Peter John Hurley, 69, of Mechanicville, N.Y., passed away peacefully at Berkshire Medical Center on January 27, 2021. Peter was born on February 23, 1951, in Brighton, Mass. He attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., where he earned his associate’s degree in agriculture.
He had a true passion for horses and aspired to become a jockey. While that dream did not materialize, for health reasons, he became a Thoroughbred Horse Care Provider. He worked with the Boston Police Department horses, at horse farms in various locations, and at Saratoga and Suffolk Downs race tracks. Every year, for 25 years, he attended the Kentucky Derby and wrote a poem about each year’s event, including each horse’s name. After the race, he would read the poem and play “My Old Kentucky Home” on his harmonica.
In 1991, he wrote a book called “Derby Day Dream,” a poetic chronology of the Kentucky Derby from 1875–1991. For a time, he worked at Universal Press, where his book was printed, and it was published in 1991. In retirement, he volunteered at a horse farm, Questroyal North, near his home in Mechanicville.
In 2005, Peter married Lorna Cukrovany, when love was rekindled after 35 years. She predeceased him in 2018, and he was never the same, as she was the love of his life. He is predeceased, also, by his parents Dr. Paul Hurley and Rita Hurley, his sister Mary Hurley Johnston, and his brother-in-law Gerry DeBiasi.
He is survived by many siblings and their families: Pat DeBiasi (Gerry’s wife), Ron Johnston (Mary’s husband), Danny Hurley and his wife Sue, Carolyn Evans and her husband Bob, Tommy Hurley, Andrea Voss-Hurley and her husband Bob, Gary Hurley and his wife Nancy, and Greg Hurley and his wife Lisa. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
To know Pete was to love him, and there was something magical about being in his presence. He was extremely kind to everyone he met, and he was a master at telling the best and funniest stories, a great entertainer. His heart was gold. “Thank you, Peter, for your smile, your laughter, your stories, your kindness, and your love. We will miss and love you for the rest of our days, and we will miss the phone calls you always made to each one of us on birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. You left your mark on the world and made it a better place; the world will not be the same without you.”
Due to COVID-19, a funeral Mass and celebration of Pete’s life will take place over the summer at Lake George, N.Y., where there is a family home, and his very favorite place. There will be a Zoom memorial and tribute on February 6.
Donations may be made in memory of Peter J. Hurley to Thoroughbred Charities of America. (Horses First Fund: Notifications to Andrea Hurley, 450 Greylock Street, Lee, MA 01238)
If you would like to leave a message of condolence or share pictures with the family, please visit the Kelly Funeral Home website.