Peter Gave More Than Half The Kingdom

This post is written by the last girlfriend that Peter introduced us to before he died -- Lisa. We credit Lisa as being the lady who helped Peter get to sobriety. We know that if Lisa had been still dating Pete while he was ill days before his death, that Peter would still be alive. We know this because she loved and cared for him -- in every sense. And while it still haunts us ALL about the "what ifs"  ... some things we will just never understand. We may never discover the whole truth about what happened the day he died.

This memorial post is by Lisa: 

I spent a lot of time getting to know Peter.  He was always so interesting because you never knew what to expect. I have to say I was never bored!  My favorite thing about him was probably his generous nature. 

When I was a little girl growing up and attending private school I had a teacher who taught us to watch the men we befriend.  See what they do with the last square of chocolate if you are sharing a candy bar.  The teacher taught us that the good man is the one who will give you the last piece.  Peter was that good man.  I am not sure I am even that good.   Especially not with chocolate.

There is a story about Queen Esther that is read during the holiday of Purim.  When the King falls in love with Esther he promises her “up to half of the kingdom”.  This has traditionally been a sign of true love.   Peter would not only promise but give so much more –of himself and of what he had.  He was so generous with his kindness. 

He would try to offer hope to any young band he met.  He would offer them encouragement and tell them how good they sounded. He would go out of his way to help elderly people.  He was a good neighbor and bragged about being the “Shabbos Goy” for the synagogue on his block.  He was always happy when they came to ask him to help out.  He was very proud of the work he did in the Parks Department and the people he helped like the man who dropped his car keys down a grate and Peter figured out how to get them back. 

He would always try to pick out great gifts from new inventions to things he saw on TV.  My favorite was when he decided he wanted to buy me a Rolex and he went to Walmart and inquired about it.  Just the thought that someone would want to buy me a Rolex was enough of a gift and that he thought Walmart carried everything was just so funny. 

He was a very special person, so generous and so funny,  and he is missed.

Shirt Peter Made To Wear In His Neighborhood
(Given to his sister Pat)


  1. Miss Lisa, I'm so glad that you helped Peter to sobriety, I sooooo wish that you would have been beside him that night, but at least he did know some happiness before he left, thank you for that and thank you for sharing your wonderful memories of Peter, somehow we all knew he was like that, wish other people would have treated him better... Peter was a Super Goy :) <3

    Amy Wigle

  2. This was very touching to read... Thank you so much for sharing those memories, Lisa. Everyone who met Peter seems to have great memories of him - he definitely left the mark that good people leave when they die.
    I listened to that interview in which he said that the Rabbi from the temple across the street would knock on his door on Friday night because they'd left the oven on and I died laughing. That SUPER GOY t-shirt just had me bursting into laughter too.
    Even though we will never know what really happened the day he died, even though he could still be here and that is unbearably painful for everyone who loved him, the family & friends & fans... it's wonderful to see how even in death he can still make us laugh like no one but him could.
    Thank you again.

  3. thank you so much for your memorial post Lisa and all the delightful details of Peter you are sharing with us. I am so glad you were a part of his life and that you gave him the love and support he needed and deserved. So thank you for that as well. Peter was a wonderful human being and he deserved to be surrounded with equally loving, generous, kind-hearted people who showed him just how special he was. All the best to you Lisa.

  4. Thank you for opening up to us Lisa. It means so much. I think Amy before me said it so well. Love and respect to you and Petes family. Hugs

  5. Dear Lisa,
    With great pleasure I read today's blog.
    I wish you all the best

  6. I cannot image what the family and Lisa are carrying around in their hearts in regards to the circumstances around his death. Words can not express how hard it is to deal with the fact that Peter died because the people around him didnt care enough to get him medical help. I didnt think my heart could break anymore, but it is. Lisa I am so happy that you loved him and he loved you. I'm sure Peter would have been proud that when he died he was free of drugs and alcohol and if you helped him with that...Thank You. You were blessed to be with such an incredible man and I hope you have many happy memories. His giving nature was a beautiful thing. Lisa I hope your life is good and again thank you.

  7. Aww, just gut-wrenchingly sweet. My favorite blog by far. Thanks for sharing Lisa. x

  8. P.S The "people" around him in Pennsylvania are very lucky that I dont know Tony Soprano !!!

  9. Thank you for sharing your memories with us Lisa. It's really lovely to hear about the positive aspects of Peter's life...the people who cared for him so much and the little things in life that made him happy. The circumstance's of his death are devastatingly sad and I wish so much that things could have been different. Sending my love to all of you, Mel xoxoxoxox

  10. There are choices like "funny", "cool" or "interesting" but If there would be a button called “great gentleman” I would press it also! :D

    Nice memories about Peter. Thank u for sharing them with us.

    Greetings from the krypt.


  11. such a touching story. Each time I read the stories about Peter I get so sad. What happened to him like Lisa said we may never know and it does not matter anyways. He's not here physically but he's here in our hearts and minds in every way he can be. That part of him will never die not to his fans and family, his bandmates. Speak of him often, laugh about the stories and embrace each other more often. A hug helps tremendously. We miss you Super Goy. Never gonna see a man like you. Thank you for everything you gave us to remember you by. Peace and love to you in Heaven..

  12. Deborah Fischer1:01 PM, June 15, 2011

    Thank you so much for this beautiful tribute Lisa, it was very touching to read. Peter was a beautiful soul and a true gentleman, i'm glad he had someone like you in his life

  13. this was by far one of my favorites...im at a loss for words...why did the good girls always seem to not be there...i do not imply they left him,im just saying,with mardie and lisa in his life he was so happy...what happened,losing PETER has been an awful experience,i remember being on the computer and seeing it...i felt like i had lost my best friend...and maybe i did because i didnt have anyone in my life that had impressed me enough to follow everything they did.thanks for the post,and thanks to you lisa for giving PETER happiness.
    -erik hernandez-


  15. Lisa- Thank You" for sharing a piece of your life with Peter. Your story was so sweet and genuine. So many of us who love Peter read these posts from friends, family and we get a sense of what a wonderful, generous and sweet sweet man he really was. Peter was such a very special and unique person. He is missed so very much.

  16. One last thought I know what happened to Peter to cause his passing matters to his family. I don't want to devalue that. But I want to focus my thoughts on how he lived and that was his path, he way. he lived it like wanted to. At the end, if you pass too young, that is a tragedy. Nothing ok about that. Just try to remember him for the good he did and he did tons of that...TONsssssssssssss. Thank you Peter and bandmates. We loved you.

  17. Dear Lisa, I`m so relieved to read about Peters relationship to you. I was always a little afraid he might be alone by his many touring and sharing his life with so many people. So I`m really relieved ;-) Your words were very moving, thank you for your confidence in us. Sincerely Jana

  18. Dear Lisa,
    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt feelings with us. The "what if's" will always haunt those who knew him and those of us who admired his great gifts from afar. Even after a year it is such a painful loss for me (but it's a selfish pain because I did not know him and will miss his words and music), so I can't even imagine how it is for his close loved ones!! I hope that he is able to look down and finally understand the depths to which he touched his family,friends,and fans. I hope that this blog gives some sort of healing to his family because through these stories we can see there was a deep love there. As always I say a huge thank you and wish you peace.

  19. I have to say I agree with everything Gayle said.. you took the words, thoughts, & feelings out of my mouth. Beautifully said!

    Much love and respect to you Lisa!

  20. It's great to hear once again about the support system of wonderful women in Peter's life. I don't think anybody could wish for a better family.

    I offer the following words with the intention of comforting the family. If these words make you feel otherwise, then I am truly sorry.

    The day I found out that he was gone, I felt sad as a fan, but I also felt a sense of defeat because I am also a heart failure patient. I just wanted to say that from personal experience the tables can turn very quickly and unpredictably. I can be perfectly well one day and very ill the following without warning. As part of an online support group I have spoken to fellow members one day and heard of their passing the next. It never ceases to shock me, and sadly it is always amongst the most funny, caring, helpful members we lose...

    I say this because I don't want you to feel like you didn't do enough to help. The emotional closeness of your family is enviable, and above and beyond many families. I want to thank you all again and wish you strength.

  21. Very nice. Thank you for sharing i'm glad that peter had lisa in his life to help him. :)

  22. Oh my god, the part about him going to wal-mart to get a rolex is flippin hilarious! I was laughing so hard I started to tear up, they would sell some cheap knock-off brand probaly called "rolox" that would turn your wrist green, but then again he was fond of that color. LOL, PETE WAS THE MAN!!! R.I.P

  23. While some of Pete's female fans may be silently envying Lisa it may not be for the obvious reasons. Many fans and friends wanted to somehow help him conquer substances and move on to enjoy a life filled with happier times with family and the love of a good woman who cared deeply for him. It's gratifying to know that Pete realized that dream in some sense. He seemed very kind and giving, and it's nice to read of his generous nature. To many, Pete was very much a thinking-woman's man, predictably unpredictable, and to a few men I know who are huge fans he was (thankfully) THE man to emulate. The Rolex/Walmart story is priceless. I guess they really don't carry everything! LOL
    As for the 'what-if's', (and the Ratajczyk family is welcome to delete this out if need be,) I've been mulling over whether or not to mention, but if the coroner properly handled and stored a blood sample it's possible that it can still be tested for chemical/enzyme imbalances related to renal failure, prescription drug interactions, etc. My father owns that machine, as do many hematologists. I urge quiet pursuit of that avenue if it will give your family peace.
    To Lisa: My heart goes out to you. What you did must have taken great love and strength. Generous and sweet as Pete could be, helping him break loose was probably no picnic. Much respect, and thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Admiring your courage (and admittedly envying you a bit).

  24. Lisa-
    Thank you for sharing your story, thank you for helping Peter get clean, thank you for being a true woman in his life, and not a user, like others in the past. Much like Dunebuggy4 said, I always feared he was alone for his last few sober years. I hoped that he did have someone in his life, as his music and his interviews made it sound like he was lonely, and that was very sad to me. And yes, I'll flat out say it, I am very jealous of you! :) But im soo glad you made a postive impact in his life. We all are. On a side note-Jeigmeister ( sp?) tour, Worcester MA, May 2008. I was at the front of the fence, and was lucky enough to get a photo with Johnny after the show. I was hoping Peter would come down, as I know he has before, but I saw him backstage, with his arm around a petite looking woman with dark hair. I wondered if that was his girlfriend. Was that you?

  25. First time anyone has said anything about how we all feel about how and why Peter died. I have to say I feel anger as well. And I too being Italian go to that Tony Soprano place. I know people who could have done this or that to whoever was responsible for Peter's passing. I don't know anything about that, I was not there. I know if I was there, he would still be alive. That is called survivors guilt. I know it well. Stay strong family. Peter is never going to be forgotten. We still love him and miss him. Find a way to find peace it's hard but you will.

  26. This was a great post. Thank you Lisa.

  27. Thank you Lisa for sharing these memories with us, it was very touching to read. The Rolex story is hilarious & it shows so much of Pete's generous, honest personality. Yes - he is missed a lot. Much love & respect to you Lisa for being there for Pete in so many ways - I can imagine that it was never boring ;-)
    Once more thank you for sharing this beautiful memories with us and all the best to you.

  28. Dear Lisa, I Thank you for sharing one of your personal memories of Peter-(fortunate one), Always for Love- Always for Peter- The Man, The Genius, The Rockstar. The Love continues even when the mortal body stops. True Love Grows Stronger Everyday Regardless of ones'role as The: Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Friend Lover Or Spouse. You Lisa; had been very blessed and I thank you for sharing Peters' True Nature HIS Beautiful KIND HUMOROUS HEART... "Above All Else..."-(Life is Killing Me)... His Brilliant/AMAZING SOUL. To You Lisa-and Everyone- Take Some Small Comfort In: "I0I I0I I0I Never Forget..."-(Dead Again) in PETERS' Words: "UNTIL WE MEAT AGAIN".
    THAT IS MY HOPE FOR ALL THOSE WHOM DO LOVE THE MAN NOT JUST THE ROCKSTAR. Wishing YOU ALL THE Best/Least Worse This Cruel World Has to Offer-HOPE!!! Thank You With Sincere Gratitude.