Peter J. Donovick

January 14, 1938 ~ September 1, 2020 (age 82)

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Peter J. Donovick died on September 1, 2020, at the age of 82. He was endlessly curious; loving both to learn and to teach. As a professor of psychology at Binghamton University for 50 years, his devotion to his students was unparalleled. He was a champion of vulnerable students with disabilities or from less advantaged backgrounds. He sat up late at night reading and got up early in the morning ready to share what he had learned. He carried this passion into his research laboratory. He and his students produced roughly 150 scientific publications in psychobiology, neuropsychology, environmental toxicology and brain science. Peter loved the natural world and spent long hours in his lush garden. He preferred dogs to people. Although he was a Jew and a Buddhist, Pete enjoyed quoting Pope Francis who comforted a child saying, "One day, we will see our animals again... Paradise is open to all of God's creatures." Pete also loved music, including jazz, folk, and in later life, opera. Growing up in NYC, he hung around jazz clubs hearing many of the greats while he was an underage teenager. Pete enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 20. He was attracted to the Corps’ values of honor, courage and commitment. After asking to go as far away from home as possible, he was stationed in Japan, which he loved. He lived by “once a Marine, always a Marine” and the code of “Semper Fi.” A devoted student of Master Hidy Ochiai, Peter was a 6th degree black belt in Washin-Ryu Karate. He was a committed runner who completed several marathons. Later in life, he became a student of Lama Surya Das of the Dzogchen tradition, and deeply explored Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism. He was a teller of tall tales and had a legendary sense of humor. He is survived by four sons, Roger (wife Melissa, children Valentina and Roman) of Woodland Hills, CA, Joshua (wife Mary, son Silas), of Sparta, NJ, Caleb of Redwood City, CA, and Micah of New York, NY, and a daughter, Lia and fiancé, Tim Lingard of Rochester, NY. Valerie Perdue of Vestal, NY, his former wife and forever friend, also survives him. He was pre-deceased by his son Paul. Peter was a lifelong advocate of human rights. Donations in his memory to the American Civil Liberties Union ( or Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue ( are welcomed. Because of the pandemic, there will be a private burial and an online shiva through Temple Concord. Please visit to offer condolences and for a link to the shiva. 

Topic: Donovick Shiva
Time: Sep 6, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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September 6, 2020

6:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Temple Concord (US, Canada))

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Topic: Donovick Shiva Time: Sep 6, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Join Zoom Meeting
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