Peter Gorczyk

Peter Gorczyk

Died September 28, 2008

After Yale Pete Gorczyk started out at New York University Graduate School of Business but cut to the chase and became a certified financial advisor through a course offered by the University of Virginia. He became director of investments for Mutual of New York and lived in Summit, NJ with his wife, Joan.

In 1978 they and their son, John, moved to Phoenix, AZ, where Pete became assistant treasurer for a paper company, Southwest Forest, later treasurer of Combined Health Resources at St. Luke’s Hospital, and finally president of Del Webb’s Real Estate Investment Trust.

Pete and Joan suffered a terrible loss when their infant son, Danny, named after Dan O’Grady, Y’65, died. At the age of 37, Joan became pregnant with twins. “I was stunned and terrified,” Joan remembers, “but Pete said – and this tells you so much about what kind of person he was – ‘It is God’s way of replacing Daniel.’”

With three boys in tow, Pete and Joan moved back to Summit. He became vice president of Home Life Insurance Co.; but when the company was bought out, they were faced with the prospect of having to move again, so Pete went to work for Bear, Stearns, which allowed them to continue living in Summit. He did not like Bear, Stearns and retired as soon as his spread sheet said he could afford it, in 1998 at the age of 54.
At the time they still had two more college educations to pay for and Joan remembers thinking, “Oh my God, what are you doing?” In retrospect, she adds, “it worked out well. Since he died so young I was really, really happy he retired when he did.”

After their sons graduated from high school, they built a home in Williamsburg, VA, and retired there in 2000. After decades as a “money man,” Pete had a chance to exercise his inner Renaissance man – he golfed, wrote, gardened, and built furniture. Each year at Christmas he wrote a story for his sons, and, one Christmas in Williamsburg, Joan presented him with a bound copy of those stories.

Pete died of a melanoma on his chest, which was at first successfully treated but then returned. The recurrence was misdiagnosed and, by the time it was recognized, he had five months to live. He died at Hospice House on Sunday, September 28, 2008, surrounded by his family.