Columbia, MD — Peter Lennon passed Thursday, June 10, 2021, at the age of 82, following a brief illness. He leaves behind his twin sister Eileen Murray; his five children --Elizabeth, Michael, Peter, Paul, and David; nine loving grandchildren--Diego, Pablo, Isabella, Cristina, Catalina, Mariana, Sophia, “Pauly” and Alexander--as well as an extended web of family and friends.
Peter was the son of Irish immigrants Michael Lennon (County Monaghan) and Margaret Hoey (County Longford) who met in NYC, married, and had 5 children -- Michael, Catherine, Peter, his twin sister Eileen and Margaret. Raised in Edgewater--the easternmost working-class enclave of the Bronx shore where the Long Island Sound becomes the East River--he grew up swimming, fishing and developing a life-long love of the sea.
Peter was a jokester, always teasing and poking fun. The nuns at his school did not appreciate his playful behavior, often pressing his twin sister Eileen to report his infractions to their parents. It remains a mystery whether ever Eileen fulfilled her obligations to the nuns. Some speculate her guilt for so many sins of omissions inspired her year-long novitiate in the convent atoning for Peter’s sins.
After high school, Peter started as a computer operator at Con Edison. Back then operating computers involved punching paper data cards that were then run through a “computing machine”. This technical skill would be behind many of his successes in the next stage of career which sprung from teen impulse. One evening on the way home from ConEd, Peter stopped by the Marine recruiting center. When the US Air Force recruiting person told him the Marine recruiter was at lunch, Dad joined the Air Force instead. He informed his mother when he got home and by week’s end he was off to boot camp. He was 17 years old.
From boot camp Peter went to Vandenberg Air Force Base, in California, where on weekends he would drive down to the ocean with friends and sleep on the beach. He started work as an Air Force courier and began carrying secrets all around the world. In 1962, 23 year old USAF Sergeant Lennon was stationed in Spain.
The next year, Peter met Juana (“Toni”) Gutierrez Magro. Within six months they were married. Their honeymoon was a camping trip in Peter’s new VW bug driving from Madrid to Spain’s Mediterranean coast, through Barcelona and the French Côte Azure and on to the Italian coast until reaching the island of Capri. After running completely out of money, (in the days before ATMs and global banking), his new-father-in-law Lucinio telegraphed them some cash to get back to Spain.
Peter and Toni shared a deep faith in God expressed in dedication to family. They instilled their commitment to family in each of their 5 children: Elizabeth, born in 1964 at Torrejon Air Force Base, Spain; Michael, born 1965, in Alamogordo, New Mexico, Peter in Orlando, Florida in 1966, Paul in Arlington, Virginia in 1969 and finally David, born in 1972 also at Torrejon Air Force Base.
Peter served honorably in the US Air Force for over 30 years. He initiated a second career for almost two decades at the Internal Revenue Service. Once retired a 2nd time he and Toni devoted their time to loving the grandkids, being with family and traveling the world.
Those you left behind are heartbroken. As we continue to travel, to share funny stories, to tell good and bad jokes, we will think of you--especially when the jokes are truly awful. Thank you for your example of humility, respect and compassion for others. Thank you for always being willing to help others and to shoulder your duties without complaint. Your fierce grit and determination to live and savor life long after being told "it was over" inspired us all to know the power of the mind in shaping one's life. Thank you for your example, your love and for the gift of life. Say hello to Mom and tell her we miss her terribly.
Though this is a difficult time the family would like to express our gratitude to everyone for your love, support and generosity. It is immensely appreciated.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to either Catholic Relief Services or Boys Town.
Catholic Relief Services
228 W. Lexington St. Baltimore, Maryland 21201-3443
Boys Town PO Box 8000 Boys Town, NE 68010
Friends and relatives are invited to call at the Donaldson Funeral Home of Clarksville, P.A. 12540 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, Maryland 21029 on Saturday June 12, from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Interment Calvary Cemetery, 49-02 Laurel Hill Boulevard, Woodside, New York, 11377 on a date to be determined.
To send flowers to Peter's family, please visit our floral store.
Catholic Relief Services
228 W. Lexington Street, Baltimore MD 21201-3443
P.O.Box 8000, AL