Born the second of a set of identical twins, Pete provided joy during his first year of life as his parents struggled through the care of his twin, Matt who suffered from a Ventricular septal defect (a VSD/a hole in his heart) with surgery at age 10 months. Pete was our strong guy. At 3 months of age he was twice the weight of Matt and had all the strength of a happy healthy baby.
Following Matt’s heart surgery, he quickly caught up to Pete in size and strength. They became friends and playmates with a bond that all would envy.
The family was complete now with Mom and Dad, Jeffrey, Jack, Matt, Pete and Michelle. Their group of cousins, all living within a few miles of each other, were close in age and times together were full of love, fun and laughter.
Friend circles grew and Pete and Matt played easily and freely with other children, always sharing the same friendships. Pete and his brothers saw Michelle off to school on her first day, and celebrated at her high school graduation.
Pete loved basketball, as did his brother Matt. Together they started on their high school team, often playing the full game time. They were awarded the alumni association award upon graduation.
College offered Pete choices. Both the Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville and the University of Alabama offered Pete a full scholarship. It was a difficult choice, but in the end, Pete decided to attend The University of Alabama where he studied Mechanical Engineering. It was the perfect college for a young man with an unending love for football.
Graduation was four years later. It was truly a happy day in Pete’s life. The family attended, celebrated with Pete and were some of the few people in Tuscaloosa interested in watching the 2015 Derby.
Pete returned home to Louisville and attended the University of Louisville working on a Masters of Engineering in Industrial Engineering. He continued his dedicated studies and attained a 4.0 in his first semester.
It was during his second semester that it began to fall apart for Pete. He was unable to finish the semester. This behavior alerted his parents that something was wrong for Pete. He confided in them that he was “sad and didn’t know why”. This was a clear sign that help was needed. He accepted the offer to see a psychiatrist, and was under the regular care and guidance of a caring physician. Pete felt comfortable and trusted his doctor. Pete regularly talked to his parents about how he was doing and what he felt he needed. But, sadly, there was clearly a lack of understanding of his true inner struggles. Pete expressed in a final note he left that he suffered from the age of 13 or 14 and that there was no way we could understand how he felt. In one instant, Pete left many people who cared for him suffering with his death; but it must be kept in mind that in that same moment, Pete lost everyone who loved him. The suffering must have been immense.