Peter Prior Gerquest, of South Freeport, ME, passed away June 1, 2018. Peter was an impassioned sailor, hobby lobsterman, and a career shipbroker; the sea was his garden. For the last 20 years of his life, Peter watched the sea every day from his home in South Freeport, overlooking Casco Bay. Peter was brought into the world by poet, family friend, and physician William Carlos Williams, in Passaic, N.J., on March 3, 1932. He was the son of Llewellyn Prior Gerquest, a painter and sculptor, and Arthur Stevens Gerquest, an engineer and potter. Peter and his sister, Sonja, grew up among a community of creatives who influenced his lifelong appreciation for art and music. Peter attended Williston Academy, Hamilton College, and graduated from Columbia University, with an interim stretch serving in the Korean War. As an avid sailor, Peter raced on such famous yachts as The Weatherly and The Ticonderoga. He lived with his wife Mabel in Riverside, CT for 35 years. There, they raised their children, Heidi and Chris, while Peter ran his own shipping company Sea Quest, later renamed Sea Reef Chartering and Beaufort Navigation. Peter traveled the world in both personal and professional capacities throughout his life. In 1995, Peter and Mabel moved to Freeport, where they lived down the street from their daughter, Heidi and granddaughter, Fiona. He was deeply involved in his community both by land and sea. Peter devoted his time to the Harraseeket Yacht Club, the Freeport Historical Society, served as the president of the South Freeport Congregational Church, and as a board member of the Maine Maritime Museum. For those lucky enough to have received a knowing smile from Peter, his charm and wit were an understated but ever-present way of connecting with friends, family, and strangers alike. He will be greatly missed by many. Peter was predeceased by his sister, Sonja, and his much-beloved dog, Phoebe. Surviving members of the family include his wife, Mabel Gerquest; his daughter, Heidi Gerquest and her partner, Johnny Walker; his son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Heather Gerquest, and his adored grandchild, Fiona Prior Harbert.
“But the sea, which no one tends, is also a garden” -William Carlos Williams.