Peter G. Hastings ’57

Peter G. Hastings ’57 died on March 5, 2022, in Fryeburg, Maine

(The following was provided by the Boothbay Register on March 13, 2022)

Peter G. Hastings ’57

FRYEBURG – Peter G. Hastings, an attorney, community leader, and beloved friend to many, died on March 5, 2022, at his home in Fryeburg. He was 86. The youngest of seven children of Judge Hugh Warren Hastings and Martha Fifield Hastings, Peter was born in Fryeburg on July 23, 1935, at his parents’ home on Oxford Street.

An active youth, Peter enjoyed baseball, skiing, hunting, and horseback riding. He was an Eagle Scout and later became a scout master for Troop 154. At the age of seven he learned to drive a truck while helping out with the haying. Around the same time, he started riding his horse from Fryeburg to Conway to visit his grandmother. Peter’s love of the outdoors was kindled early in his childhood. Between the ages of 5 and 13 he spent the month of April at his family camp on Kezar Pond, trapping muskrats with his father. This annual time off from school came to an end after Judge Hastings received an angry note from a teacher describing his son as a “habitual truant.” Despite this early truancy, Peter graduated from Fryeburg Academy in 1953 before enrolling at Bowdoin College. He was the fourth generation of Hastings to go to Bowdoin, where he played baseball, skied, and caroused. College summers were spent surveying land with his brother, Hugh, and staying out late dancing. During this period, he realized that his dream of becoming a farmer was not compatible with staying out until 1 or 2 o’clock at night.

After graduating from Bowdoin in 1957, Peter attended Boston University Law School where he was a senior editor of the Law Review and graduated cum laude in 1960. Additional studies at New York University’s Graduate School of Business followed before he returned to Fryeburg in 1961 with his wife, Anne Amirault, and their growing family. He organized numerous family hiking trips in the White Mountains, canoeing the Allagash, St John, and St Croix Rivers, white water rafting down the Colorado and Kennebec Rivers, and biking in the United States and the Netherlands.

Peter joined his father and brother, David II, in the practice of law at Hastings & Sons in 1961. The firm, founded by his great-grandfather in 1847, is now called Hastings Law Office and celebrates its 175th anniversary this year. During his sixty years as a lawyer, Peter represented many small towns and districts in Maine and New Hampshire. His practice focused on trusts and estates, commercial and non-profit business organizations, municipal law, and real estate and tax matters. In a 2018 profile in the Bridgton News, Peter’s long-time assistant Judy McIver noted: “Peter is well known for being a people’s attorney. Appointments have not always been necessary with him. On many occasions, clients would walk through the front door and Peter would graciously take them into his office without hesitation. If clients were unable to come to the office due to poor health or sickness, Peter would go to them. He recognized hardship cases and offered to help in any way he could, she said. Peter is a wealth of knowledge of everything Fryeburg. He was an amazing litigator and courtroom attorney. I’ve always said, Peter could get more work done in an hour than most attorneys could in a day.”

From 1988 to 1992 Peter was a Representative in the Maine State Legislature for District 97. Known for being deeply civic-minded, he also served on numerous town and community committees. Peter’s thirty-plus year marriage to Stefi Reed Hastings began in 1991. Everyone who knew them together felt their deep love and companionship. They were anchors in the Hastings, Reed, and Damon families and cared deeply about their extended families. Peter and Stefi loved so many of the same activities–excursions to visit their seven children and eight grandkids, travel, friendships, skiing, a love of the outdoors and appreciating wildlife, holding Schnapps parties, and binge-watching foreign detective series. They were connected at the hip and everywhere they went, you would find them accompanied by one of their dogs — Sofi, Birdie, and Bella.

Deeply rooted in Maine and New England, Peter was nevertheless curious about and open to the world. Trips to Spain, Portugal, England, Wales, Scotland, China, and around the United States gave him the opportunity to experience other places and people. While he enjoyed these trips, he was always happy to return to Fryeburg. Reading was another way through which Peter encountered the world. He was a voracious and wide-ranging reader who loved history. A Mainer and old school gentleman, Peter approached life with equanimity and very rarely complained. He was down-to-earth and principled. Caring very little for material possessions, Peter avoided events that required neckties and happily wore his black and white plaid L.L. Bean jacket and Filson vest for decades. He was a role model for many friends and family members who admired his kindness, balance, and calm presence. As a close friend noted, “his grace, his kindness, his ability to change long held ideology, always learning, always adaptable, are a lesson to us all.” While he was wise and took Tai Chi classes, Peter was no solemn monk. His mischievous sense of humor would often result in grandchildren getting sprayed with whipped cream or a boat trip ending in an unplanned swim. Undoubtedly, he would have found this obituary much too long and self-important. Peter suggested, “He was born, lived, and died,” but his family thought his life of 31,638 days merited more.

Peter loved Maine. Its land, people, and history. He had a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of Fryeburg history and lore. An avid fly fisherman, Peter relished fishing trips to Miramichi in New Brunswick with friends and with his kids to Newfoundland, central and northern Maine, and the Arctic Circle. Other special places included Kezar Pond and Lovewell Pond. Peter died overlooking the fields, mountains, and Saco River that he loved.

He is survived by his wife, Stefi Reed Hastings; and children, Mark and Yi-wen Hastings of Arlington, Va., Greg and Debra Hastings of Falmouth, Allison and Greg Weimer of Shelburne, Vt., Bradley and Stephanie Dunn Hastings of Lexington, Mass., Carrie and Terry Contreras of Placerville, Calif., Tinka Markham Piper and Andrew Piper of Montreal, QC, Sam Markham and Andrea Quintero of Sunnyside, N.Y.; and eight grandchildren, Zackery, Alexandra, Abigail Weimer; Peter and Caroline Hastings; Eliot and Echo Piper; and Sylvia Quintero Markham. He is also survived by his first wife, Anne Amirault Massey; and sister-in-law, Noreen Mattson Hastings.

Peter was predeceased by his six siblings, Helen H. Stearns, Edward E. Hastings II, David R. Hastings II, Hugh W. Hastings II, Jane H. Folsom, and Mary H. Dumas.

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