Peter M. Acton Sr.

April 26, 1941July 2, 2013
Play Tribute Movie

Beloved father, brother, husband, and friend, Peter M. Acton, Sr. died July 2, 2013. A 14-year resident of Chatham, Massachusetts, Peter was 72 years old and died in the company of his much-loved wife of 47 years, Marie, and his children. He brought comfort and humor to his family until the end.

Peter was born April 26, 1941 in White Plains, New York to Lillian and Edward M. Acton. He went to Rye High School where he was the Class President and voted Most Likely to Succeed. Peter attended The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts where he sang in the Glee Club and was Naval ROTC. His experiences and friends at Holy Cross profoundly influenced his entire life. After graduating at the top of his class from Holy Cross in 1963, Peter served as an officer in the United States Navy on the USS Boxer.

Peter attended Fordham University Law School, where he was on the Law Review. Following law school, Peter began a 28-year career as an attorney for IBM, where he worked under a number of great attorneys including former U.S. Attorney General Nick Katzenbach. While working for Nick, Peter played a role in making Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday. In 1996, Peter retired from IBM, where he was the Associate General Counsel, and became the General Counsel and Secretary of TIG Holdings in New York City.

Upon retiring from TIG, Peter and Marie became residents of Chatham, where he was on the Board of the Holy Cross Club of Cape Cod, an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, served on the Executive Chair of the Chatham Zoning Board of Appeals, volunteered for the Saint Vincent DePaul Society and the Chatham Republicans, enjoyed kayaking, traveling, nature, reading, and the company of his grandchildren: Lucy, Lillian, Eddie, Henry, Vivian, Madeline, Sophie, and Mia. He is survived by his wife Marie, his sister Joanne Kolb, his three children and their spouses Regina and Peter O’Sullivan, Anne and John Connelly, and Peter (Jr.) and Rebecca Acton, his aforementioned grandchildren, and his nieces Gretchen and John Cauble, Heidi and John Breslin, and nephew Karl Jr. and Millie Kolb.

Peter will live on in his family’s memories of his love of life’s idiosyncrasies, his famous stories, his devotion to his Roman Catholic faith, and his enduring example of seeking to do what is right.

The funeral will be at Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church, Chatham, on Friday, July 12th at 10:00 a.m with burial to follow at Seaside Cemetery, Chatham, and a wake will be held at Nickerson Funeral Home, 87 Crowell Road, Chatham on Thursday, July 11th from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Society of St. Vincent De Paul of Holy Redeemer Conference, P.O. Box 687, Chatham, Massachusetts 02633 or to the Eldredge Public Library in Chatham at


  • Visitation Thursday, July 11, 2013
  • Funeral Service Friday, July 12, 2013

Peter M. Acton Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Regina O'Sullivan

November 11, 2013

Thank you everyone for your kind words. I miss him every day.
Regina O'Sullivan

Wayne Jolly

July 10, 2013

We have fond memories of our friendship with you and Peter while in Atlanta.
Wayne and Barbara Jolly

July 9, 2013

Dear Marie, Annie, Peter and Regina,
Our hearts are broken and there are simply no words to express our sadness. Peter was a truly special man in so very many ways. His kindness, limitless generosity, compassion, genuine decency, optimism, and intellect will not be forgotten by all whose lives he touched. Thank you for sharing the incredible family photos. Clearly Peter created a most wonderful, joyful, and full life surrounded by a loving family.

'A man is as great as the dreams he dreams, the love he bears, the values he redeems, the happiness he shares, as great as the thoughts he thinks, the truth he speaks, the help he gives, the destiny he seeks, and the life he lives.'

Peter was a truly great man and we will miss him always.

All our Love and prayers
Elaine, Chris, Meghan, Jen, Ali, Dave, and Teddy (Gibbs)

July 9, 2013

Dear Marie and family, What an outstanding life of dedication to so many worthy causes and to his loving family. In reading his obituary I saw that we share a birthday.
Kind thoughts and sincere sympathy.
Alice Juliano. West Dennis

July 8, 2013


"May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

Good night sweet prince!"

All our love,

Bob & Noreen

Martine Amundson

July 7, 2013

To Marie and all of Peter's Family and Friends,
As you celebrate and honor the remarkable life of Peter, May you be surrounded and held in peace, love and healing light.
May you find comfort in every sweet memory and know that so many join you now in celebrating his eternal life.

July 6, 2013

The members of the Holy Redeemer Conference of St. Vincent de Paul are deeply saddened by the passing of our cherished friend, valued colleague and member-in Christ. Peter will be remembered always for his dedication to service and compassion for the needy of the community. We offer our sincere sympathy to Marie and Peter's entire family. May you find peace and comfort in the knowledge that so many people cared for him.

Marina Brock

July 6, 2013

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of Peter's family. He was a kind, generous and thoughtful man to all who knew him e was well loved.

The Staff of Nickerson Funeral Home

July 5, 2013

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies at this difficult time.