12 November 2011

Pete Biondi, Hillsborough's Best Friend

Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State under George Washington, Vice President under John Adams, third president of the United States, upon designing the inscription for his tombstone, famously left off all of those titles.   Instead he wished to be remembered for just three things: writing the Declaration of Independence, writing Virginia's Statute for Religious Freedom, and founding the University of Virginia.

In that same spirit, as I reflect on the passing last week of Peter Biondi, I barely think about his ten years as a Hillsborough Township Committeeman, his term as a Somerset County Freeholder, or his dozen years representing the 16th district in the New Jersey Assembly.

More than anything else, Pete was Hillsborough's best friend, plain and simple.  

It hurts to lose your best friend.  It hurts a lot.

Sometimes looking at pictures helps.

Black Horse Stable Family Day for special needs children, 2007.   Pete was a tireless supporter and  advocate for the special needs community.  Over the years he made generous personal donations to Autism Speaks and the Organization for Autism Research, as well as fighting in Trenton for insurance reform and a common sense vaccination policy.

Rotary Club of Hillsborough annual Easter Egg Hunt, 2008.   Pete was  a proud member of the Rotary, and exemplified its motto, "service above self".  He was actively involved in all of their community activities, including the Easter Egg Hunt, and in later years, the annual Rotary Fair.

Portrait by Kevin Murphy, 2009.  When Hillsborough artist Kevin Murphy came to the Cultural Arts Commission in 2008  with an idea to transform our annual art show to include a commissioned portrait of a notable Hillsborough person, he already knew who the first subject should be. We Agreed.  Not only did Pete fit every imaginable criteria for inclusion in Hillsborough's "hall of fame", he was also a strong supporter of the arts, offering his personal financial assistance to the art show in subsequent years.

Memorial Day Parade, 2009.  Pete was a fixture at Hillsborough's annual Memorial Day Parade.  His support for our veterans, as well as those currently serving was unquestionable.


  1. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. I just wanted to post a short comment to say that I have found your blog to be so helpful and informative. My family and I will be relocating to Hillsborough, NJ from Brazil in December. We have been expats here for the last 6 years and before that we lived in Ga so we are completely unfamiliar with the NJ area. I have a had a hard time finding out about the town. Your profiles of the parks along with photos and other posts have really given me a such a good overview of the town! I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated browsing through your blog today!

  2. Thank you Ashley! There is much to love about Hillsborough. It truly is a large town with a small town feel.

    Two significant health issues have kept me from devoting much time to the blog these past few months, but as I recover, I hope to post more!