Pete Zeldman

His Service

We laid my brother Pete to rest today. They brought him out in a bespoke coffin his wife Cheryl designed. It had a red top, and its white sides were covered in Pete’s quirky figure drawings. He’d have loved it.

Several of us had written about Pete, and the officiant read our statements to the assembly. Our words were sweet and funny and loving and not at all conventional. (How could they be? The man was anything but.)

Then Pete’s friend Andy Davy delivered the eulogy. It was not about the musician’s musician or the beloved music teacher but the private man: his warmth, his intelligence, the intensity of his friendship.

Cheryl wrote the final tribute. It was the saddest and most beautiful of all. The officiant read it to us so Cheryl would not have to speak.

Then, as the auditorium loudspeakers played—what else?—a Pete Zeldman drum solo, the curtains closed on the lonely little red-topped coffin, and the people rose and filed slowly away.

By L. Jeffrey Zeldman

“King of Web Standards”—Bloomberg Businessweek. Author, Designer, Founder. Employer Brand at Automattic. Publisher, & Ava’s dad. Pete’s brother (RIP). He/him.

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