Peter W. Rakov
The Kingston, Woodstock, and Colgate University communities along with his extended family mourn the loss of Peter William Rakov, 90, of Hurley who passed on April 27, 2023.
Peter was born and raised in Kingston. He graduated from Kingston High School and then his beloved Colgate in 1954. Kingston/Hurley locals would come to know his maroon-colored SUV with the Colgate crest. He also earned a Master’s degree in English from Columbia University.
In 1965, Peter married Natalie O’Reilly, who grew up just a few houses away on Albany Ave. The newlyweds settled in Woodstock to raise a family. They would have three children and become active in the community. Peter helped to establish the first Woodstock Rescue Squad. Every holiday season for decades, he would deliver cheer baskets from the Woodstock Christmas Eve committee, a tradition he would later share with his son and grandson.
The Rakovs were founding members of the Zena Rec Park. Peter was on the Woodstock Playhouse Board during the time they were looking to rebuild the facility. He was elected twice to the Onteora School Board. When they relocated to Hurley, Peter became active with ARC Kingston and was a Paul Harris Fellow with Kingston Rotary.
After Natalie’s passing in 2001, Peter found love again and married Marie Larkin in 2004. The two traveled, enjoyed attending theatrical performances, and loved the company of their new, larger family that included several grandchildren. Peter could be stern but beneath that exterior, which many were fortunate to discover, was a sweet man who strived to do good in the world, take care of his fellow man, and love his family. He did all of that with admirable style.
Peter is survived by his wife, Marie, and her loving family; his son Paul and grandson Ian; daughter Sarah and her husband Marc DiCaprio. Another daughter, Jennifer, passed away in 2016.
A gathering of family and friends will be at the Joseph V. Leahy Funeral Home, 27 Smith Ave., Kingston on Thursday, May 4th from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. A funeral procession will form Friday at 9:00 am at the funeral home. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10:00 am at St. Joseph’s Church. Burial will follow in Woodstock Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Michael Rakov Book Fund Colgate University PO Box 313, Canajoharie, NY 13317-0313. Messages of condolence may be made to www.MillspaughCamerato.com. Funeral arrangements by Robert J. Gaus of Millspaugh Camerato Funeral Home, Catskill.