USCTA President, Jim Wharton, writes …”Attached is the obituary for Peter Guernsey. Peter was until the time of his passing the third longest continuing serving USCTA Board Member.
He was a trues gentleman and always represented Greentree and the USCTA in the highest traditions of the game”
Peter will be missed by all of us on the Board who knew him and we extend our condolences to his family.”
Peter E. Guernsey, 86, Edgartown, Massachusetts
Peter E. Guernsey of Edgartown died on Thursday, August 2, 2007, at the family’s ancestral home, Kent Harbor, on Martha’s Vineyard.
Born in New York City on July 29, 1921, Mr. Guernsey lived in Old Westbury, Long Island, New York and New York City. Throughout his entire life, Mr. Guernsey spent his summers on Martha’s Vineyard, where every afternoon he could be seen on Edgartown Harbor sailing his cat boat, Fiona or his Herreschoff, Pickle.
After attending the Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York and The Taft School in Watertown Connecticut, Mr. Guernsey attended Yale University and graduated with the infamous 1944w class, where he was a member of the Fence Club and the Wolf’s Head Society. An accomplished hockey player and golfer, Mr. Guernsey held a number of records in track, specifically the long jump and pole fault. At Taft the first jump he made in competition, he flew past the entire pit. Track officials in disbelief of such a jump, had to remeasure the pit. Subsequently, the school had to increase the length of their long jump pit. In 1942 Mr. Guernsey won the All Ivy League Long Jump Competition by setting record of 23 feet 2.63 inches. He also competed in the Penn Relays and the ICAAAAS at Madison Square Garden. At Taft he also held the record for many years in the pole fault, clearing the height of 11 feet 9 inches with the then existing technology, a bamboo pole. He was a member of the Yale Hockey Association, the St. Nicholas Hockey Club, and Founder of the Youth Hockey Program at Beaver Dam Winter Sports Club. He was also a member of the Racquet and Tennis Club, New York; the Edgartown Golf Club; the Vineyard Golf Club; the United States Senior Golf Association; and the Edgartown Yacht Club.
Mr. Guernsey served his country as a Captain in Field Artillery in the U.S. Army in WWII in the Philippines before beginning a 42-year executive career at Marsh McLennan. He volunteered his time and experience to many professional and community organizations, including serving on the Board of Directors for Shroder Investment Management North America; heading Greentree Associates, a club of court tennis enthusiasts who kept the game alive at America’s last remaining private court from the mid 80s until 2003; and as a Governor of the United States Court Tennis Association from 1988-2007. He was also the President of the former Madison Square Garden Club (which was co-founded in 1926 by his late father, Otis. L. Guernsey, President and owner of Abercrombie and Fitch) and he was the longest Honorary Life Member (56 years) and former President of the Edgartown Reading Room.
Mr. Guernsey leaves his beloved wife of 62 years, Barbara Thurston Guernsey, of New York City and Edgartown, Massachusetts; his brother, David T. Guernsey, of Falmouth, Massachusetts; his son, Peter E. “Tony” Guernsey, Jr., of Bedford, New York and New York City; his two daughters, Dinah G. Reath of Lewes, Delaware and Didi G. Wood-Hull of Bedford, New York; 8 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren.
A private memorial service will be held in mid-August at Kent Harbor on Martha’s Vineyard with Mr. Guernsey’s immediate family. Memorial contributions may be made to The Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, 02557, or to the Edgartown Reading Room Benevolent Fund, Box 1393, Edgartown, Massachusetts, 02539.