Peter M. Wheelock ’67

Peter Marvin Wheelock, age 72, died at Concord Park Memory Care Unit on January 19, 2021 from complications of COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s disease. The son of Dr. Frank Cawthorne Wheelock and Nancy Marvin Wheelock, Peter grew up in Newton, MA. From a young age, he was drawn to oceans and mountains, which he explored by sailing, hiking in all seasons, and backcountry skiing. He overcame early challenges with dyslexia to become an avid reader of books and news sources, including the Boston Globe, which he read in full each morning before 7am. After completing college with a major in Geological Sciences at Middlebury College, Peter worked as a ski patrol for a couple of years in New Mexico. He then went to the University of Massachusetts, earning a degree in Structural Engineering with high honors. He worked as an engineer for Weidlinger Associates, Inc. for 35 years, where he formed many friendships. Most of all, Peter was a devoted family man, a team player in family gatherings, as well as a very giving and supportive husband, and most proud father of his daughter, Alyse. Peter will be missed by his wife Susan Dutt Wheelock, his daughter Dr. Alyse Berk Wheelock, his sisters Debby Wheelock and Betsy Povtak, daughter-in-law Lauren Berk Wheelock, and extended family including Jim Dutt, Joan Lentczner, Chuck Paine, Nick Paine, Sophie Paine, Jessica Povtak, Micheal Nham, Mike Povtak, and Marika Povtak, as well as his close friends and neighbors. A Celebration and Remembrance of Peter’s Life will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the name of Peter Wheelock to Clean Energy Innovation Policy Program at

4 thoughts on “Peter M. Wheelock ’67”

  1. Whenever our class was arranged alphabetically, Peter and I were seated next to each other. We became friends sharing our hopes for college. I remember his amazingly good attitude the winter of ’67 after he broke both arms in a skiing accident. He was captain of the ski team and expected to be in top echelon of New England prep skiers that year. He never complained about this and kept looking forward. Sorry to learn that the end of his life was in a memory unit, especially in this time of little or no visitation in care facilities. My heart goes out to Peter’s friends and family who have lost a good one.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments about my brother, Peter. I definitely remember him talking about you and perhaps our paths crossed as I was at Northampton School for Girls during Pete’s junior and senior years. We were so luck that his daughter and her wife were allowed to be with him as he passed. I was able to speak with him twice during the night. We have talked about his broken arms so many times. I remember it clearly as he thought it was great fun to knock the top of my head with one of those heavy arms in the cast. I hope that you and your family have weathered COVID and are thriving. Betsy Wheelock Povtak

  2. Although Peter Wheelock and I were roommates at Williston, we truly bonded later; during endless bivouacs in tents from the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the Wind Rivers of Wyoming, sharing squalor in the basement of a ski lodge in Taos, and as damp and cold crew mates on sailing ships crossing the North Atlantic.
    Even as a young man Peter was sober and serious, until he dropped into a powder snow filled couloir on skis, when he turned into an aggressively elegant wild man. Watching Peter ski was always a joy, and always impressive. That is the memory I want to hold of him; tearing up an untracked ski line, with an exuberance that he rarely showed otherwise. While I no longer indulge in the steep and the deep, I will dedicate my turns this spring to Peter. He was, in the highest compliment of the western backcountry, “a good hand”.

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