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Yale 62

Arthur John Peck, Jr.

Arthur John PeckCORNING, NY – On Oct. 3, 2022, Arthur John Peck, Jr. of Corning and Penn Yan, New York, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his son’s home. He died from a glioblastoma brain tumor at the age of 82.

John was born March 2, 1940, in Trenton, New Jersey, to the late Mary Kelly Peck and Arthur John Peck. He spent his childhood in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and graduated from The Lawrenceville School in 1958.

John was captain of the soccer team at Yale, a member of Davenport, DKE, Class Council, and a Bones man. He played Freshman and Varsity soccer. His roommates were Perry Gibbs, Edmund Groff, Donald Howe, Samuel Johnston, and Jon Saari.
After graduating from Yale, he worked at The Lawrenceville School before entering Washington and Lee University School of Law, where he earned his JD in 1968.

John began his career at Sherman and Sterling Law Firm in New York City. He moved to Corning, New York, in 1972, where he joined the Corning Glass Works legal department as assistant counsel. John spent 32 years with Corning Inc., serving as senior vice president and corporate secretary at the time of his retirement. One of his former executive colleagues at Corning, Ken Freeman, later CEO of Quest Diagnostics and then Dean of the Questrom School of Business at Boston University, remembers John as “a wonderful colleague. He arrived in Corning during the year of the Hurricane Agnes flood and was flooded out like we were. His pleasant demeanor, and a can-do approach to his work, coupled with his deep legal expertise made him an invaluable part of Corning’s leadership that was respected by everyone. In addition, he was a pillar of the community dedicating countless hours to help better the lives of everyone in Corning, New York, and surrounding communities.”

John was a loving husband, devoted father, and man of deep faith. For 50 years, he was an active member of Christ Episcopal Church, serving as a lay reader, warden, and vestry person. He understood the importance of community and service, volunteering countless hours with social and cultural organizations. After Hurricane Agnes, he was instrumental in setting up the Market Street Restoration Agency, the Elmira Corning Community Foundation, and the Stewart Park Housing Development Fund, which provides safe and affordable housing for families. He also played an important role in establishing The Rockwell Museum, the Corning Classic LPGA, Corning Enterprises, and reviving Watkins Glen International Racetrack. In addition, John was active on the boards of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Guthrie Healthcare System, 171 Cedar Arts Center, and The Arts of the Southern Finger Lakes.

During retirement, John was an avid golfer and ever-improving painter, with many works of art displayed proudly on family walls. Samples are shown below. He continued to embrace what mattered to him, traveling with his wife Susan on Red Cross disaster relief missions to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, Texas following Hurricane Ida, and California to support wildfire relief. Locally, he and Susan delivered meals to the housebound through Meals on Wheels.

John married Susan Lodge Peck on July 18, 1970, in Brooklyn, Connecticut, and celebrated 52 wonderful years together this summer. He was a truly great man who always did what was right and noble. He will forever be remembered by his loving family and friends for his laughter and enjoyment of life, quiet fortitude, generous heart and positive, kind nature, and for enriching the lives of those he loved.

John was preceded in death by his younger brother, James Peck (2017); and brother-in-law, David Lodge (2003). He is survived by his beloved wife Susan Lodge Peck; children, David (Stephanie) and Emily Peck; grandchildren, Dana, and John Peck; sister, Patty (David) Schorr; sister-in-law, Gigi Lodge Lyons; and many loving nieces and nephews.

John reflected back over his life for our 25th Yearbook, as he modestly observed:

“The highlights [of my life so far] include work at three quality institutions (Admissions Officer at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey; Associate at Shearman & Sterling, a large Wall Street law firm; and currently Assistant Secretary at Corning Glass Works in upstate New York); no consuming hobbies; one house; one lovely wife (Susan Lodge, sister of David Lodge, Yale ’63); two children, five dogs (not at one time); and the involvement in charitable/community/civic organizations and activities too numerous to mention.

“All in all, I’ve generally lived conventionally without experiencing permanent life-wrenching or life-distorting emotional, material, or intellectual extremes. However, I am still looking for a good mid-life crisis which fits within this pattern.”

We close with some thoughts from John’s wife Susan for the members of our class, which she sent “with gratitude:”

“We were married in 1970, lived in NYC for two years and moved to Corning, NY, an idyllic community, in 1972, three months before a devastating hurricane which flooded the area. We climbed out a window with three-month-old David and walked in chest deep water to a nearby hillside community. Having lost our meager possessions John wrote to Baldwin Piano, explaining the total loss of our piano. Baldwin replied that with our final payment they would deliver a new one. John stayed with Corning Glass Works, now Corning Inc., for his entire career.

“As with everyone, stories abound.

“[At John’s service] the church was full, and we ran out of service programs. I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the letters I have received, especially by the loving care of John’s Bones friends. They have remained a close class.”


 

(Portions of this report are from an obituary in the Livingston County (NY) News)

— Douglas Tim Hall

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