John R. “Pete” Deal Jr.

Date of Passing:

January 9, 2018

Deal, John R., (Pete), Jr., 75, passed away peacefully at his Barrington home on January 9, after a long and courageous fight with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family, including his devoted wife of 55 years, Patricia (Patty) Deal. Born in Troy, NY, he was the son of the late John and Elinor Deal.

Pete grew up in Wellesley, MA, and graduated from Hebron Academy in 1961 and Gettysburg College in 1965. He enjoyed a successful career in insurance working for Mass Mutual; he was vice president at Starkweather and Shepley.

Most important to Pete was his wife, Patty. Pete deeply adored and respected Patty and their devotion to each other was evident. He was enormously proud of his daughters and his grandchildren. Always the hands-on dad, he taught Betsy and Sharon to ski and sail and cherished every opportunity to take them on an adventure or to coach one of their many sports teams. And, that commitment to his family extended to his four grandchildren, who were the light of his life. Olivia, Liam, Ruby, and Jack were used to having their papa cheer them on at lacrosse games, cross country meets, and providing unwavering encouragement and support.

But, his extended family and friends also played an important role in Pete’s life, and he loved nothing more than orchestrating golfing trips to Ireland or planning vacation adventures to Europe. His friends will remember him as a talented party planner, whose remarkable spirit and contagious compassion loomed large. His special gifts were a warm and generous heart, a brilliant and unrestrained smile, optimistic outlook, and fierce passion for living.

A lifelong resident of Barrington, Pete was committed to public service and was a respected leader in the community. As president of the Barrington Jaycees in the 70’s, he spearheaded the town’s recycling program and sewer system project. He was also president of the Rhode Island Country Club and served on the boards of the Barrington Yacht Club, the Barrington YMCA, and the Greater Providence YMCA. Pete raised money for many organizations and charities including the Women’s Center of Providence, United Way of Rhode Island, Barrington YMCA, Blithewold Mansion and Gardens, and the Barrington High School Boosters. He also organized golf tournament fundraisers for the Providence Center, Highlander Charter School, and Dana Farber.

Besides his wife, he is survived by his loving daughters, Betsy Warner of Barrington and Sharon Deal (partner Jaime) of Northampton, MA; grandchildren, Olivia, Liam, Ruby and Jack; his sister, Barbara Deal (partner Ann) of Bristol, VT; and his brother, Thomas Deal (wife Joanne) of Essex, CT.

Relatives and friends are invited to a celebration of his life on Tuesday, January 16, at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 191 County Road, Barrington, RI. Calling hours are on Monday, January 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the W. Raymond Watson Funeral Home, 350 Willett Avenue in Riverside.

Flowers are respectfully omitted. Contributions in Pete’s memory may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215 (memo line – Dr. Toni Choueiri, Research Fund); or to the Highlander Charter School, Development Office, 360 Market Street, Warren, RI, 02885.

Online Condolences


  1. I am saddened to hear this news. My condolences to the entire family.

  2. Patty, I have been thinking about both you and Pete. Two special people that I have known since Kindergarten (Pete) and high school, you. Pete was one of my favorite friends in Kindergarten, Even then, he had an engaging personality that I will never forget. My thoughts are with you. So sorry for this loss for you and your family. Marty Adam Colwell

  3. Patty, Sharon and Betsy. I’ll always remember Pete Deal as a highly respected businessman and family cheerleader at field hockey. I was disheartened to hear of his illness and I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and my deepest sympathy and condolences to the Deal Family.

    K. Ptak,

  4. Patty, Betsy, Sharon and other family. Pete was such a fun-loving guy. I never could stop joking or laughing when I saw him, because I would always remember a funny that was said or had happened among friends in town. I’ll miss his jokes, but not my memories of him. My sincere condolences to all.

  5. My deepest sympathy and condolences to the Deal Family he will be sadly missed and always remembered

  6. Dear Patty, I am so saddened to hear of Pete’s passing, he was always such a generous and helpful man. I remember fondly all his guidance and business support from those early days in 1977 when we were just getting our salon off the ground. Pete was a fine gentleman with a generous heart and he will be missed. My deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss.

  7. Some of our happiest memories of Barrington were living across the street from the Deals. We will always remember the Christmas sailboat in the front yard and just how quickly Mr. and Mrs. Deal embraced us as if we were family. Our deepest condolences on the loss of such a wonderful man.

  8. “Mr. Deal” was a much loved family friend. He was one of my biggest supporters and I of him…He would stop me EVERY time he saw me walking my labs with a ” There’s our girl…” followed by questions about hockey, my work and my labs. He would tell me how I inspired him to stay positive each day and I would tell him how HE inspired me.He lived life hugely with an infectious laugh and an enthusiasm and love of life rarely scene. He and Patty threw an Engagement party for me and their life long love and support occupies a huge part of my heart. You played one heck of a round ” Mr. Deal” and you will be missed immensely. Time to rest now Sweet Pete…

  9. How lucky you have been Sharon, Betsy and Patty to have had such a loving husband and father in your life. Pete was the life of the party, loving exploring the world and its history. He will be always with you, from inside the well of self his voice will come to you to guide and support you. Much love and care. Janice

  10. Pete was on of my first bosses and taught me much about life in the corporate world and the bigger world. His sound guidance is still with me today.
    He will be missed.
    Love to all the Deals.

  11. Pete’s personality preceded him into any space. His joy was infectious and comforting. He put everyone before himself. His greatest joy was family, most especially Patty. He was her greatest cheer leader and protector.
    Strength and love to Patty and the family.

  12. I will miss you Uncle Pete. Auntie Patty, Betsy and Sharon, I am so sorry that you have lost such a wonderful, loving person. I will always remember our Sunday dinners and Easters and Nana and Grandpa’s house. I also am so thankful to Uncle Pete for helping me with my college visits after my dad died. At 17, I don’t if I ever thanked him properly, but it meant the world to me.

  13. Pete when our family first moved here from Chicago, you were one of the first people we met on the sidelines who went out of his way to take us in. When our son Matt broke his collarbone in a game, you quickly got us a reference to one of your many Doctor friends who took great care of Matt. We will miss your outgoing and positive Spirit and the great sideline discussions we have had over the years. You have touched many lives in a meaningful way. God Bless you and your family.

  14. He was a wonderful dynamic man and father. Always helping folks who were less fortunate than himself. He will be missed.

    Much Love to his family.

  15. Pete, you have been our very close friend for almost 45 years. We will cherish all those times we spent with you and Patty. We will remember vacations together and warm and sunny days on the Vineyard, the Cape and Naples – golfing, dining, watching sunsets, walking on the beach. Sharing time with our families and close friends at special celebrations just made our relationship more meaningful. But most of all we will remember your joy for life that was so contagious and filled all our experiences with laughter and love. We’ll miss you. Love Tip and Jan

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