Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Peter Connolly Dolcini ’47 February 27, 1925, to November 4, 2014. A man deeply connected with the land of West Marin County, Peter died peacefully, at home, with his wife of 65 years, Louise, at his side. Peter was a talented man, well versed in chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, creative writing and languages, but that does not begin to scratch the surface of who he was. A deeply spiritual, generous and accepting man, Peter made friends wherever he and Louise travelled, whether to Italy or to the local dry cleaners in Petaluma. His wry sense of humor and thoughtful intelligence enlivened many discussions and family parties.
Peter had a long and varied work life. He worked on his family ranch and dairy as a young man. After graduating from Santa Clara University, Peter was employed as a forensic chemist in Berkeley, CA, performing top secret tests on air samples from Soviet atomic test sites. He then built and ran a family business with his brothers and cousins in Stockton, CA: All Jersey Farms Drive-In Dairy. He also used his chemistry and dairy background to make and sell delicious ice cream at his own ice cream parlor, The Gold Mine. After his Stockton sojourn, Peter and Louise moved their family of six children, Lucille, Tom (Carlene), Marilyn (Herm), Carol (Abram), Elaine, and Barbara (Michael), back to his beloved West Marin. They settled into 50+ years of a happy life in Hicks Valley, where Peter worked in the dairy and beef ranching business with his brothers and cousins. It was, however, as a teacher that he was able to put into practice his true vocation. Peter and Louise teamed up as Principal (Louise) and Teacher’s Aide (Peter) at the local one-room Lincoln District Elementary School.
After retirement, Peter spent many happy years gardening, birding, travelling, studying Spanish and Italian, and especially enjoying being a part of the unfolding lives of his children, in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors and friends. He was a remarkable man who honed and polished, without effort and with great love, the magic of the double-sided coin of learning and teaching. He loved a good gathering, loved the land of West Marin, and most of all loved Louise and his family. We will miss him every day.