The death of Peter H. Rich of Colchester, Conn., on April 4, 2020, after an extended illness complicated by Covid-19, has been reported to the Independent. He was 80.
Peter was born and raised in Wellfleet, the son of the late Earle G. and Florence R. Rich. His father was a local historian and newspaper columnist. Peter was the beloved husband of Mary C. Lavery for more than 20 years.
His childhood on Cape Cod influenced his choice to pursue science as a career, especially the study of freshwater lakes. He received his Ph.D. at Michigan State University and embarked on a 35-year career of research and teaching of limnology at the University of Connecticut.
Peter loved nature, often advised citizens and towns about issues with their lakes, and served on the board of the state chapter of the Nature Conservancy. He was an avid fly fisherman, bird enthusiast, cyclist, and hiker; he also loved wildflowers, animals, and steam trains. He had a wonderful sense of humor and an endearing manner, despite a long illness.
He is survived by his son, Jonathan Rich, wife Sandy, grandsons Christopher and Steven, and one great-grandson, all of Brookfield, and by a stepdaughter, Bethany Zahner of Norwich, Conn.
Arrangements were made by the Aurora McCarthy Funeral Home of Colchester. Memorial donations may be made in Peter’s name to the Nature Conservancy, 55 Church Street, Floor 3, New Haven, CT 06510.