Peter Johnston Nathan, 67, of Gardiner, New York, died at home of cancer on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Born May 5, 1952 in Red Bank, NJ, Peter was the son of Justine (Johnston) Nathan of Wadmalaw Island, SC, and the late Alfred Nathan, III. He married Lynne Strader on May 31, 1981, in Washington, DC.
Peter’s career reflected an enduring interest, both academic and practical, in physical activity and sport. After graduating from Georgetown University in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in theoretical linguistics, Peter moved to New York City to pursue a career in modern dance. There he worked for one of the first personal training gyms and later became physical director at the McBurney YMCA.
He earned an M.A. in physical education and sport from New York University in 1983 and an M.Ed. in applied physiology from Columbia University in 1990.
Peter worked in cardiopulmonary and orthopedic rehabilitation for a decade before opening Movementworks, the first Pilates studio on the Jersey Shore, in 1998.
In 2008, Peter and his family moved to Gardiner, where he opened Gunx CrossFit the following year in a barn on their property. After the business moved to a larger space, it rebranded as Gardiner Athletics to reflect an increased focus on Olympic-style weightlifting and powerlifting. He became a certified Starting Strength Coach in 2010.
Peter was a three-time CrossFit Games finalist in the masters division, two-time American Masters Weightlifting gold medalist, two-time Masters National Weightlifting gold medalist, and 2014 Masters Weightlifting World Champion.
After closing Gardiner Athletics, Peter trained with a small group of master weightlifters at his private gym and coached athletes online.
Outside of his career and athletic pursuits, Peter enjoyed traveling with his family, collecting vintage exercise equipment, and swing dancing.
Besides his mother, he is survived by his wife, Lynne; two sons, Lucas Nathan and his partner Samantha Sonnier, of Troy, NY, and Trevor Nathan, of Brooklyn, NY; and two sisters, Wendy Shrigley, of Marblehead, MA, and Cynthia DiNardo and her husband Frank DiNardo, of Wadmalaw Island, SC. He also leaves behind one grandchild, Paloma Sonnier, and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial gathering will be held at Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home, 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, New York, at a time and date to be announced.
Copeland-Hammerl Funeral Home is honored to assist the family of Peter with the arrangements.