After 1 Year of Losing Pete Ratajczyk Steele -- His Family Celebrates His Life

April 14, 2011

It is with great emotion, continued heartache and collective sorrow that the family of Peter Ratajczyk (Steele) remembers that on this day, only a year ago, we lost our only brother. To the world he was an acclaimed songwriter, lyricist, musician, artist, and singer; to us he was the heart of the family and love of our life.

While battling many demons in his life, he poured out his emotions in lyrical creations that would make you cry, scream or laugh. Along with hallowed music, Peter had that ability to translate love, hate, fear and sorrow into music notes that could bring even the strongest man to his knees in acknowledgment of his feelings. From his musical legacy we learned to feel and express deep-pitted emotions with a driving beat and strong voice, crying the very words we wish we could utter.

But it was the fans that understood Peter the most.  It was the fans who understood his self-depreciating humor, his love of a good joke (even when it was at his expense), his playful on-stage persona, and his sarcastic, analytical way of looking at the world that only Peter could put into words.

The family thanks the adoring fans, the long-time friends, the amazing musicians that have graced Peter's presence, and the photographers and artists who have captured his likeness and beauty. Plus, we thank the fans and friends  for every kind word, offered prayer, beautiful letter, gracious hug, and a bounty of support during this horrendous time. You know who you are and we will always embrace you for it.

In the past few months a couple of writers tried to dishonor Peter's legacy by concentrating on his failings and mistakes. Please remember these wonderful things about Peter: his genius for writing music & lyrics, his gifted orchestration, his artistic design of album covers, performance backdrops, and inventive printing fonts and logos; his magnetic ways with the audience and fans; his talent for words and languages; his insatiable desire to study science, engineering and war strategy; his love of animals and children; his way of making everyone feel more important than himself; and his generosity and gentlemanly ways.

We encourage everyone who was ever touched by Peter Steele to tell the world about their feelings. We thank you for standing up and acknowledging our brother with the respectful and dignified tributes that a man of his talents, abilities and accomplishments deserves.

Thank you,
The Family Of Peter Ratajczyk Steele


  1. Thank you for this.Take pity on those still struggling with the reality of his death because of the mystery and profound lack of details associated with same.

  2. Peter was also a great Catholic!:

    An Interview with Peter Steele of Type O Negative By Charlie Steffens, aka Gnarly Charlie: “After my mother passed away last year and a couple of other things happened, I pretty much got back to my faith. I was born Roman Catholic. Believe it or not, I go tot church on Sunday and I do read the Bible. But I don’t read it as a how to live your life book. I read it as if I have a question I can open any page. If you’re open minded you will get the answer from a passage. And you will get a different answer if you read the same passage but it will still be just as worthy. ““I went to confession for the first time in 30 years. And the priest was very happy that I had come back to church and stuff. I didn’t go into each and every sin otherwise he would have to take two weeks vacation (laughs). I said ‘Father I did wrong and I want o apologize to God for my behavior and I’m going to try for it to not happen again.’ It’s better to pay in this life then in the afterlife. "I have pretty much been instructed to say three things: One is that God will not be the man let the man be the man. That abortion is the killer of angels and I am guilty of that myself. And that peace on earth shall not come until this state of design has been converted to Christianity. And that you are going to fuckin pay for what you say and that’s your ticket to death so. . ." "My mother always told me if I really didn’t wan to do something, if I was really tired, but if I had helped someone and I really went out of my way for them but I asked nothing for it, that I should donate my energy to the souls in purgatory—meaning that to give my goodness to those who are trapped. This is purgatory/limbo. This is a very Catholic thing that very few people really understand." “Ever since I have come back to my faith, such incredibly strange things have been happening. Ten times a day if I ask God for a sign, through numbers and letters I will get it. I believe that God speaks to everyone in a way that only that person can understand, but I have been enlightened…you have to ask to be enlightened. I ask these questions and I get the answers. I don’t hear God’s voice. That satisfies me.” “When I said I have hit rock bottom, it’s not in a bad way--it’s in a good way. I’ve found piece on something solid and now I know what the meaning of life. I’ve always thought that the meaning of life was to try to find something to live for. Now I realize, all this time, it is finding something to die for. It’s been right there all the time I will die for my faith. I am going to. I know it.”

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  4. There will never be another Peter. He had the ability to make you laugh or cry at the same time. He had a open heart for all to feel and see his strengths and weaknesses.He was a contradiction. He could be a strong commanding man then turn around and be loving,compassionate and self sacrificing. Even if you didnt know him personally you felt like he was a friend.He was a beautiful mix of both sides of life, which made him who he was but also caused him inner conflict. His love for nature and animals was what I loved most about him. No one wrote music and lyrics like Peter. Once again he could make you laugh or cry but always feel better. I have never read one bad comment about Peter...never.He is deeply loved by all he has touched with his music, humor and beautiful soul.Your photo is beside my bed and I listen to your music everyday.You help me to be a more loving person. Your life and death has changed my life. You have had a huge impact on many people and I hope wherever you are you know that. I wish you happiness and peace. I hope you will be there to meet me when its my turn.

  5. I do not think the family should worry unduly about negative comments made about Pete.Those who love him do so unconditionally.So is impossible to tarnish his memory.

  6. To TON (Peter, Kenny, Josh, Sal and John) - you have been with me since 1994 when my then girlfriend bought me the tape of Bloody Kisses for my 14th birthday. I've bought that album 4 more times since, as the cassettes would demagnetize after a few years and the CD's would always be 'borrowed' never to be seen again. And that's just Bloody Kisses... But I've never once regretted spending a cent to buy 2nd, 3rd, 4th or gift copies of all the albums.

    How can I rightly thank you for nearly half a lifetime of enjoyment? How in the world can I say thank you for helping me laugh through my tears during the awful times and for making my smile that much more honestly during the good ones? How can I ever hope to show my gratitude to you for being one of the biggest contributors to the soundtrack of my life?

    I'm nothing more than one person in the legion of fans, but Peter's passing is truly the end of an era for me. TON always has been and always will be on the speakers, the headphones, or looping in my head.

    To the Ratajczyk family - Anyone who speaks ill of a person after they're gone is nothing more than a coward and lump of dog shyte. The fans don't buy the crap they're selling, Peter is who he always was to us, and there isn't a single goddamn thing in the world that can or will ever be able to change that.

    Words cannot rightly express the thanks, the sorrow, and the sympathy I have for you.

    Please know that you are not alone on April 14th. Many heads will be bowed, many glasses and toasts will be raised, and many tears will fall.

  7. This is wonderful. Thank you so much for this...


  9. I remember the first night that I met Peter, It was at the Cell Block in Bensalem, PA. After the show I somehow got backstage and approached Peter, fully prepared for a quick "thanks for coming to the show & c ya later" response. -Not a chance...Pete and I talked for quite a bit and I was amazed at how down to earth and kind his nature was. Over the years every time I saw him he was always the same kind and humble person that I was fortunate enough to meet that night in Philly.

    I am honored to have met you Peter. You have kept me going through some of my darkest days and for that I thank you.

    Steve Haley

  10. Please forgive me for being a little suspicious. Okay, a LOT suspicious.

    After Pete's death, the family was very insistent on privacy... and it sort of seems odd that they suddenly (and anonymously) want to go public with a blog.

    I also have doubts that family members would say anything like "it was the fans that understood Peter the most". Even the band members of Type O Negative had huge arguments with fans, trying to keep them away from Pete's funeral, keep them away from the family, and they discouraged anyone trying to claim closesness with Pete because of their devotion as a fan... I don't really think Pete's own family would be ready to give fans that much credit.

    The description of Pete's music sounds more like it was written by a fan, not a member of his family. I doubt Pete's sisters really wished they could utter his lyrics...

    Also, if this blog is really being posted by his family, then why do we have to wait for personal photos to show up? The family would have photos which would already be included on this site, if they were actually interested in sharing personal photos with the fans... which I believe they are not.

    I mean, a memorial blog is cool, but why not just make a blog dedicated to Pete without pretending to be his family? Seems kind of lame.

  11. Peter Steele was such a remarkable man! My husband (then boyfriend) and I rocked out to his music during our younger years and we will never forget all the great NY shows we went to from Brooklyn up to Poughkeepsie! RIP Peter Steele. You are greatly missed and still loved by your fans!
    --Jessica and Andrew

  12. My heart goes out to the family and all who were lucky enough to have Pete in their life. Please know that I hold you dear in my heart. This is a wonderful tribute and idea. I would very much like to hear some of your memories and stories. Im very sure there are some great ones to tell considering his wonderful sense of humor, which is one of the things I loved best about him. Much love, respect, and hugs to you. Karla

  13. Dear Ratajczyk family,

    Thank you once again for your generosity and kindness towards Peter’s fans. Thank you for sharing the memories, stories and images of your life with your extraordinary brother.
    I too am one of the thousand people he inspired, touched and moved with the gift of his music and the candour and sensitivity that stirred in his soul.
    I did not have the pleasure of meeting him in person but somehow I have always felt that I have. Both in his songs and interviews, his every word was overflowing with such genuine honesty, sense of humour, depth of feeling and wit that it was clear we were before a man baring his heart and soul to the world. A rare and admirable thing to behold.
    His passing has left a void in the lives and hearts of all of us, his fans, to say nothing of what his nearest and dearest must feel.
    All I can say to you is, Peter’s legacy will never die, his talent, his accomplishments and qualities will never be forgotten and there is a legion of loving, thankful hearts where his name and memory live on.
    I cry for the amazing songwriter and composer, the charismatic, magnetic frontman and stage powerhouse. But I am heartbroken for the loss of the intelligent, sensitive man with a heart bigger than his colossal frame and the caring, considerate nature that characterized him. I extend to his family my love and respect and wish you the very best.

  14. Dear Suspicious:

    It's ok, I totally understand your feelings surrounding this blog. To be honest, it was the so called "tribute" in Revolver magazine that made me think of doing this blog. One, as an experiment to have an outlet to share personal feelings and thoughts after a long year of dealing with the sudden death. Two, because we're a little pissed that a tribute article noted nothing but Pete's faults ... not his contributions to music. To be honest, it's been a bad year for us. Just pulling our lives back together has been horrendous. The only proof I can offer you: The March blog post that you are reading will be posted on other sites - especially TON - on April 14th - and on the FB page of Pete's sister.

    But you all got a preview of it this month.

    Thank you for being supportive and a little suspicious. I would have been too.

  15. I think about Pete each and everyday. He is there in my music, TON of course, in the tribute tattoo on my back meaning he is in my skin and he is always in my mind. I and many other fans are eternally grateful for Pete being in our lives. As the anniversary of his passing edges nearer my thoughts and prayers are with you. R.I.P Pete my wonderful Greenman. XX

  16. Thank you DarkRose for sharing this with me. I love that you have a tribute tattoo on your body for Peter.

    It's gonna be a tough week but I thank everyone who posts ! You all are helping us get through the year with so much support.

  17. Thank you so much for posting such a heart felt message. I know you hear it from everyone but Peter/TON was a driving force in my life for 18 years. I looked forward to every October to see the band at the troc in Philly. Such an intimate setting, always felt like the band was playing just to me. And of course the toilet paper fights at the end of the shows :) I miss that more than words can express. I was lucky enough to meet your brother, Kenny and Johnny on their last east coast tour and I must say I have never met such gentlemen. Peter actually apologized to me for being so sweaty when I put my arm around him for a photo. He was an amazing person and will always be part of me. My deepest condolences on his upcoming passing and know that all of us that bleed green mourn with you. Much negative luv and bloody kisses.

  18. Since a year I daily think about Peter Ratajczyk, and what a huge loss it is for his family, and real friends.
    I will plant a tree, or a rose for the Greenman.

  19. Thank you Kate for telling us this great story. It doesn't surprise me that Pete apologized for dripping sweat on you. That is PETE. He is a gentleman -- always was.

    Have an amazingly negative day.

  20. Anonymous - Thank you for leaving a message. I have a friend in Germany who is also going to plant a rose tree for Peter.

    Actually, Peter planted a rose tree for his mother that stayed on her front lawn till the day she died. It's fitting that you would do the same for him

    Thank you for your devotion to our Green Man

  21. Thank you so much for sharing that photo of the family.

  22. Dear Ratajczyk family thank you so much for opening up about peter my prayers are with you. I have been along time fan of type o negative peter is an insperation. I know what you are going through I have loved peter since day one his music has helped me through some of the darkest moments of my life and I thank you for opening this blog and sharing your memories with us. No matter what people say on here I hope you will continue to keep this blog open for the people who love him. Peter is a beautiful man and will continue to be in all of our hearts. The world is a cold place but people who are warm will love peter and respect his family unconditionally. Once again thank you for the blog take care and god bless.



  23. Today is the 14th of April in Australia. It is autumn
    Peters favorite month.
    With every leaf that falls, I cry a tear.
    We are from all over the world, so in spirit we share our love for Peter. We each do our part to remember this day with sadness for his death but with joy for what he has given us. Today I am geting a tattoo of a green eyed cat to celebrate Peters love for them. I also have 4 cats, 2 of them are named Nikola and Grizzelda. To Peters family, friends and fans I hope you find your way through today and all the days ahead of us without him. We are blessed to have him in our lives in one way or another. Take comfort in knowing he watches over us all.

  24. I remember finding out about Peter's passing last year and how it broke my heart.

    I remember my mother finding out and knowing how much Peter and Type O Negative were a part of my life and being...she came over to talk to me about my feelings and such. My mother started to cry seeing me cry and she made mention on how she saw how Peter, the artist, impacted my life in a positive manner. My mom is 62 and not a Type O Negative fan, but commented that day and since that she was happy that I had found Type O Negative and realizes what a special place the band and Peter have in my soul.

    I know how it feels to lose someone so special, having lost so many of my family members over the years. I keep the Ratajczyk family in my heart through this trying time.

    Peter will be missed and loved by so many, forever. Peter's legacy will live on and I for one thank my lucky stars that I had the opportunity to have him in my life...even though it wasn't one on one or face to face, it was and continues to be a very meaningful "relationship" to me.

    Take Care and thank you for sharing,


  25. It's hard to put into words how thankful I am. Peter's music was there for me when I felt like no one else was. My first love, my first heartbreak, death of family and friends, the best days of my life, the days I thought I wouldn't wouldn't survive and everything in between. I wish I could have told him how much his words mean to me, But somehow I think he knows.

    Everyday I look at the tattoo on my wrist and am reminded of how much beauty he contributed to this world. I'm also reminded of a life ended too soon. I'd give anything to see them play live, to hear a new song, to know what could have been! It crushes me! I never imagined I could miss someone I never knew so much!

    I'd like to thank the family for sharing their thoughts, memories and photos with us (the fans). Peter will forever be immortal living on through his music and in the memories of those who loved him.

    I'll always remember the day I saw October Rust in a CD store (I was 15). Not knowing anything about them I purchased it out of curiosity. That afternoon I popped in into my diskman and walked for hours following a river until the sun went down just listening, soaking in every word, every note. That was the start of a relationship, a passion and a love for music that will stay with me until the day I die...

    Once again, thank you. Hail and farewell.

  26. Thank you all so much for finally sharing this information/stories, and pictures with us...

    A long, long, long-time fan,
    Joy :)

  27. It is harder a year later to accept his death. I too have been inspired by Peter through his art, sense of humor, and honesty. He has and continues to be a source of strength for me in difficult times. I don't have too many people I can turn to and through Peter's art and words...even now, I have him. It sounds corny, but it is very much true. My online friends/family, via Peter/TON are as important to me as many of my real life friends/family.

    MJ aka BallardLatte

  28. Is there anyway you can post a link to Cathy's facebook page? I'd like to become a fan/be a friend, but for some reason I can't find it.


  29. Thank you so much for this blog.
    I have been a TON fan since 1994, and love every minut of the lyrics and every little detail in the music.
    TON and Peter have pulled me up from depressions, taken me away from bad places in my life, guiding me in joy. In everything I have been through in my life, Peter have been there guiding me in the right direction. I never was so fortunate to ever meet him or even se him on stage, but he have always been "there" beside me through his music. I even remember one of my horses, I used to have a black beautiful stallion called Unico, during training my horse I once put on TON in the riding hall and to my "chock" and satisfaction the horse started to "dance" to the music. Unico showed such joy and was calm and happy through that whole training session. He too loved TON. It made me smile for hours afterwards, and does even today years after.
    I have three children, a daughter who is 6 years old, a son who is 4 years old and a son who is 1,5 years old. My daughter wont go to sleep if she isn´t allowed to hear September Sun firsth, and my 4,5 years old son he keep talking about that beautiful big and nice man singing and playing bass in TON. I guess I`ve brainwashed them. ;) But the truth is that my son is right, Peter really were that beautiful and nice man. It shows in his lyrics and in every video with him talking to different people. He went through life as a protecting misunderstood gentleman, and after his to early death he sings with the angels.
    I hope this second year after Peters death will let you heale even some more, and that this year will be a better year for you, his family.

  30. Peter Steele HAOX 2010!!!

  31. Life is less interesting with Peter Steele gone. Its been over 1 year and I miss him as one of my favorite singers of all time. He loved Black Sabbath as much as anyone, and although I never met him, I loved him and the rest of TON. It just plain sucks he is gone, and I am pissed ( much like Josh is ) because he had more life to live and more music to play. God bless him

  32. oi! sou do brasil e faz 10 anos que conheço type o negative e acompanho a banda. Amei esse blog, pois me ajudou a conhecer mais a vida do Peter e ter lembranças boas dele. Peter sempre estará vivo em minha vida e meu coração. Muita força para a família Ratajczyk, assim como amo o Peter amo sua família também.
    Bloody Kisses =]

  33. I have been a fan of type o negative since 1997 and the song that hit me the most was "wolfmoon" that song is such a beautiful song and now when i hear it sometimes it brings a tear to my eye. When i found out he had passed away I was awaken at 1am I thought it was another rumour or a bad nightmare, but then it was confirmed. I was taken away by peter's beautiful gift of talent to give us his beautiful voice and not one to look at his god given body. I had peter only once that was in 1998 at sam goody's and the next night at the bank a club in nyc which is no more and he gave me a shirt which I still have. I saw them 2x once at ozzfest 97 and again in 2008. Poor peter looked so sick that night and after I heard he was pretty sick. I have a friend who has been friends with him since the lamour days when she was just 18, I wish someone could speak to my friend she is very tramatized til this day-she will not let me play any music of his or talk about him because she will start hysterically crying... She blames herself for his loss and i told her that she was a great friend and u were there when you needed him,but she still insists of blaming herself. Its very sad here in brooklyn because Peter lived here apart of brooklyn is gone since peter left this world, I hope you have made peace with god my friend and I hope you are reunited with your mother that you loved so much, please continue to watch over your family, friends, and fans. Thank you to your lovely family for their blogs as a tribute to their little brother. I didnt know you like joey and tim and whomever Im mutual friends with but you changed my life and I miss you and you'll always be a part of us. I miss and love you the man of steele... =( Rest In Peace!

  34. Peter Steele HAOX = DEAD AGAIN 2 2012? 2013?

  35. Peter my idol I listen to your music ever y da y all day for the past 5 years I miss you so bad I cry allot you were and still are the best talented guy with the nest personalitu iv ever met if you can see my message just know I want to see you so badly id trade my arms and legs for a minute to talk to you again rip peter JOE

  36. Still thinking and loving Peter. He will always be in my heart :)

  37. I BECOME your music, my friend. What a gift you are. Peace be with you.

  38. Miss you Pete !! Type o Negative Forever! !

  39. Missing and loving you. It was a honor of knowing you and getting to spend time with you and the gift you bestowed upon me Peter thank you. Much prayers and love to his family.