On Friday, September 13th, Our Friend, Peter deMoya, Camp Takodah’s Friar Tuck, passed from this world and has begun his journey into life eternal.
Peter deMoya embodied what it means to be “Takodah bred.”
He was more than just a welcomed volunteer at the Cheshire Y. His leadership at Camp was long lasting and sincerely valued. His character transcended his seat as a Senior Director to a level of a living legend. His words held meaning far beyond the wonderful stories he would tell if you were lucky enough to hear them. His lessons reached deep into our hearts and taught to focus, to listen, to learn and to always be “friendly to all.” His eyes saw a beauty across the pond and a promise upon the fields that will forever be reflected within our hearts and minds.
As we mark and mourn the loss of our dear Friar Tuck, let us all consider what he and his generation mean to our collective history. Peter earned his first CTs during the heyday of The Elwells and he often fondly referred to Oscar Elwell simply as “Uncle.” These early years at Takodah formed the deep-seeded foundation for Peter’s lifestyle and set in place a system of values that forged his bright personality and meaningful friendships. There was never any doubt that Uncle Oscar was Peter’s mentor and model. I often stop to think about what Peter was like in his youth. And yet, at those moments, I realize that I know exactly what he was like all those years ago because he never lost his youthful disposition. Peter was more than “young at heart” he was “young at life.” And what a life he lived! In fact, we recently celebrated Peter when a small gathering of Takodians presented him with his 40 Year Jacket.
Peter had a love for Camp Takodah – a deeply personal appreciation – that we should all strive for. He clearly understood the importance of our work. He easily related to the enjoyment of our play. He undoubtedly saw the value of a place that has “spirit, mind and body” brought together in the midst of heartwarming traditions. Every CT earned, every candle held aloft, every milestone marked meant the world to Peter because he knew what our beloved Takodah family brings to the world: beauty, peace, and happiness.
From the Archery Range to the cabins, from the Dining Hall to The Point, from Hobby Nook to Mem Lodge, there was not a place you could go that Peter could not teach you something. It might be a lesson about Camp. It might be a lesson about you. It might be a lesson that you don’t even realize you were learning. Nevertheless, we all knew that when those arms crossed, that gaze sharpened and that voice perked up, Peter was about to send something special your way.
I think I can speak for all Takodians who knew him in saying “thank you, Peter.”
Thank you for reading Treasure Island to us and to our children. Thank you for passing down that which you held in such high regard. Thank you for strengthening your community and in turn building ours. Thank you for sharing your memories in ways which we in turn will share for many, many years to come.
Personally, I believe that the best way to honor him is to keep our eyes fixed upon the future without ever letting go of the past. In that way, Peter deMoya keeps us all on target.
For he was the bow; and we are his arrows.
God Bless You Pete!
Graeme Noseworthy, September 2013