Obituary: Peter P. Mitchell, Ph. D., 66

Peter P. Mitchell, 66, passed away peacefully May 10, 2016 at Newark Beth Israel Hospital surrounded by family. Throughout his battle with heart failure — a complication from his ongoing fight with relapsing/remitting lymphoma — Peter’s good-natured spirit never wavered.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Peter leveraged his inquisitive mind, keen intellect and hardworking nature to earn a B.A. in Psychology from Lafayette College (1972), an M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Victoria University of Wellington (1975) and a Ph.D. in Management Science & Human Factors from Stevens Institute of Technology (1982). Over the next 30 years, Peter built an illustrious career in information services as the founder and president of Ergo Research.

Peter married Marilynn DeBari on May 27, 1984, and the couple welcomed their only son, Jonathan Clovis, on Nov. 19, 1985. The family moved to Wilton in 1988 and lived in the area until 2004. During that time, Peter was active in many community activities including coaching youth sports.

In addition to his roles as loving husband, supportive father and human factors expert, Peter was a published author. His first book, Usability Testing: A How-to Guide, underscored his expertise in scientific inquiry, while his most recent work — Those Dicey Growing Up Years: Here's a Helping Hand! — outlined his approach to raising a thinking child.

Peter was a kind, generous and jovial man who never met a stranger. He is survived by his wife; son and daughter-in-law, Kayla; brother Danforth Jr. and wife, Harriet; brother Robert and friend, Barbara Griscom; sister, Mary Goodman, and husband, Tobias; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Danforth and Marion. A celebration of his life will be held at the Weekapaug Chapel in Westerly, R.I., on June 18 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Peter’s name to either the Weekapaug Chapel Society or the Weekapaug Fire District Rebuilding Project.