It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Mr. Peter Champagne, a beloved member of our Mathematics Department. Mr. Champagne passed away this on the morning of February 2 after recent medical issues.
For almost a quarter century at Bishop Guertin High School, Peter Champagne was known for his quick wit and sense of humor, his dedication to his students, and his involvement in the Bishop Guertin community. Peter always said “YES,” whether it meant assuming a leadership role as Math Department Chair, Drama Club Director, Mock Trial Coach, Newspaper Advisor, or Paintball Club Moderator. He was enthusiastic about drama and theatre and was an avid Beatles fan - all passions which he shared generously with Bishop Guertin’s students. Mr. Champagne’s classroom was a place of joy and learning - a relaxed atmosphere led by a passionate instructor who cared deeply for, and took great pride in, his students’ development as mathematicians and as people.
Bishop Guertin was a huge part of Mr. Champagne’s life. A few years ago, when interviewed at his twentieth anniversary as a BG teacher, Peter described how he was drawn to Bishop Guertin because of its high standards, respectful environment, community, and the dedication of all community members. He met his wife Deborah Matson-Champagne in the courtyard outside the Junior-Senior locker room. (Many of our students know Mrs. Matson-Champagne as a Theology Teacher at Nashua Catholic / St. Christopher Academy.) Mr. Champagne is also the nephew of Br. Donald Tardif, who served at Bishop Guertin until last year.
Clearly, Peter’s passing leaves a hole in our community, but we know that he is being embraced in the loving hands of God and is already preparing his Geometry lessons, planning to participate in heavenly theatrical productions, and seeking an audience with John Lennon and George Harrison. For those of us whom he leaves behind, his loss is a reminder to emulate him in pursuing our own lives with passion and dedication. Let us all ensure that these traits of Mr. Champagne live on through us.
We understand that students, staff, alumni, and families will experience grief in different ways and at different times. All Cardinals need to look out for each other during this difficult time. Please know that our school counselors (Mrs. Poznanski, Mr. Mullin, Mrs. Futrell, Mr. Noel), campus minister (Mrs. Pinsonneault), and Fr. Thomas Moses are available to you at any time to listen and provide support. Please do not hesitate to seek out any individual at Bishop Guertin if we can be of support.
Peter’s love for his students and his loyalty to the school and his colleagues at Bishop Guertin was deep. His contributions helped to make Bishop Guertin the school it is today. Our community joins in sympathy with his wife Deborah and will offer all of our support to Peter’s family through this loss. We will keep the school community advised of services and other opportunities to remember and pray for Mr. Champagne and to support his family.
We conclude with a prayer.
Lord, You have called Peter from his time with us into your eternal peace.
Gift him with light, life, and joy in your presence.
We who remain are at a loss for words to describe so quick a parting.
Give us wisdom, compassion and love to reach out to each other in this time of loss.
Bless Peter’s family, especially his wife Deborah.
May she experience your loving presence in the care and comfort of family and friends.
Lord, it is said that only when the heart hurts have we truly loved.
Gift us with the vision of your love which surrounds, now and always.
Comfort us as we are mourn the loss of Peter.
Teach us to trust and love you so that we too may live with you forever.
Loving God, we feel so deeply the shortness of our lives, the limits of our loving,
the hope that we place in you.
Draw Peter into the depths of your love, tenderly encounter him on the other side of death, and welcome him into your presence forever.
And there, in the wonder of your presence, may Peter, and all of us, know
now and always your love that knows no bounds.
May all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace.
Amateur cor Jesu.
Sincerely, on behalf of the entire Bishop Guertin family,
Mrs. Linda Brodeur
Mr. Jason Strniste