Avery-Storti Funeral Home & Crematory
Peter B. Lord
(December 27, 1951 - April 4, 2012)
Peter B. Lord, of South Kingstown, a Providence Journal reporter who won numerous awards for his coverage of environmental issues died peacefully Wednesday at the Village House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, in Newport, of a malignant brain tumor. He was 60 years old.
Peter is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Mary Ann (Melvin) Lord.
Peter joined The Journal as a reporter in 1979, after working for six years at The Day, in New London, CT. He was assigned to cover the environment in 1981. He was manager of The Journal’s West Bay bureau for several years before transferring to the main newsroom in Providence.
Peter reported on a wide range of local and national environmental issues, from efforts to clean up Narragansett Bay to oil spills to global climate change. “Poisoned,” his six-part series in 2001 on the public health consequences of lead paint, is credited with prompting changes in state regulatory laws.
In 2005, he wrote “Saving Block Island,” a seven-part series on the efforts of Block Island residents to preserve much of the island as open space. The series was one of The Journal’s first extensive multimedia efforts and included a photo slide-show, which Peter narrated. For other stories, he traveled as far as the Arctic Circle, Central America, Scotland and Hawaii. For many years, he wrote the weekly Environmental Journal column in The Sunday Journal.
His coverage won first place awards from the Associated Press Managing Editors, the Rhode Island Press Association, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association, which honored him in 2005 with its Master Reporter award.
In March, the Rhode Island Natural History Survey recognized his lifetime achievements with its Distinguished Naturalist Award.
Peter was born Dec.27, 1951, in Wilmington, Delaware; he was raised in Newington, CT. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1973 and taught journalism classes there and later at the University of Rhode Island, where he earned a master’s degree in marine affairs.
He was a board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and journalism director of the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Journalism at URI.
In addition to his work as a journalist, Peter was also active in his community. He was a Boy Scout leader in Hope Valley for Troop 1 and also served on the board of the Langworthy Library in Hope Valley for several years.
Besides his wife he leaves three children, James and his wife Jessi of Bend, Oregon; Kathryn of Brooklyn, NY; and Peter Benjamin of New Orleans, LA. He is survived by two brothers, George of New London, CT, and John of Brooklyn, NY; and a sister Sue Cryan and her husband Jeff of Coventry, CT. He also leaves three nieces and two nephews.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held Sunday, April 15th at 2 PM in Edwards Hall on the URI Campus. Visiting hours are respectfully omitted. Memorial donations may be made to the Peter Lord Environmental Journalism Scholarship Fund, c/o URI Foundation, 79 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881.