Husband, father, firefighter, motorcycle enthusiast, scuba diver. Born April 26, 1959, in St. Stephen, N.B. Died June 7, 2011, in Saint John of complications from a spinal cord injury, aged 52.
Peter McBride put heart into everything he did: being a husband and father; his many years of volunteer firefighting and community service; the kindness he showed others – picking up people walking in the rain or stopping for folks stuck in snowstorms; his elaborately planned practical jokes and making people laugh; scuba diving in the Bay of Fundy and riding his Harley across Canada and the United States.
He held his family closest to his heart: his wife, Catherine, and his young son, Evan. He was an exemplary father and an adored husband, a devoted son to his parents, David and Betty, a dependable brother to Steven and Diane, and a loyal and giving friend to many.
Peter grew up and went to school in St. Stephen, N.B. In his teen years he camped, was a cadet, rode horseback, went on canoe trips and always had a street motorcycle from about the age of 16.
He was passionate about making his community a better place. He dedicated 20 years to the St. Stephen Fire Department, rising from volunteer firefighter to lieutenant to captain. He mentored younger firefighters and always responded to fire calls as if a member of his own family were at risk, as quickly as possible, no matter the hour.
Whenever he saw an opportunity to quietly help others, he rose to it. He donated blood 72 times. He delivered Meals on Wheels in his community for eight years.
A thrill seeker, he was stubborn when it came to meeting a challenge. He loved riding his Harley and travelled throughout the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario, the eastern United States as far south as Florida, and the northern states to the ultimate biker destination of Sturgis, S.D. He was an avid scuba diver, boater, hunter and fisherman. In years past, he also raced stock cars in New Brunswick.
Peter packed a tremendous amount of thrilling adventures into his life and fully enjoyed every day he was given. He also had his quieter side. He was an active member of the local guitar club and enjoyed playing at concerts.
Pete worked for more than 30 years as a welder with the New Brunswick Department of Transportation. He put his heart into that, too – co-workers referred to him as “the Surgeon of Steel.” In work, as in the rest of his life, he looked for ways to use his skills to give back to his community. Each year, he created weather vanes that were auctioned off to raise funds for charities such as the IWK Health Centre.
Peter’s death was related to complications from a spinal cord injury he incurred in a motocross accident April 30. He is remembered with fondness every day by the people he influenced in his lifetime.
Catherine McBride is Peter’s wife.