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1940 Peter 2023

Peter Crichton Xiques

September 13, 1940 — February 10, 2023

Live life to the fullest - Peter Crichton Xiques spent 82 years doing just that, living life to the fullest before passing from this world on February 10th, 2023 following a brief illness.

Peter was a true Renaissance Man - cultured in the worlds of fine art, music, fine dining, and literature. He often travelled to Paris and New York to immerse himself in all things for which he had passion, including the worlds of theater and ballet. But he was most comfortable in his beloved Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the vibrant university town where he chose to retire and spend the last 20 years of his life.

Peter was born on September 13, 1940 on Staten Island, New York and raised in the suburb of Pelham, just outside Manhattan. He was a proud graduate of Pelham Memorial High School - class of 1958 - and subsequently joined the U.S. Navy for a two-year stint serving on a variety of naval bases, including in Portugal.

Post Navy, Peter enrolled at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, where on the diving team, his passion for the sport developed and he was invited to try out for the 1964 U.S. Olympic Diving Team. For his entire life, diving was a passion - with a talent for both springboard and platform, something he did into his 60s. Later in life, Peter won countless Master Diving competitions and formed his own company to produce diving exhibitions featuring, at the time, a young Greg Louganis - one of the greatest Olympic divers in history.

While at University, Peter landed a part-time job at WIS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, and within a year, became the station’s full-time Lighting Director. As his studies suffered, his career in TV production took off. Eventually, he migrated to New York, landing a job with the prestigious NBC Network in a career that spanned more than three decades.

In New York and Los Angeles, Peter worked as a Sound Engineer, Lighting Director, and Cameraman at the highest level in network television. He worked on crews for countless programs, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Merv Griffin Show, Hullabaloo, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and numerous soap operas, game shows, sitcoms, and sports broadcasts.

Peter loved working at the studios, living in Hollywood, frequenting the jazz clubs, and driving his immaculate bright red Austin Healy around town. Yet, even during those heady days of Southern California living throughout the 70s and beyond, Peter held onto the dream of one day retiring to Chapel Hill and enrolling at the University to study Art History. His love for "everything UNC" was in part rooted in his love of Tarheel athletics, especially men's basketball. In 2003, Peter left L.A. and settled East in Chapel Hill, fulfilling his dream.

With his charismatic smile and outgoing personality, Peter made many friends from different walks of life along the way. They included athletes - like Sammy Lee, a former U.S. Olympic diver and coach; numerous celebrities - like Pamela Shoop, an actress and author; educators - like Jeffrey Cornell, a UNC Professor in Dramatic Arts; and jazz musicians - like Doc Severinsen, the renowned jazz trumpeter who for years led The Tonight Show Orchestra on NBC. There are legions of people around the country who consider Peter a friend, drawn by their mutual love of either jazz music, architecture, fine dining, anything and everything French, ballet, or Carolina basketball.

Peter was a Renaissance Man in every sense of the word. And to all who knew him, few friends would be more kind, gracious, generous, or eccentric - in the best of ways.

Predeceased by his brothers Ed and Greg, Peter is survived by brothers Brendon, Chris, and Bob Xiques, and sister Helen-Louise Xiques. He also became a doting “Uncle” in the lives of Jake and Clare Phillips - children of FOP (Friends of Peter).

A fitting tribute to Peter would be to always remember how fleeting life is and simply make the most of your time here.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Peter Crichton Xiques , please visit our flower store.


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