Peter R. Sanborn


Peter Russell Sanborn died on June 13, 2011, in Melbourne, Fla., his home for 17 years. He was 67 years old.

Peter was born in Woonsocket, R.I., on December 1, 1943 to Rev. Arthayer and Mrs. Ruth Cummings Sanborn. His growing up years as the second of five children were the source of joyful memories, and he cherished his family history. He attended Nyack High School in Nyack, N.Y., Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, and Andover Newton Theological School in Newton.

Called to the ministry while a camper and on staff at Pathfinder Lodge in Cooperstown, N.Y., Peter was devoted to his faith, and he was tireless in caring for the dying and the bereaved. His formal ministry took place at churches in Dedham, Bainbridge, N.Y., Cranston, R.I., Franklin, N.Y., Burlington, N.Y., and Vineyard Haven and Aquinnah. He also shared his ministerial gifts in his final years in Florida.

Peter met his beloved wife, Phyllis Cash, while working on staff at Pathfinder Lodge, and they married in 1969 in Syracuse, N.Y. Prior to Phyllis’s death in 1993, they welcomed and together raised two daughters, Heather Lynne and Jennifer Lyn. Peter was overjoyed in recent years to be “Grampa Peter” to Kyra, Lucas, and Keith. His pride in his daughters and grandchildren was evident to all who knew him.

Peter is survived by his daughter, Heather Sanbom, and her son, Keith, of Natick; his daughter, Jennifer Sanborn, and son‑in‑law, Matthew Burch, and their children, Kyra and Lucas of Tariffville, Conn.; his siblings Stephen Sanborn, Philip Sanborn, and Ann Bach and their families; family member Bette Doonan; and the special friends who brightened his days and lessened his suffering in recent years of chronic illness and pain. His family is grateful to those who were present for him, and who loved him as he was.

The family of Rev. Sanbom invites you to a gathering of friends, Saturday August 6, from 10:30 am to 12 noon at the First Baptist Church Parish House in Vineyard Haven. Bring your stories and memories and join us as we celebrate Peter’s life and ministry.

Gifts in Peter’s memory can be made to Pathfinder Lodge, c/o American Baptist Churches, NYS, 5865 E. Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, NY 13078, where a fund has been established in his name to share the beauty and sanctity of this place with future generations.

Celebrate Peter, minister and friend, by sending flowers to those who are lonely, by writing letters to those you miss, or by giving a listening ear to a friend in need. In these ways, his generous spirit will live on.