Obituary of Peter Partridge
Partridge, Peter Muir
Passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at home on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at the age of 76. A loving husband to Janet (nee Burgoyne) for 50 years, beloved father to Peter W. (Poppy Gilliam) and John, cherished Poppa to Tobias, Chase and Daxx and devoted brother to John (Jean) of Calgary and Susan of Kingston and their families. He will be fondly remembered by his sister-in-law Harriet (John) Lehnen and their families. Peter is predeceased by his parents John and Margaret, and brother-in-law Henry Burgoyne.
He grew up in Kingston, Ontario and followed his love of music to London, England, to further his education. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, was the Music Master of Westminster School and was also assistant to the Organist at Westminster Abbey from 1961 – 1964. While there he played the Battle Hymn of the Republic at a memorial service for John F. Kennedy that was broadcast to every country in the world by the BBC. He also played at the Royal Wedding of Princess Alexandra and Angus Ogilvy. Peter returned to Canada in 1964 to accept the Director of Music position at Ridley College in St. Catharines, where he taught for 5 years. In February 1970 he accepted a position as a stock broker with AE Ames, a predecessor company of RBC Dominion Securities Inc. where he has worked for 48 years, serving as both a Vice-President and Portfolio Manager, and was looking forward to his 50th anniversary with the firm.
Deeply involved in serving and supporting his local community, Peter was the Director of Music and Organist from 1970-97 at St. Paul St. United Church (Silver Spire), he founded the first choir at Brock University called the Brockenspiels in the mid 1960’s, he was Past President of the Ontario Choral Federation, Past President of the St. Catharines Symphony, a Board Member of Community Concerts, the current treasurer of the Canadian International Organ Competition, and past Chairman of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. Peter had a radio show for 10 years on CKTB called an Invitation to Good Music. He served 2 terms as a Brock University Trustee (2004 – 2010) and was named a Trustee Emeritus in 2016. When Rodman Hall was taken over by Brock in 2003 Peter was named the Chairman of the Rodman Hall Advisory Board, a position he still held. He has conducted the annual downtown Christmas Civic Carol Concert since its inception 27 years ago. In 2012 he co-chaired Major Giving for the United Way Campaign with his son, Pete, and has supported the Brock Wrestling and Brock Men’s Basketball programs for many years. The men’s basketball team dressing room was renamed the Partridge Family Locker Room after the family’s contribution allowed for it to be completely renovated in 2016. In 2013
Peter played an integral role as the Fundraising Chairman of the new Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines. He and Janet made a transformational gift of $1 million dollars and the largest of the four stunning performance venues proudly displays the name “Partridge Hall”. In 2017 he donated a practice organ at Westminster Abbey and subsequently was invited by Prince Charles to a dinner at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries at Westminster Abbey. Above all else, he had an unbelievable zest for life, he loved his family and friends, coming into work everyday, the summer cottage, classical music and opera, world travel, his 5:15am daily workouts at the YMCA, fine food, wine and cars, laughter and he loved his city, St. Catharines, and passionately wanted to make it a better place. He will be forever missed.
Cremation has taken place. Visitation will be held at the GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL HOME, 585 Carlton St., St. Catharines on Friday, October 26th from 4 – 8pm. There will be a Memorial Service on Saturday, October 27th at 11am in Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul St., St. Catharines. Memorial donations may be made in Peter's honour to United Way Niagara, or to the Partridge-Gilliam Fund (through the Niagara Community Foundation) which supports local children’s charities.