I fervently wish that it still would be continuing on this earth. I am thinking that a big part of what I felt to be a strong bond between us was that we grew up in parallel worlds as Stone Harbor kids and continued our mutual ardent love of The Island our entire lives. He was genuine, generous, giving, and gritty. I looked forward to every encounter that we had—his warm, engaging smile and his cheerful, captivating companionship made all moments matter. Conviviality was a vital part of his essence: I will always treasure that, among much else.

Sam Chase

Posted at 10:44pm
Breakfast was our thing. I mean it was more of a bribe but a ton of carbs at cheap diners was the thing between us. I say bribe because I hated church, honestly, it was something that I dreaded because I never felt welcome at God's door. I never really admitted it, but my family knew that there was a layer deeper than what church meant to me that I was too young to realize at the time. I needed the community of it, and I think because me and PD had trouble connecting because of my anxiety with father figures, a stack of pancakes at 7AM after a church service was a way to bond and honor my mom's wishes to stay with God. The Altobelli's wanted to honor the dead more than anyone else I knew, and my dead mother became so involved with the church that through God was a way to keep with my mother. And PD and DD recognized that. I call him PD because when I was younger Diane and Peter's nicknames were so similar I would call them girl DD and boy DD. After I was corrected, I still didn't realize that PD wasn't his name, it was Petey, but I never realized until an embarrassingly older age. He gave up a lot and it made me sad to see him dedicate so much time away from his wife and give up probably months of his life just on the road and seven years in a house that wasn't there's. I was sad because you feel guilt when someone does something so selfless and over the top amazing and you can't offer something in return. Me and my sister were orphans, and it was DD & PD who came to take care of us and my poor old boy Sonny the Yellow Lab. They were more patient than anyone else in their shoes would be. It still feels unreal that he died. He would fricken love an extra ten years of the early bird menu now that he could take advantage of it, but the days of pancakes with my uncle are gone. I can only hope that I can offer what he offered me to someone else.
PD was wild, eccentric, tough, manly, goofy, a slight bit offensive (haha), child-like, and so overwhelmingly dedicated and head over heels in love with my aunt. He would always say "You could grow old, but be immature forever." He really was a kid at times, but I like that about him, he did what other adults wouldn't do because being an adult is boring, and PD wasn't boring. He would metal detect at the crack A-word of dawn to find rare coins and trinkets, build whatever he wanted whenever he wanted, go to whatever restaurants he wanted, dress how he wanted, and never replace a pair of shoes. He was involved with our lives, and when I say involved he once gave me $20 to dress like a hobo which in retrospect would not fair me well if I ran for president but definitely made his night on Halloween. There are so many stories and so much I could say but the main point of all these random floating memories is that I loved him despite both of us having hot heads. He loved hard, and he loved the Chases'. He did more for my family as a non-blood-related member than anyone ever has. He is the person you'd want to have your back, which luckily for DD, he did. I wish I knew I wouldn't have years after college to come see you, and stay in the beach house, I wish I could have another New Jersey summer despite me putting in the yearly complaint of needing doors to our rooms. I wish I could suffer through a few more masses to have crappy diner food with you, and I wish I had more time to ask you how to drill things and build things because god knows my landlord would have hoped so, too, before I destroy my house with my terrible decorating skills and no way to contact you to ask you seemingly obvious questions. Most importantly, I wish you got my last letter to you, which probably hurt the most knowing you never got to read it. I love you, and I'm happy I could be your kid for 9 and a half years.

Catherine Altobelli

Posted at 07:30pm
Dear wonderful brother-in-law Rocky,

I am so heartbroken that you left our family too soon. I am extremely thankful that we were together on your birthday at the place we all love. Stone Harbor Beach! I will always cherish all the fantastic times we shared together there. Talking and playing with all your nieces and nephews, swimming together- enjoying life! How we laughed! You will be so missed.

I take comfort in knowing that you are with your parents and one day we will all be together again on our next adventure! Rest in peace Rocky.
Love you always, Catherine

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