Peter Allington Marks, a former mayoral candidate who cared deeply about his hometown and voiced concerns about changes to Princeton’s character, died at home in Jan. 13 following a long battle with cancer. He was 64.
Son of late Professor John H. and Aminta (Willis) Marks, Peter was born Dec. 8 of 1954 at Princeton Hospital, and was educated through high school in Princeton’s public school system. He graduated magna cum laude from Hamilton College in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in Latin, and from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 with a master’s in business administration in finance. He spent summers at the St. Lawrence River’s 1000 Islands, where boats, games, and time with summer friends brought him great joy.
With a knack for numbers and problem solving, Peter spent the first ten years of his professional life in Manhattan at the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, followed by positions at Banker’s Trust, and Dillon, Read & Co., where he developed a keen understanding of real estate financing. He then moved to Florida, where he honed his understanding of real estate development working as a project partner for Trammell Crow Residential, and later the Aoki Corporation. Wanting more freedom to pursue his own projects, however, he opted in 1989 to do consulting and be self-employed.
While in Florida, Peter met his future wife, Mia Brownell Williams, whom he regularly referred to as his wise counsel, skilled proofreader, and dearest friend. They accompanied each other for the next thirty years from Florida to Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and finally to Princeton. They were married on Dec. 17 of 2018.
Often skeptical of what many consider progress, Peter advocated for the preservation and dignity of tradition. It was this perspective that led him to write numerous opinion pieces in the local papers, serve as co-chair of the Princeton Joint Revaluation Commission, as a member of Princeton Borough’s Historic Preservation Review Committee and the Princeton Housing Authority. In 2016 he ran for mayor of Princeton, and had bonds with officials and people of all political affiliations in Princeton.
Dignified, humble, and loving, Peter will be fondly remembered by many.
He is survived by his wife, Mia Brownell Marks; his sister Fleur (Marks) and William Rueckert and their children Cleveland and Grayson (Hellmuth) Rueckert, Elizabeth (Rueckert) and Patrick Henry, and Julia (Rueckert) and Brett Shannon, and their grandchildren Chase, Hailey and Henry; and his brother John and Belle (Potter) Marks and their children, Phoebe, Anna and Eliza.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton. Memorial contributions may be made to the Nassau Presbyterian Church or Grindstone Methodist Church in Clayton, New York.