BERLIN - Peter McCann Wilson lived a lot in his 57 years. He was born in Troy, NY June 26 1960, one of five children of Peter and Joan McCann, including Dennis; John; Vicki; and Michele. In later years he took the name of his stepfather Bill Wilson to honor him. As a child Pete was a caregiver to his siblings and from that time forward was outwardly sensitive and concerned for those around him, to his last breath on September 19, 2017. He always took time to have friendly conversations and flash that great big smile of his that began many a new connection. He was full of love and compassion. Always a free spirit. And always a rolling stone.
Life to Pete was a great adventure. He loved to explore and to experience the moment. When he was five years old he ran away to visit the Bronx Zoo and when he was 16 he hopped a train and joined the Barnum Bailey Circus for what would become a two-year stint, traveling the east coast, responsible for feeding the elephants and running the main curtain for the circus.
Pete lived and worked all across the USA, from Texas to Wisconsin, Vermont, Tennessee, Alabama and elsewhere. No matter his current endeavor, Pete was known as an honest and hard worker to be counted on. He managed a cotton plantation, worked on a pig farm, was on a road crew, painted billboards and fuel tanks and drove dump trucks. His passion as a tradesman became painting. He said he felt he was “doing the Lord’s work” when he painted churches, and if he ever won the lottery he would paint churches for free. After years of roaming, Pete came to Berlin in 2005 to work as a painter and later a Foreman for And-Good, Inc., where it was his great joy to paint 8 churches. He became fondly known as “Pete The Painter”. It was in this small town that he made his true home and found the contentment he had been seeking as a wanderer. He enjoyed close friends, an employer who became family, and the joy of belonging and camaraderie at The Berlin Rod and Gun Club.
Pete and Deana McCann of Hoosick Falls were married in 2009 and shared many a road trip and adventure. Perhaps none more significant than his last four months journey on this earth until he was ready to let go and move on for one last time. Through marriage he was “Pappa Pete” to Michelle, Stacy, Jason, Chynna Raine, Matthew, Cherie, Robert and Devin, as well as to 11 Grandchildren and 2 Great-Grandchildren. He was the beloved son-in-law of Mary Catalfamo.
With his ever-present lighthearted way of seeing life, his deep down easy laughter, and his quick uninhibited expressions of love, Pete made his way into the hearts of Herb Anderson, Charlie and Sue Bedford, Ron and Billie Jo Brock, Kent Goodermote and Lilly Hewitt, Kurt Jansen, Victor Lecce, Donnie Pritchart, and Cheryl Thibodeau to create in his Berlin home the extended family he always dreamed to have. Many others in the local area became good friends. He cherished each one. At the end he said he had a great life.
Pete was an avid fisherman and delighted in the out-of-doors. He was drawn to the ocean, lakes, rivers and streams, and often meditated near water. A celebration of his life will be held at 11:30AM on Sunday, October 8th near the stream at the Berlin Rod and Gun Club, 2557 Plank Road, Berlin (use zip code 12138 for GPS). “Pete’s Party,” including a luncheon, will follow the service, as he wished. All welcome.
Contributions in Pete’s memory may be made to The Berlin Rod and Gun Club, PO Box 381, Berlin, NY 12022.
Arrangements are by the Thomas M. Barber Funeral Home in Petersburgh.
Condolence book at ParkerBrosMemorial.com.