Peter James Smith

November 7, 1944August 13, 2018
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CHATHAM, MA - Peter James Smith, 73, passed away peacefully surrounded by the love of his family on Monday, August 13, 2018 at Cape Cod Hospital. He was born in Hartford, CT on November 7, 1944, the second of four children born to the late Francis and Natalie Smith of Orange, CT.

Peter graduated from Amity High School in 1962, received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in 1967, and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in 1969. He began a 50 year marriage with his best friend and the love of his life, Linda (Murphy) Smith, in 1968. They lived for long stretches in Sudbury, MA, McMurray, PA and Chatham, MA along with multi-year international adventures to the Netherlands and Switzerland (twice).

In 1970, Peter joined Digital Equipment Corporation as an entry-level Marketing Specialist and eventually rose in the organization to serve as SVP, Worldwide Marketing and SVP, of International Operations during a 24 year career at the company. After leaving Digital in 1994, Peter joined Canonsburg, PA based software company, Ansys, Inc. as President and guided them to a successful 1998 public stock offering as CEO. In 1995, he was named Chairman of the Board and served in this capacity for 19 years. In 2000, he retired as the Ansys CEO to be closer to his family in Massachusetts. Peter was also a former Chairman of the Martin Group, Bluesocket, Inc. and Neartek Inc. and a former director of NxTrend Inc. and Accellos Inc.

Peter was known for his quick wit, engaging smile, unassuming demeanor, and his central priority on doing the right, ethical things for the people and companies in his life. He took great pride in coaching youth sports and had a playful, genuine enthusiasm. He was the ultimate family man who treated his wife, children and grandchildren as his top priority. Peter carried out his family roles like a seasoned professional and conversely as a seasoned business professional he treated everyone like family.

Peter is survived by his wife, Linda (Murphy) Smith of Chatham, MA; two children: Kevin Smith and his wife Jennifer of Montgomery, OH and Todd Smith and his wife Heather of Hingham, MA; older brother Thomas Smith of Wyoming, OH; Two younger sisters and their husbands, Nancy and Joe Kriz of Woodbridge, CT and Sally and Jim Winchester of Waleska, GA; and six grandchildren whom he loved dearly.

A Visitation will be held from 4 PM to 7 PM on Friday, September 14th at Nickerson Funeral Home in Chatham. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, September 15th at Holy Redeemer Church followed by a reception.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Peter Smith to the Parkinson’s Fund for the neurological studies of Dr. Stephen Gomperts at Massachusetts General Hospital.

For online condolences, please visit


  • Linda Smith, Wife
  • Kevin Smith, Son
  • Todd Smith, Son


  • Memorial Visitation Friday, September 14, 2018
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, September 15, 2018

Peter James Smith

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Bill Burelle

September 11, 2018

Dear Linda and Family,

The brothers of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity at Northeastern University are saddened to hear of the passing of a dear brother. Pete was a dear friend to all of us and will be missed dearly. May he rest in peace.

Bill Burelle

Northeastern University/Phi Sigma Kappa '66

Gary Eichhorn

August 22, 2018

Dear Linda and Family,
We are so sorry to hear about Peter. Our condolences to you and your family. I have many fond memories of Peter. He was my boss and mentor at Digital - and gave me a chance to spread my wings. Of course, working with him at Ansys was a true honor - he did such an awesome job building a great company. I will always remember him telling me about his "chair wars" at Costa Linda - getting up at 4:30 in the morning to make sure you guys had the best spot at the pool!

Our thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

Gary and Joan

maria shields

August 20, 2018

Dear Linda & the Smith Family,
I am truly saddened to hear of your loss. I had the honor to be able to work with Peter at ANSYS as he led the company to incredible growth and success over his 20 year tenure. He was always such a great leader and mentor and I will always remember his contributions and wisdom. He was a truly special person who always enjoyed life and always put his family first. He valued what mattered in life and he has left his mark on the world. My condolences are with all of you. Regards, Maria Shields

Bernie Bieg

August 18, 2018

So sorry to hear the news. Know that family, friends and memories will carry you forward.
One thing I will always remember about Pete during our days at ND is that infectious grin/smile that he always had.
You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Bernie and Barbara Bieg

Joe and Linda Cavato

August 18, 2018

We have so many great memories of Pete. He was a wonderful, and impactful, classmate in the "inaugural" ( and dare I say "unusual") Notre Dame MBA class of 1969, of which I was fortunate to be a member. He was energetic, insightful and a lot of fun .
We became particularly close in our second year in the program, when we both arrived, along with John Knittel, with new partners; having gotten married over the summer .
A special bond developed among the MBA candidates in that small (43 ) class, but especially among those guys and their wives, who were in line for a "PHT" designation ( "Putting Hubby Through").
We loved all of our time with Pete and Linda, who we were able to reconnect with often, but not enough , over the years. It always seemed like nothing had ever changed from the time we shared at ND.

We are greatly saddened by Pete's passing, a great loss to so many. But he clearly left so many rich relationships and a wonderful legacy .

Linda and I would love to come to his memorial; it wouldn't be easy for us out here in the Midwest , but we really would love to be there. But Linda had a knee replacement this week and is home struggling with me as primary care giver, so we won't be traveling for a while

Please know that we are thinking of Linda and the rest of Pete's family.
Blessings to All!

Joe and Linda Cavato