In 2014, a man named Adam P. from Salem, N.H. posted a review of Mad as a Hatter after a visit to Provincetown. “For each hat we picked up, Peter gave us tips on how best to wear it — angle, front to back, side to side,” Adam wrote. “He told us to judge for ourselves, based on the looks on our own faces, which hats were best for us. We walked in just to look and walked out with 6 hats. One of them was a beautiful hat that Peter had made himself.”
That Peter was Peter N. Edmonds, who died on May 6, 2023, at Cape Cod Hospital with his family at his side. He was 76.
Born on June 17, 1946 in New Haven, Conn. to Norman Kling Edmonds and Gladys Cruz Edmonds, Peter grew up in Hamden, Conn. In elementary school, his brother Barry said, he showed “artistic flair, especially with painting,” but with pressure to perform academically he let painting go, graduating from Hamden High School in 1964, then earning a degree in medical technology from Quinnipiac University four years later.
His first job was at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where he drew blood for laboratory analysis. He was particularly skilled with young kids, Barry said, “because he had such a light touch.”
After more than 15 years at St. Francis, Peter wanted a change, so he joined his brother working as a computer programmer for the Traveler’s Insurance Company. During his time there, he made a weekend visit to Provincetown, loved the community, and decided to settle here. Peter referred to Provincetown as his “forever home.”
Peter met Steven Dennis, and they became partners in life and in work, as Peter joined Steven in his retail hat business. Peter spent 28 years designing and making hats for weddings, racetrack parties, and other special events. His shop was a tourist’s favorite, where his fashionable hats were on display and widely popular, as was Peter himself.
Following the sale of his shop and upon his retirement in 2018, Peter shifted to oil painting, embracing a passion that had meant much to him as a child. His work gives the viewer a sense of quiet calm.
He leaves a son, Kyle Edmonds, and partner Amy of Nevada, Iowa, and granddaughters Kayleigh and Claudia; a daughter, Beth Edmonds Tepfer, and partner Travis of Bradenton, Fla., and grandchildren Evan and Samantha. He also leaves a brother, Barry Edmonds, and partner Winnie of Moodus, Conn. and a niece, Roberta Edmonds, of Portland, Conn.
Peter was predeceased by his parents and by his partner, Steven Dennis.
A memorial service will be held at a date to be announced. Contributions in Peter’s memory may be made to Lower Cape Ambulance Association, Box 1721, Provincetown 02657.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this obituary, published in print on May 18, misspelled the last name of Peter Edmonds’s daughter. The name is Tepfer, not Tepher. The Independent regrets the error.