Peter Winchester Packard

Peter Winchester Packard 1392 – 2021 TOPEKA, Kan. – Peter Winchester Packard, son of Frederick Clifton Packard Jr. and Alice Mansur Packard, was born in Cambridge, Mass. on Dec. 7, 1932. After a long battle with Alzheimer’s, he died in Topeka, Kan. on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He graduated in 1951 from the Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass. and from Dartmouth College in 1955 in Hanover, N.H. He spent eight years serving in the United States Air Force moving his growing family to his assignments in McAllen, Texas; Biloxi, Miss.; then Topeka, Kan. While working full time, he attended the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare graduating in 1964 with a master’s degree in social work. In 1988 he moved with his wife Betsy to their dream home at Bethel Point in Harpswell. From that ocean side house they developed a booming bed and breakfast business welcoming guests from around the world. In 2008 Peter returned to Topeka, Kan. to live out his retirement years. He occasionally returned to Maine for summer vacations. With an unconditional compassionate embrace, Peter welcomed everyone he met with his can-do attitude and boisterous smile. No one was a stranger to Peter and he was always willing to help family, friends, and anyone in need with their projects and problems. As his mother and father taught him so well, and throughout his long life, eloquent poetry and song were treasured methods of communicating. He worked as a social worker in various employments but mostly at the VA Hospitals in Topeka, Kan. and Augusta. Even though working full time as a social worker, he was able to help run the family business of a B&B from their home at the ocean’s edge in Harpswell. In addition, he enjoyed working with his hands, including home and auto repair. He received his greatest pleasures from his work, his family, his participation in church and community choir, competitive swimming, community theatre, and last but certainly not least, his times of being on the family island in Maine. Later in life, even with a challenged memory, he had a remarkable ability to remember poetry and song, joyously entertaining those around him. Survivors include his brother, John Packard (Ellynn) of Rowe, Mass.; his wife and beloved companion, Elizabeth “Betsy” Knapp Packard of Topeka, Kan., whom he married in 1954; six children, Alexandra “Sandy” Cahill (Timothy “Tim”) of Parkville Mo., Jonathan “Jon” Packard (Deborah “Debbie”) of Topeka, Kan., Christopher “Chris” Packard (Clyde Martin) of Kirkwood, Pa., Lisa Schneider of Topeka, Kan., Steven “Steve” Packard (Rebecca “Becca”) of Aguanga, Calif. and Josephine “Josey” Packard (Jill McDonough) of Jamaica Plain, Mass.; 15 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are cousins and their families, nieces and nephews and their families, from all corners of the USA as well as around the globe. Peter’s family is so thankful for the strong loving support of our immediate and extended family. Peter Packard was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Penelope “Penny” Strand, his brother-in-law Robert “Bob” Strand; and his son-in-law, Dave Schneider. Cremation is planned. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, Jan. 23 at the Dove Cremations Southwest Chapel, 3700 SW Wanamaker Rd., Topeka. A Memorial Service will be held in the spring of 2021 at First Congregational Church in Topeka, Kan., where a portion of his ashes will be inurned in the church memorial garden. The remaining ashes will be scattered around the family island in Maine. To leave a special message for the family online, visit . Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer’s Association 3625 SW 29th St. Suite 102 Topeka, KS 66614 or to the Brewster Health Center 1205 SW 29th Street Topeka, KS 66611 in appreciation of the excellent care Peter received from the compassionate staff in the Meadowlark neighborhood.

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