Transcript; January 5, 1972
Snow covered the Nulton Funeral Home in Penfield this morning. It covered the physical traces of those who came last night to pay their last respects to the town boy who became a successful Hollywood star. Over two thousand persons came to sadly renew acquaintances with family and friends.
In a strange way they remembered two Peter Deuels. As most, they remembered Pete Duel the TV star. His very successful current series Alias Smith and Jones. A character with which friends identified because of the close association with his own personality — carefree, quick-witted, and almost always bearing that familiar, pleasant, and sometimes strange smile. They remember his road to that success: a small part in the Gidget series, the young newlywed in Love on a Rooftop, and numerous roles in other well-known television series.
But they also remember a younger Peter Deuel. Born and raised in Penfield. His home on Penfield Road. The familiar Four Corners where he grew up. And the school building, which used to house everyone from seventh grade to high school seniors. He spent active days in that school, sporting the usual long list of activities beneath his senior picture. A member of the National Honor Society and student council and one of the weary workers on the high school yearbook staff. The class prophecy had predicted he would become a brilliant lawyer-president of the international bar association, in fact. Completely disregarding a dramatic career for which he showed an early talent. In second grade, he made his debut as the Easter bunny. And his mom regards as special favorite his role as the ugly duckling in junior high. He was nicknamed Peter the Clown and that spirit seemed to prevail no matter what he did.
Those who remembered paid tribute at a memorial service this afternoon at the Penfield Baptist Church. His parents, Dr. and Mrs. Ellsworth Deuel, remembered how Pete, brother Geoff, and sister Pam used to cut up during the morning service. Pam talked with us about those memories today. Pete’s love and concern for the environment. The times when he came back to Penfield from Hollywood and would just walk around the town early in the morning, wishing he could preserve it just as he remembered it. Pam, with daughter Jennifer, thought about those memories in the church today. She remembered when Pete had come to see her sing in Las Vegas and when she sang “Free Again” how she looked over to find big brother in tears. Shortly thereafter, when quizzed by a fan magazine, he said his favorite song was “Free Again,” his favorite singer was Pam Deuel.
In the church today and all remembered the Pete Duel they knew, she sang his favorite song.