Peter McBride

Obituary of Peter McBride

Peter James McBride, "Pete", of Oxford, NY, passed away unexpectedly on October 11, 2017. Pete, the second child of Alice and Peter J. McBride, was born in the Bronx in 1934. As a young boy his parents took him back to live in his beloved Ireland. He returned to New York where he graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School. After graduation, he served in the Korean War with the United States Army.

In 1958, Pete married Rosemary McKenna and together they had four children. In 1963, he graduated from Fordham Law School and began his legal career on Wall Street. In 1971, Pete and Rosemary moved to rural Oxford, NY. There he hung up his shingle and embraced rural life with a gusto rivaling the sitcom "Green Acres." With Pete life was always an adventure. There aren't enough words to describe him: brilliant, gregarious, charismatic, funny, loud, larger than life, but most remarkable was his generosity. He was generous both professionally and personally. Everyone and anyone was always welcome in his homes. He loved to barter and exchanged legal services for literally anything you could offer. That resulted in the piecemeal renovation of their 1835 farmhouse, numerous cars, tractors, snowmobiles and a stable full of horses. He had no real experience with horses but that just didn't matter. If you didn't have anything to barter that also did not matter, you could mow the lawn.

The courtroom was his natural domain. A born orator who was quick on his feet made him an excellent trial lawyer. The courtroom gave him the opportunity to channel his love of speaking with his competitive spirit and he thrived in that atmosphere. He also had a very strong sense of justice and that meant equal justice. Pete was the Public Defender in Chenango County for several decades and fearlessly fought to protect the rights of his clients. Beyond being Public Defender, he maintained a general practice and possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of the law. There were few people in his life, whether it be family, friends, acquaintances or even strangers who did not benefit from his legal advice.

Pete not only knew almost everything but he had been almost everywhere in the world. Pete and Rosemary loved to travel and frequently went back to Ireland. In Ireland, they had a very strong bond with his relatives, the Kelly and Loughrey families. As his cousin Patricia said, "the family circle mattered very much to your dad and he worked very hard to cement strong bonds between all of us." For that we are very grateful.

Pete's adventurous spirit ensured that when he travelled he always came home with unbelievable stories. He could have written a travel book called "Europe: Sixteen Countries in Two Days." Of those many stories, maybe his favorite was the time they went to China with a group of friends. When they arrived at a small village, the people mistakenly thought Pete and his friend Jack were dignitaries from the New York City Fire Department. The whole village came out to greet them and held a parade in their honor. Pete and Jack went with it waived from the floats as the village put on a fire safety demonstration. He never explained that he lived in upstate New York and had no ties with the New York City Fire Department. That is classic Pete McBride.

Everyone who met Pete left with their own story. He was truly one of a kind and will be greatly missed. Just before he left us, Pete was doing what he loved. He went out to dinner with his family, held court, told stories, and complained about politicians to his grandkids. We would expect nothing less. Pete, always and until the very end, was never boring.

Pete was predeceased by his parents, his son Peter, and his sister Mary Ann Sexton. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Rosemary, his daughter Agnes McBride, of Norwich, his son Dennis (Jill) McBride of Manlius, his daughter Maureen McBride of New York City, his beloved grandchildren Mara and Peter McBride, his brother Joseph McBride of East Hampton, many in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews and close friends.

The family is celebrating his life privately and no services are scheduled. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in his name to the Oxford Fire Department, PO Box 570, Oxford, New York 13830.

Share Your Memory of