On Aug. 16, Peter Stinner, a beloved member of the Atlanta HIV community, died. He was a model human being: kind, generous, witty, and committed to social justice.
I met Peter in the early 1990s, when we both signed up to volunteer at the Grady HIV Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia. I was immediately drawn to him and deeply respected his commitment to both the HIV and the LGBTQ communities.
Volunteering at the clinic was exciting, but it also came with heartache. The Grady HIV Clinic had a six-month waiting list for a new-patient medical appointment and was severely understaffed. We started our work there knowing that there was a very real possibility that a person with HIV could die before they made it to their first medical appointment.
We both showed up weekly to volunteer, hoping to make a difference in the lives of community members we both cared about. I’ll never forget Peter’s kindness, commitment, humor, and smiling face. He was a joy to be around and made a difference through the selfless service he so lovingly gave.
To honor Peter and his life’s work, I spoke with his husband, Jeff Graham, as well as Jonathan Colasanti, M.D., M.S.P.H., who worked with Peter. Graham is the executive director of Georgia Equality, an organization that works to advance fairness, safety, and opportunity for LGBTQ communities throughout Georgia. He has been advocating on LGBTQ and AIDS-related issues since he was a college student in the mid-1980s.
Colasanti is an assistant professor of medicine and global health at Emory University in Atlanta. He currently serves as the associate medical director of the Infectious Disease Program at the Grady Health System HIV Clinic. Colasanti developed a passion for fighting HIV in high school and has dedicated himself to the field ever since.
[Editor’s note: These two interviews were conducted separately, but related portions have been intertwined within this transcript. Additional edits have been made for clarity and length.]
Terri Wilder: Jeff, I just want to start out by saying that I’m really sorry about Peter, and I really appreciate you talking with me just a little over two weeks after his passing. First of all, I’m just wondering how you’re doing.
Jeff Graham: Thanks, Terri, so much for reaching out and for doing this interview. You know, it’s, it’s—it’s a hard time. What I’m telling folks is that, you know, I’m just taking it one breath at a time.
Like so many of us that have worked in HIV for so long, so many of us that grew up in the LGBT community, coming out in the ’80s and ’90s, grief is nothing new. But to lose a husband, lose a partner, so suddenly is a different type of grief than I have ever experienced before. I’m glad I have the love and support of friends and family from around the country.
A Childhood Framed by a Medical Miracle
Wilder: I would really love to start at the beginning. Can you tell me where Peter was born, and what his life was like growing up?
Graham: Peter was born in Houston, Texas, in 1965. He actually was born with a medical condition, a large hemangioma. Lots of folks have these as birthmarks that are oftentimes very small, on someone’s hand or on someone’s leg. But this hemangioma was on his upper chest, and it really was life-threatening. And so, from the time he was an infant, he was in and out of hospitals the entire time that he was growing up in Houston.
In fact, he was very proud of the fact that he was written up in a medical textbook in the 1960s as this little baby who, against all odds, had survived the radiation therapy and the treatments to keep the hemangioma from taking his life as a child.
I think that, actually, is an important place to start the story. Because, I think, as he became an adult, it made him far more in tune to what people living with HIV, other people with chronic medical conditions, were going through, because of his own medical issues as a child.
Folks often did not notice, at first glance. It was not until people got to know him better that they realized he had some deformities in his upper right arm; limited mobility; and, because of the radiation treatments, there just was no real muscle mass on his upper arm.
But he made history as a kid. Like I said, he was very proud to be in those medical textbooks, and very proud to kind of be the miracle baby.
A Chance Meeting
Wilder: I know that the two of you met in college. Can you tell me about how you met and, probably even more importantly, how you fell in love?
Graham: Well, how we met and how we fell in love were—frankly, it was a journey, in and of itself.
I was a year ahead of Peter. And I, as a sophomore, was rooming with a guy named James, who also had grown up in Houston and went to the same high school that Peter had gone to. Peter’s first day on college campus, when he was a freshman, he came looking for his friend James to say hello. And so, he knocked on my dorm room door, and I opened it. And that was how we met.
Peter did not actually come out to himself until after he graduated college. So there was no romantic relationship while we were in college together. But we were very, very good friends. Both of us were religion majors. Both of us were incredibly involved in the theater program. We traveled in the same social circles. And, throughout the four years that he was an undergraduate, we got closer and closer and closer. And that’s what led to the romantic relationship.
Once he graduated from college, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He had planned on going into the seminary and becoming a Presbyterian minister. But he wanted to take a year off and just explore himself and explore the world a little bit. So, he joined up with a Presbyterian year-of-service program and was assigned to the Open Door Community here in Atlanta, Georgia, where he would live and work with the homeless, and work against the death penalty.
It was at the Open Door Community, in the fall of 1988, that he was able to come out to himself as gay. Frankly, those of us that were closest to him knew that he was gay before he was willing to recognize and accept that in and of himself. And once he officially did come out, he started calling me on a regular basis so that we could talk about this; we could talk about the dates that he went on.
Over a holiday break—I was in graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin at the time—over the holiday break, I decided to come to Atlanta to visit my good friend, Peter. After I had been here for just a day or two is when he professed that, while he had been going on several dates, the whole process of coming out, all he could think of was me and our friendship, our relationship, and that he decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
To be honest, I actually laughed, and said, “Why would we want to risk ruining a perfectly good friendship by taking it in a romantic direction?” I had originally just kind of declined. But he was very persistent. As the week came to a close—very specifically, on New Year’s Eve at the Armory—he asked one more time if I would consider spending the rest of my life with him. And that’s when I decided to accept his offer. And so, we always celebrated our anniversary as New Year’s Eve, because that’s when I finally said that I would join him here in Atlanta.
We had nine months of long-distance relationship, and I moved here in August of 1989. And that’s when we officially started our lives together here in Atlanta as a couple.
Wilder: I remember: You have amazing New Year’s Eve parties.
Graham: Yeah. New Year’s Eve has always been important to us. We have another couple, very dear friends that have been together as a couple 10 years more than we have. And so oftentimes we would have joint parties, or we would trade back and forth whoever would host the party. But New Year’s Eve has always been important to us to celebrate, with our friends, our love and commitment to each other.
In fact, we officially got married before a judge in Washington, D.C. on New Year’s Eve in 2014. It was important for us to show to our families and to the world that, while we were now legally married and that added a new dimension to our relationship, the relationship for the 25 years before that—when we were not married—was just as important to us. So that’s why, instead of finding a different anniversary date, it was very important for us to get married on New Year’s Eve—and, frankly, on our 25th anniversary.
Wilder: I want to circle back to Peter’s growing up and his experience being in and out of hospitals. You inferred that that’s where his commitment to social justice came from. But I’m wondering, was his family involved in politics? Did they have any beliefs around selfless service?
Graham: His family did not have a real background in social justice. His father had died when he was 3 years old. His mother raised Peter and his older brother and older sister as a single parent.
They were very involved with church. Peter, like I said; his original plan was to go into the ministry, becoming a Presbyterian minister. So in that respect his involvement with church opened up the door to his greater commitment towards social justice.
But I think this is where Trinity University played an important role in his life. I think, as a college student—especially in San Antonio, Texas, in the latter half of the ’80s—the Latin American solidarity movement was an important part of our lived experience as students at this small liberal arts college.
Peter’s older sister and her husband at the time were both working Presbyterian ministers, working in Christian education. Both of them were bilingual, and so they got extremely involved in the Latin American solidarity movement. And Peter, by extension, started to get involved in that, as well.
Through the religion department, he learned about liberation theology—very specifically, the importance of putting your faith into action—and learned conceptually the concept of servant leadership. That’s when he graduated.
It was a perfect place for him to end up, at the Open Door Community, which was a special group of people that really lived their faith every single day by taking a vow of poverty; he made $50 a month to live and work with the homeless.
He did that for a full year and a half. And Open Door remained an important part of his life, and our life, throughout the entire time here in Atlanta. The Open Door Community closed about five years ago, as its founders got older. But that’s where this real sense of social justice and working for other people came about.
Wilder: When did Peter get involved in HIV activism? And how did that happen?
Graham: He got involved about the same time that I did. Because I was an out student on the college campus, I got involved with HIV advocacy when I was an undergraduate. And that was an important part of my undergraduate life.
But I think for most LGBT folks that were coming out and coming of age in the 1980s, you could not help but get involved with HIV advocacy. Our community was under attack. It felt like a genocide that was going on. And here in Atlanta, while he had primarily been focused on the homeless, once I moved here, I started getting involved with ACT UP; and so he started getting involved with ACT UP.
The intersections between what we did through ACT UP to help, specifically, people living with HIV/AIDS and the LGBT community also overlapped very much with work around poor people, the homeless, addressing structural and systemic racism in our society. All of that kind of wove itself together in the early ’90s.
As you had mentioned before, he first started doing this as a volunteer. Day job was, he worked at a deli and in a grocery store. And by early 1990, he wanted to have something more meaningful in his life. And so that’s when he approached Kathleen Brockel, who was the executive director at AIDS Survival Project. Back then, it was known as the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of People with AIDS. And he called Kathleen, whom he knew through ACT UP, and said, “Do you have volunteer opportunities?”
And she said, “Yeah. We’re just launching an education program down at the Grady AIDS Clinic. Why don’t you come with me and see if this feels right for you?”
He started developing some of the early educational materials on treatment education—and then was there, just as a counselor, as a volunteer, every single week. He was so proud of that volunteer work early on at Grady.
There was a lot of advocacy at that point in time, because that clinic was so under-resourced—both physically, in terms of funding, and in terms of the capacity of staff. There needed to be a lot of community advocacy to get the support for the clinic. A lot of elected officials at the time felt that they shouldn’t invest the tens of millions of dollars to build a new clinic, because the cure for AIDS was right around the corner. Peter was part of that effort to actually secure the funding to move Grady to the location where it’s been for the last 27, 28 years, on Ponce de Leon Avenue.
What I think is very interesting about this story is that the clinic is housed in the building that had formerly been the Southeastern Regional Office for the Presbyterian Church.
HIV Work in Atlanta in the 1980s and 1990s
Wilder: I remember very vividly Peter being at that one-hall clinic downtown. I remember it being understaffed. The other thing that I remember is that they allowed us to go into the computer and pull out people’s labs; and that we actually gave them their T-cell counts. They didn’t have staff to do that, and they depended on volunteers like Peter to literally go over somebody’s labs. You would never do that now.
Graham: Right. People would not believe what the world was like, if you didn’t live it and experience it in that late ’80s and early ’90s. It really was this sense of a community of people coming together to help out each other. And Peter, basically as a volunteer, did the work that he would eventually get paid for; but it would be another decade before he actually would be working at Grady as an employee.
Wilder: During that period, where there was like a six-month waiting list for a person to get their first medical appointment—I remember during that time seeing an ACT UP Atlanta flyer that said, “People with AIDS are dying to get in Grady,” making reference to the fact that people with HIV would actually die before they got their first medical appointment.
Graham: Yeah. The stakes were that high. It was really around life and death. And the involvement with ACT UP was so incredibly important. I think it is also important to mention that this is when Peter actually did begin his professional career.
At first, he worked with Mercy Mobile. They had a mobile HIV clinic that went out and did testing and counseling, primarily with the homeless, throughout the metro Atlanta area. That was actually Peter’s first paid job [in the field]: a pre- and post-test counselor working with the homeless.
He eventually moved on to oversee the clinic that they had in the basement of Central Presbyterian Church downtown—and, ultimately, helped to run and administer the clinic that Mercy Mobile operated at the offices of AID Atlanta.
Around 1991 is when he got his certification in phlebotomy and his certification in pre- and post-test counseling. He moved from being a volunteer to being paid staff at that point in time. But his volunteer commitments did not end, because his volunteer time was then devoted to doing the advocacy through ACT UP.
Moments That Mattered
Wilder: Can you tell me about any specific memories you have of Peter, maybe at a protest or an action that ACT UP was involved in?
Graham: There’s so many different actions that he was involved with. The one that really stands out in my mind a lot had to do with the whole situation around a woman named Kimberly Bergalis, who said that she had contracted HIV through her dentist.
Where this became very controversial is that researchers from the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] frankly could never prove one way or another how the HIV transmission had occurred—if, in fact, it had occurred at the dentist’s office or not. But it set off a widespread panic throughout the country that I would say, in many ways, we still struggle with today, in terms of the stigma of people living with HIV getting adequate oral health services.
Throughout so much of the ’90s, but especially this period of time—around ’92, ’93, after Kimberly Bergalis—dentists’ offices just would shut their doors to people living with HIV, would not let them in. There was one dental office here in Atlanta that, in fact, took out ads on TV that they tested all of their staff regularly for HIV, so that it was safe for people to go there.
This was so outrageous and so stigmatizing, and not based in any sort of rational science. So Peter, myself, and a couple of other folks one day were able to disrupt a live broadcast of CNN Headline News to draw attention to the fact that we did not feel that there was enough of the science being put out there in the mainstream media, and that CNN actually had an obligation to ease the stigma and fear that was going on.
That is a part of Peter that I don’t think a lot of people would really recognize: This brave person that was willing to disrupt a live broadcast on CNN because of his commitment to people living with HIV.
Wilder: Did that disruption end in arrest, or were you guys let go and asked nicely to leave?
Graham: We were arrested, and then charges were dropped. I think that they did not want to admit that it had really happened. We did not even get booked in fully, going to jail; we had just been held at the local precinct office for a couple of hours before we were released.
But earlier on, Peter was engaged in civil disobedience before I did. His first act of civil disobedience was when he was working at the Open Door Community. Underground Atlanta [a retail hub and tourist destination] was having an official reopening celebration in June of 1989. And the folks at the Open Door Community had felt that the $142 million in community-development block-grant money that had funded the revitalization of Underground Atlanta should have been spent on affordable housing and expanding services to the homeless in Atlanta.
So he and five other folks with the Open Door Community disrupted the welcoming speech that [then-mayor] Andrew Young was giving at the time; and they were arrested. And unlike a lot of us that had arrests through ACT UP, doing civil disobedience—where you’d post bail and be out within a few hours—because of the commitment to be in solidarity with the homeless and the poor and the marginalized, they chose to stay in jail until they could go before a judge.
The arrest was on a Tuesday. They didn’t go before a judge until a Friday. So he actually spent three days in jail with his friends at the Open Door Community.
A Long, Storied Tenure at Grady
Wilder: I wanted to circle back to Peter’s work at the Grady Ponce de Leon center, the HIV clinic. Can you tell me about his work there? I mean, he worked there forever.
Graham: Yeah. He worked there just short of 20 years, at the Grady Infectious Disease Clinic. It was just such a part of his heart, his soul.
He had been involved early on, as we talked about, as a volunteer. He had been involved with advocacy to get that facility open in the first place. And he poured his entire heart every day into making sure that people living with HIV/AIDS had the support they needed.
He was one of the first folks that they would meet when getting enrolled in the clinic. And he kind of played the role of Sherpa, making sure that folks would know what was going to happen: who they were going to meet, if there were going to be delays in getting test results back. He would oftentimes sit with a newly enrolled patient, but also with their families, to answer questions that the family might have.
He would consistently go above and beyond, taking the time that was needed to just sit and be a comfort to folks and help them throughout their journey to learn how to live, survive, and ultimately thrive with HIV/AIDS.
Wilder: Dr. Colasanti: What was your relationship with Peter at Grady?
Jonathan Colasanti: First and foremost, he was a friend.
I arrived as a fellow in 2012, and then as full-time in 2015. Peter was one of the first people that I sat down with. I had voiced my interest in systems and how patients access clinic, etc. And so, [Wendy Armstrong, M.D., the medical director of Grady’s Infectious Diseases Program (IDP)] sat me down with Peter.
Peter gave me, like I’ve heard from so many others, a really personal introduction to IDP, and kind of an Intro to IDP 101 that he had clearly given to so many in Atlanta over the decades. And so, for me, he was a friend, and someone, kind of a rock, who was always there and always playing that role as—“gatekeeper” has kind of a negative connotation, so that would be the wrong word—but a welcoming committee.
The other thing he was for me—it’s a bit of an intangible. I had done work in the HIV community back home in Charlotte since I was a kid. It was when I sat down with Peter that I kind of felt that connection to the HIV work, or the AIDS community, in Atlanta for the first time.
I had worked with patients for a couple years at that point. But it was when I sat down with Peter that I kind of, I don’t know; he had that intangible inner advocate who had been on the front lines of the fight against HIV since the beginning. And that was there, day in and day out, in his work.
Wilder: What do you think he brought to the clients in clinic that was unique?
Colasanti: Peter’s one of those guys who humbly did what he did. And so, you didn’t really realize the impact he made in real time, because he just didn’t make a big deal about it and went about his work. But it’s clear from all those posts [on social media after his passing] how many he touched.
I think he was the type of person you like to talk to. And so, he created that environment for patients, providing them with a comfortable environment; someone who clearly was listening and was a reflective ear.
He knew the system inside and out. As you know, it’s a ridiculously challenging system, unfortunately, to access—both HIV care in Atlanta and the Grady system, in particular. It can just be challenging and daunting and scary for patients. He provided a safe place to land, and a welcoming place to land, and a place that we who worked around him are going to miss. And I know our patients are going to miss having that.
It was constant. He was the type, it didn’t matter what was going on in his life, in his personal life, or wherever; when he was there, he was that safe landing place for patients and truly impacted thousands of individuals as they were entering HIV care in Atlanta.
Wilder: Dr. Colasanti, do you have any specific memories of Peter that would really paint the kind of person he was?
Colasanti: You know, on one of our internal calls—as we, as a clinic and as a staff, have been trying to process this; you’re kind of all sharing things—as I was listening to other people share their stories, it was clear that this, what I’m about to say to you, kind of rang true throughout.
In my role as one of the directors who have the ability to make exceptions for patients to enter into care, etc.; Peter liked to get into good trouble [as the late Rep. John Lewis liked to call it]. He was always finding a reason for someone to come into care at IDP. He and I had similar philosophies: If there was someone sitting in front of him asking to come into care, there was a reason they needed our services. And we’d find a way, even if it was kind of between the lines.
That was his spirit. Yeah, there were rules, etc. But he knew the rules could be bent for the good of the individual in front of him. And he was a patient-first person.
When I think about how we should all interact with patients, Peter is one of those guys—you look at him and how he did his daily job, and you say, “If we all did that in our daily work, especially in this field of HIV, my guess is we wouldn’t have some of our retention-in-care challenges that we have.” If you had a clinic full of Peters, everybody would want to be there.
That’s kind of how he operated.
Wilder: I saw someone—Butch Thompson, who you and I both worked with, Jeff—said that when he had someone he needed to get into the Grady Clinic, he always wanted them to be connected with Peter. And that reminded me that, at one point, I was working for a different organization and I had a client that I needed to get into the Grady Clinic. And I called Peter and asked him if he would help me. He actually met me and my client there at the clinic, and literally helped walk us through.
It was just so nice to have that comfort in knowing: Peter’s going to take care of this; I don’t have to worry.
Graham: Absolutely. That’s who he was.
Wilder: Jeff, when you were the executive director at AIDS Survival Project, I worked for an amazing program that we had: Thrive Weekend. Peter also gave presentations during that weekend. It was pretty amazing—Peter worked all week long at the Grady HIV Clinic. He did that work all day long. I realize he was your husband, but, you know, he still got up on Saturday mornings to come and educate people.
Graham: Yeah. His commitment to Thrive Weekend and the volunteerism, leading that—it was irrelevant, our relationship, that he was my husband. He would have been asked to play that role, anyway, even if we had not had a relationship. And he would have gladly given of his time. Because educating people was so important to him.
I think that, again, that goes back to his childhood of just growing up in a medical setting, and being fascinated with the whole process, and the fact that his medical condition was so rare, that he would learn about it as he got older and gain knowledge about what was going on with his own body, with his own health. And I think that’s where he first began to develop this gift of translating these big medical concepts into a way that everybody could understand what was going on.
He was fascinated with the treatment end of the work. I think that’s why, at one point in time, he actually had been offered a job overseeing the HIV testing and counseling training program for the entire state of Georgia. And he ultimately decided he did not want to take that job, because he was afraid that he would lose the one-on-one contact that was so important to him, of being able to help folks one-on-one. It’s something that he learned as a kid, that he wanted to then help people as an adult.
A Fitting Tribute From His Colleagues
Wilder: I saw that Peter’s coworkers at Grady had a memorial at work. Can you tell me about that and how that came about?
Graham: We will be having a public celebration of his life on Sept. 10. But his coworkers, the folks at the clinic; it was important that they had their own time to remember him. I’m glad that they reached out so that I could be there.
Colasanti: [Peter] was part of the enrollment team—the group of folks who are health educator/patient navigator types; some nursing and some intake folks, financial folks, [people] who work together to get patients into care. Peter had a very tight relationship with that group, and they work together in one unit and see each other as family. They’re the ones that put that on.
Graham: Several people that worked closely with him got up and told stories about the impact that he had made on the lives of their patients, the impact he had made on their lives. Several people spoke about the fact that he would take the time to help orient them to the operational side of the infectious disease program; that social workers knew that they could turn to him if they had questions around how treatments might work; that doctors would talk about the fact—very much like you had said earlier—they had patients that they wanted to make sure had some extra care and support, that they would want to make sure that Peter was the one that was working with them. And they would turn to Peter in a time of emergency to step in and help someone that may be in crisis.
Colasanti: It was beautiful, and I’m glad we did it at IDP. Because, again, I think for so many of us, Peter and IDP were kind of inseparable. You associated one with the other.
Graham: He had a very important role there. But part of what was lovely about this, and such a part of who he was as a person: sci-fi nerds—a lot of people don’t know that about either one of us, but we are. He loved Star Wars. It had been a running joke for several years that at staff parties, birthday celebrations, his coworkers would always get him a Star Wars-themed gift of some sort.
They actually closed out his memorial service—the folks in the education department all wore Star Wars T-shirts. They all had plastic light sabers. And they closed the memorial by playing the grand theme of Star Wars and giving him a light saber salute, while chanting, “Peter; may his force be with you.”
Wilder: Oh, that’s so sweet. I love that. Oh, wow.
Colasanti: His team kind of gave him that—appropriately, I think—lighthearted sendoff for someone that, despite the really, really challenging [work] that he did on a daily basis, he always did it with a smile and with a sense of humor. And it was that sense of humor that has kind of come through in most of the stories that I’ve heard about him over the last week or so.
It was nice to do that there and a reminder that we look forward to finding some special ways to remember Peter at IDP for generations to come. So, we’re kind of planning how we can do that.
The Peter Stinner Memorial Scholarship
Wilder: I understand that a scholarship has been set up to honor Peter. Jeff, I’m wondering if you can tell me more about that, and how people can donate to it.
Graham: I wanted to do something that really would honor all of Peter’s life—the work that he did, but also how his story started. Us meeting at college is so important. As I had said earlier, it really was Trinity University in San Antonio that helped shape him into being the amazing person that he was as an adult.
And so, we have set up a scholarship fund in his name at Trinity University. It will be administered by the religion department [and] is specifically going to be to help students that want to pursue projects or careers in social justice.
As his family and I have talked about this, what our hope is, is that we can support the next Peter. That we can be there for some student that may need some financial assistance to be able to do a summer project working in the local LGBT community in San Antonio, or someone who may need a little bit of support because they want to pursue looking at how religion and science overlap. He was the quintessential liberal arts student, and we want to support other students that have a commitment to the same issues that were so important to Peter.
Folks can certainly find that, if people are interested in making a donation to honor his memory in that way. [From Trinity’s donation page, people can click the “Give to an area of my choice” box and select “In memory of Peter Stinner.”]
A Lasting Impact
Wilder: Peter clearly was a beloved member of the Grady HIV Clinic family. For somebody who’d worked there for almost 20 years, it takes a lot of dedication to stay in one place and do the work that he did. I really hope that his contributions to Grady and the larger HIV community will not be forgotten. And I doubt that they will.
Colasanti: Nope. Exactly. They certainly won’t. You know, again, reference social media: Even the Grady CEO, [John] Haupert, has made comments on Facebook of what an important part of the Grady family [he was], and the values that Peter upheld in his daily work were so reflective of what is really inherent in the overarching Grady mission. So he’ll certainly be remembered fondly for many, many years to come.
Wilder: Jeff, are there any other memories that you think would be important to share about his life and his activism and the work that he’s done in the community?
Graham: One last thing to share: Together, as a unit, we’d been known as “the Uncles”. We have nieces and nephews on both sides of our family, and our relationship with them has always been so incredibly important. And they also are really grieving right now. So it’s a whole community of people.
But it’s also the next generation of our family, both on the Stinner side and on the Graham side, that have lost their uncle. And so, asking people to just keep the whole family in their thoughts.
Two of our nieces actually have gone into medicine. One is working in research in Houston; the other has been working in the ICU unit in New Orleans over the last six months.
So it is nice to see the next generation being involved in the work that was so important to Peter, and his entire life of helping others.
Wilder: How would you like Peter to be remembered?
Graham: I would like people to remember him for this person that just had a heart that was so big. That he was always there to help, but that he always had a great sense of humor. A great sense of adventure. It’s important for everybody to live as full a life as you can, because none of us know how long that life will be.
Stinner (the sixth person in line) takes part in a very serious water ballet in 2010.
As a partner/spouse/unindicted co-conspirator, I couldn’t have asked for a better person to share my life with. And it was a life of unconditional love. I hope that other people get to experience what we had been able to experience. I hope that others will step up to claim the mantle of taking care of others with compassion and servant leadership that Peter, as an adult, has led on for 32 years.