Peter Eichenberger, is Dead at 54

November, 25, 2010 , by David

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Peter Eichenberger of Raleigh, a man who will be remembered for his long service to the city and the world as a writer, journalist and artist died peacefully this Thanksgiving morning. 1955 - 2010. 

We take his death personally and as we process this over the next few days we will have more to say about Peter.  In these first hours I think it is so important to remember how many warnings Peter gave us over the years, as I think it is probably how he would want the public to remember him.  This summer a study on Falls lake reported it may end up costing us 1.5 billion dollars to clean our primary city water source.  Peter emphatically told us this was an issue almost 5 years ago. More recently, Peter posted the controversial opinion of the disservice to the mentally ill that the relocation of Dorothea Dix’s services will be.  Finally, on his own blog he reiterated there was legitimate information being released about the origins of the 9-11 attacks and the perils of staying in Afganistan.

Whether you agreed with Peter or not, his ideas came from a place of passionate investigation and yearning for the public to know the alternative to the official version. We only wish we could know all of those beautiful connections he had made in that big brain or to at least spend another night hearing them. Even after a serious accident Peter was able to dive into subjects and tell that other story.

Peter’s poetry was consistent to the end.  Tuesday he posted on Facebook:

I remember now courtesy of the radio on the Fury, permanently frozen on the local Negro radio station until the honky christian bought the frequency. I had to pull the fuse.

We will miss you Peter. Thank you for your contributions to this place. 

Peter’s Personal Blog
Peter on New Raleigh

 








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  • Micah
    11/26 01:06 AM

    This is very sad indeed.

  • B.Cusick
    11/26 04:04 AM

    I am very sorry to hear this. Raleigh has lost one of it’s great individuals. My deepest sympathy goes out to David and the Eichenberger family.

  • B-fuss
    11/26 09:46 AM

    This guy was a genius. We’ll all miss him- such a happy go lucky fellow.

  • Charlene Suggs
    11/26 10:54 AM

    Peter was a dear, dear friend of mine for over 20 years.  We spent a lot of time together on foot, bicycle and car (that famous convertible old Plymouth) exploring so much of Raleigh.  Recently over the summer, he had made amazing strides in recovering from his traumatic brain injury of 5 years ago and was once again writing beautifully, the prophet in the wilderness that he was and is.  I am so, so sad to have lost such a good friend and I am sad for his family and Raleigh as well.  I called Peter the unofficial historian of Raleigh and I was urging him to write the history.  He knew all the overlapping threads of development, complete with dates and corresponding quirky stories from the bedrock of the area to industrial development to Civil War times to being very keen on the modern direction Raleigh was taking.  We’ve all lost something precious.

  • John Dancy-Jones
    11/26 11:58 AM

    saw the comments on facebook and got the real news here at New Raleigh.Thanks so much for giving Peter his best venue of recent years and spreading the word today.

  • John Labus
    11/26 12:11 PM

    Is that Charlene Suggs from NC State and APO?  If so…Hi! :-)

  • Oakie
    11/26 12:22 PM

    Oh, this makes me so, so sad to see this morning. Peter was smart as a whip, but most importantly he was just a really great guy. He had a true passion for the things he loved most. Luckily for us, Raleigh was one of those.

    My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones during this terribly difficult time.

    I’ll miss you, Peter!

  • Jon Williams
    11/26 12:59 PM

    damn.

  • adam!!
    11/26 01:51 PM

    I’ll never forget his ongoing analysis and views on the Michael Peterson trial. It was some of the best reporting on the trial, and I awaited each week’s column with baited breath. Raleigh journalism certainly lost a powerhouse.

  • The Eichenbergers
    11/26 02:42 PM

    Thank you for all the kind words. For the record, Peter was born on November 27, 1955, and was 54 when died. Peter died while reading the paper and having his morning tea. He was looking forward to a morning of writing, and spending Thanksgiving with his family. He will be missed by all.

  • Michael Traister
    11/26 05:34 PM

    Godspeed Peter and my condolences to the Eichenbergers. You were a best friend, a inspiration and certainly “one of a kind”. Your place in this world can never be filled and you will be missed by many. Say hey to Hocutt and I’m not sure when I’ll get there but save a stool for me for when I do. The first one is on me…

  • arial
    11/26 06:30 PM

    Thanks for correcting the DOB. He was never as old as I am.

  • Amber R.
    11/26 06:50 PM

    I want to give my condolences to the family.  Peter was a very unique and memorable person and it is a shame that he has passed.  I first talked to him about six years ago, but have gotten to know him more this past year after buying a bike from him.  He was full of unforgettable stories and will be missed.

  • Scott O
    11/26 08:53 PM

    I am truly saddened.  My sincere, sympathetic condolences to the Eichenbergers and Peter’s many friends. I loved the man and considered him a true sage.

  • Richard Hart
    11/26 08:56 PM

    My heart goes out to Peter’s family and friends. His readers know that he had a way of recognizing truths, seeing the world coldly and clearly, that few others did. And he wrote stories that contained as much poetry as they did wit, insight, and outrage. But what readers may not know what his family and friends knew best—he was a warm, wonderful, funny, kind, sweet and charming man. I was fortunate enough to have been his friend and editor and will miss him terribly. I already do.

  • Crag Perry
    11/26 11:29 PM

    Hi,

    Just wanted to say that I will always remember Peter for his intricate conspiracy theories, some of which were right.  I will be proud to tell anyone that I was a friend, and welcomed him to my home.

    Crag

  • John W. Williams
    11/27 01:29 AM

    I was with Peter on the evening on which the infamous Plymouth Fury was forced out of service. Peter was giving me a ride home (damn, I must have been absolutely hammered) and some events transpired that led to the forced retirement of the Fury. Peter never drove again after that night, as far as I know. I am bound by secrecy to my dear, departed brother to say no more but I can say that that evening was on Thanksgiving eve and I can confidently say that it was probably 10 years ago which, in my estimation, would mean that Peter died on the 10th anniversary of the forced retirement of the Fury. Fitting, as that was was the essence of Peter. He will be missed dearly, even though I now live in Boston and did not have the fortune to see Peter in person in the last year of his life. One of a kind—a true comrade.

    Johny

  • Richard Slater
    11/29 12:53 PM

    I have known Peter since 1990, when I moved to Raleigh. He was a great guy. He will be missed.

  • Mary-Ann Baldwin
    11/29 01:20 PM

    As a writer, I always appreciated Peter’s passion and voice—even if I disagreed with him. I was upset to read about his death.

  • Patrick O'Neill
    11/29 03:29 PM

    A few weeks ago I bumped into Peter on his bike in Downtown Raleigh. We walked a few blocks together, and he offered to fix up some of my broken bikes at the Catholic Worker House in Garner. I thanked him for his insightful writing about the high speed rail line that may go through Raleigh. Peter was always kind to me. I loved his energy, his curiosity, his zeal for the truth. My sense is that Peter was under-appreciated for his many gifts, but as I read and hear the comments of others about his death, I realize that Peter touched many lives. His writing was beautiful, unique and sometimes unsettling ... but I always read each column to the end. Now, Peter is our saint intercessor in Heaven. Peter Eichenberger: Presente! Peter Eichenberger: Pray for us!

  • Mark Herdter
    11/30 03:27 AM

    I remember Peter’s comment at the Breakfast House while sitting with his brother K. and others, all of us smoking cigs. There was some design he was complimenting and he used the statement: “It has all the brute good looks of a Panzer tank.” That guy sure had a way with words even when he was just nineteen years old.

  • Becky Shankle
    11/30 08:10 AM

    Keeping the Eichenberger’s in my heart. Peter was indeed a Raleigh legend, & I look forward to perusing the archives of the Indy, his blog, and reading so many stories spawned by others simply knowing him.  Last I saw him was at the PR, beer in hand, as he named my hat the Statue of Anemone Hat. Enormous loss to all. Cheers, Peter, & thanks for being the cranky truthteller Raleigh so desperately needs.

  • Robert Olason
    11/30 11:29 AM

    Peter introduced me to so much.

    He introduced me to a new career, convincing the Independent Weekly to take me on as a courtroom artist, tagging along when he covered the Peterson trial.

    Later, he introduced me to Aphrodite, and consoled me when She left town.

    So thank you Peter for all your introductions. And thank you God for his lovely, strange life.

  • Grog
    12/01 10:07 AM

    I have known Peter since the mid 80’s.  He has always been a close friend and many of my great adventures I have taken in my life had been road trips with Peter (His Fear and Laothing in Austin article he wrote for the Independent in the mid 90’s was about our trip to Texas with stops in Nashville, Memphis and other places), a wild weendend in new Orleans, and a trip to Cave City, Kentucky were among my fondest memories of Peter.  I lost a friend but Raleigh lost a treasure.

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