Peter “Pete” Davies Hyde, 82, of Seabrook, MD, passed away on January 6 in Adelphi, MD. He was born in 1940 in Norwich, CT, the son of the late Elizabeth Reed Hyde Amato and Richard Whitney Hyde.
From a young age, Peter demonstrated unusual intellectual and musical abilities. He was the Salutatorian of his high school class, graduating from the Norwich Free Academy in 1959. He earned degrees in mathematics from Harvard University (class of 1963) and the University of Pennsylvania. Pete put together his musical achievement and compassion for others in his summer job while attending college. For three years he was music director at Camp Wapanaki in Vermont, a facility for blind children, run by the NY Institute for the Blind.
Peter’s life expanded notably in the years from 1963-1975. He moved to the Philadelphia area and completed graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. After college, Pete began a long career in computer science, working with early computing systems at Burroughs Corporation and later in Aerospace Guidance and Control at General Electric. While at GE, he continued to pursue his lifelong enthusiasm for chess as a member of GE Chess Club and was inspired to write a Master’s thesis on the Swiss System of running chess tournaments. Peter continued to pursue his love of music throughout his college years, studying piano and cello and organizing a summer Mozart Music festival outside Philadelphia.
Peter’s next position took him to Willow Run Labs in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1971, where he continued to develop his expertise in aerospace guidance and control systems. In Ann Arbor, he was introduced to a charismatic Christian community where he found lasting friends and a second home. His experience with the community influenced many of his life choices and had a formative influence on the rest of his life.
Between 1974-76 he worked with the Wycliff Bible Translators creating software for translating the Bible into diverse indigenous languages throughout Mexico. He lived in Mexico City and often traveled into remote regions to learn more about the people and their cultures. To further his skills in translation, Pete studied at the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
After two years with Wycliff, Pete took a job teaching computer science at Odessa College in Odessa, Texas. While there, he played cello with the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale.
Pete moved to College Park, Maryland in 1979 and entered the University of Maryland as a full-time doctoral student in computer science. Shortly after, he was hired by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) where he worked on the Hubble Space Telescope for over 20 years until he retired.
Pete’s church was one of the most important touchstones of his adult life. He was an early member of the Solid Rock Church and an active participant in the community for 40 years. “There is a lot of life in our church,” he once wrote, “I enjoy the freedom of worship and being part of a church that functions as an extended family.” Service was an important part of Pete’s spiritual calling and he worked for 34 years with the Full Gospel Prison Ministry.
Pete and long-time friend and vocalist Marianne Benson were Praise and Worship Leaders at the Homeless Outreach Program of Temple Hills, MD and made music together for over twenty years. In a beautiful tribute from the Homeless Outreach, Pete was recognized for his “humble and devoted spirit, which caused him to be one on whom we could rely. […] Pete will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him as a kind and loving gentleman and brother in Christ, who God used to brighten up our events and the lives of those to whom we ministered."
Peter is survived by his brother Gordon and his wife Marilynn of East Hampton, CT; his brother Everett Hyde of Windham, CT; and his sister Meredith Dillon and her husband Michael of Chapel Hill, NC. He also leaves behind eight nieces and nephews and eight grandnieces and grandnephews.
A funeral will be held at the Solid Rock Church located at 5401 Good Luck Road, Riverdale, MD on Saturday, January 28 with visitation beginning at 11-11:30 am, service at 11:30am, followed by burial at the George Washington/Mt. Lebanon Cemeteries at 9500 Riggs road, Adelphi, MD. Solid Rock welcomes people to gather back at the church for repast following burial. Memorial gifts may be sent to The Homeless Outreach, Inc., 4114 27th Avenue, Temple Hills, MD, 20748.