July 12, 2004
To Members of the College Community,
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the death of Peter Keim Trumper. Peter died of cancer at his home in Brunswick, on Wednesday, July 7, following a valiant struggle to overcome the disease.
Peter was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Vermont. He attended the Grammar School and the Putney School and spent some of his childhood in the Dominican Republic, Bogota, Columbia, and on a Navaho Reservation in Shiprock, New Mexico. He worked at Rescue, Inc., and completed his undergraduate education at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He earned his doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of Minnesota and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.
Peter taught organic chemistry at Bowdoin College and at the University of Southern Maine, co-authored several editions of the textbooks Microscale Organic Laboratory and Microscale Techniques for the Organic Laboratory, served as editor of Chemical Educator, and edited numerous medical textbooks. He was a student at the University of Maine School of Law and, at the time of his death, was one paper short of his law degree. Peter enjoyed reading a broad range of literature, listening to music, autocross, Formula One racing and cooking extraordinary dinners for his friends and family. He was passionate about education and proud of his students, particularly those who pursued careers in research, education, or medicine. A man with a keen intellect and a lovely dry wit, Peter will be sorely missed by those who loved him and whose lives he touched.
He was predeceased by his mother, Nance Peiper Trumper. He is survived by his wife, Susan A. Kaplan of Brunswick, Maine; brother Jonathan Trumper of Maplewood, New Jersey; sister Rachel Debasitis of Woodstock, Vermont; father John Trumper of Brattleboro, Vermont; aunt and uncle Ellin and Donald Spitzer of Haverford, Pennsylvania, and nephews Max and Willy Trumper and Jesse Snyder.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family requests that contributions in Peter's name be made to the Palliative and Supportive Care Program at MidCoast Hospital in Brunswick, Maine, where an educational fund will be established to recognize and further the education of nurses and certified nursing assistants.
I know that each of you joins me in extending Bowdoin's heartfelt condolences to Susan and to the Trumper family.