After a long and wonderful life, Peter Julian Horne, age 80 of Freeport, Maine passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on Monday, November 7, 2016.

Born May 14, 1936 in Rochester, NH, Peter was the son of Herman J. & Mildred E. Horne of Somersworth, NH. One of five children, Peter was raised in a warm and loving home full of action, music and family fun. His early days were spent outdoors playing, skiing and racing soap box cars with siblings and his many neighborhood pals.

A 1954 graduate of Somersworth High School, Peter developed a life-long love of music and scholarship and brought those passions to the University of New Hampshire where he would receive both his Bachelors and Masters degrees. Also while at UNH, Peter developed many deep friendships that lasted more than six decades, and he met the love of his life, Rhode Island native Holly Patterson. An undergraduate member of the UNH Reserve Officer Training Corps, Peter became a Lieutenant in the United States Air force and served six years on active duty. As an officer for the Strategic Air Command, he worked in several key locations including a stint at a U.S. bomber base in Thule, Greenland. After these early accomplishments, Peter went on to pursue a long and fruitful career in government service and higher education.

Peter married Holly in 1964 and settled in Rye, NH, where their two sons were born – Christian in 1967 and Eric in 1969. While in Rye, Peter served as a consultant at the UNH New England Center, and worked on his Doctorate of Education at Boston University. In 1975, he and Holly moved their family to Freeport and Peter took a job as a Cooperative Extension agent with the University of Maine. He completed his Doctoral work in 1980, and in 1984, Peter accepted the job of Director of the Cooperative Extension Service for New Hampshire and was appointed Dean of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture at UNH. He served in those capacities until his retirement in 1999.

Peter had a strong sense of community and was a very active member in the two towns he called home – Rye and Freeport. In 1974, Peter was the Chairman of Concerned Citizens of Rye – a group he helped form to repel an effort by Olympic Oil to transform New Hampshire’s seacoast into an oil pipeline and refinery complex. In the last year of his life, Peter worked extensively with author Lisa Moll to memorialize this successful effort in a book entitled, Rye’s Battle of the Century – Saving the New Hampshire Seacoast from Olympic Oil. In Freeport, Peter touched many lives through his service on the boards of Wolfe’s Neck Farm, the Thomas Means Club, the Harraseeket Yacht Club, and as a Deacon of the South Freeport Congregational Church. He was very supportive of Freeport’s nonprofits and a strong believer in Freeport’s public education system. Paraphrasing Thomas Jefferson, he would often say “A nation cannot be both uneducated and free.”

Peter’s sense of community was at its fullest when he was making music with – and for – others. Once saying, “Music is the thing in the world I love most”, he believed in the power of music to bring people together; to help them celebrate, to help them mourn; to help them pray. For Peter, music was life and life was music.

Peter kept a bright, positive outlook on life even when the odds were stacked against him; he narrowly survived a shipwreck off the coast of Nicaragua in 1964; he fought off cancer in 1975 when his doctors told him he had six months to get his affairs in order; and late in his life, he made it to year five of a three-year prognosis. He faced these adversities head-on – always with courage and always with his wonderful sense of humor.

Also throughout his life, Peter had a deep and abiding love for the ocean and spent his free time sailing, pioneering shellfish aquaculture, working on his many waterfront projects and taking his grandchildren for boat rides.

Peter’s favorite season was fall and his favorite holiday was Thanksgiving where, around the table, he could be found saying the grace, leading old songs and enjoying the company of his family and friends. Peter’s quick wit, positive attitude, welcoming presence and charming smile would always put those around him at ease no matter what the circumstance – a quality he carried right to his final moments with his wife and sons. Peter was very proud of his nine grandchildren and encouraged all of them to pursue their dreams and aspirations.

Above all, Peter was a dedicated, caring and loving husband to his lifelong sweetheart, Holly – writing his last love note to her on the day he died. Holly stood steadfastly by Peter’s side for 52 adventure-filled years of marriage.

Bringing out the best in those around him, Peter provided a great example of how to live life to the fullest, and how to ‘go by the boards’ as he would say, with dignity and grace.

He will be greatly missed.

Peter is survived by his wife Holly P. Horne, his son Christian P. Horne and wife Patricia A. Horne; his son Eric L. Horne and wife Valy M. Sterverlynck; his grandchildren Lauren, Lindsay, Craig, Griffen, Maximo, Bernadette, Avery, Teo and Pilar; his sister Patricia O. Jackson and husband Richard C. Jackson.

Peter was predeceased by his brothers David A. Horne, Robert G. Horne and his twin sister Pamela A. Marrapese.

A celebration of Peter’s life will be held at the South Freeport Congregational Church on Friday, December 2nd at 2PM. A reception on site will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Freeport Community Services, Wolfe’s Neck Farm or the Rye Historical Society. Arrangements are under the direction and care of Brackett Funeral Home, Brunswick.