Peter Alexander Samuels passed away April 25, 2014 in Eureka, CA. He was 58. The cause was complications due to lung cancer.
Peter was born Aug. 15, 1955, to Thomas E. and Anita M. Samuels in Brooklyn. He grew up in Forest Hills, Queens and on Fisherman’s Beach, Cutchogue, where, as a summer kid he loved time spent on the beach and Peconic Bay. As a teenager, he was involved backstage with numerous summer productions at North Fork Community Theater. When his family relocated year round to the North Fork, he attended Southold High School, where he graduated in 1973.
Peter studied painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art, fashion design and illustration at Parson’s School of Design, and costume design at Lester Pollikof School of Theater Design, the latter two in New York. He lived in Greenwich Village and became a successful portrait artist, having his first solo exhibition in 1981 at the Odyssey Gallery in Soho. In 1983 he was part of a two-artist exhibition at the Gallery Edition A in Munich, West Germany. During this time in New York he also worked at Brooks van Horne, making costumes for the Broadway stage.
In 1986 Peter moved to West Hollywood, Calif., and worked as a painter and commercial artist. He created a series of large oil paintings focusing on classic Hollywood stars and roles, which showed in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Much of his work is in the hands of private collectors. He also worked in the costume department at Walt Disney.
To escape the big city and get closer to nature, Peter moved north to the heart of redwood country in Humboldt County with his long-time partner, Sergio Codina in 2004. They were married in June, 2008.
In Eureka, Peter spearheaded the formation of a new chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, on non-denominational international organization dedicated to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment. He led the chapter for several years as his alter ego, Father Oh Mary!
Peter is survived by his beloved husband; his parents of Cutchogue; his brother, Tom Samuels and sister-in-law, Nancy Steelman of New Suffolk and his sister, Nancy Kelley, of Nashua, NH; as well as nieces Kate Samuels, Lindsey and Erin Kelley, and nephew Erik Samuels, as well as an extended family of in-laws in Roseville, CA.
A celebration of life took place on May 2 in Eureka. Donations can be made to the Eureka Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, at www.eurekasisters.com
Peter Samuels lived large. His talent, fiery personality and generous spirit touched and impacted anyone who had the good fortune to know him. As he often said, quoting “Auntie Mame”, “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”
This is a paid notice.