16 Aug

Rest in Peace, Peter Bis

 

Image from Peterbis.blogspot.com

Last night, Peter Bis, a well-known and well-liked fixture of Capitol Hill, passed away of an apparent heart attack.

Anyone who has ever been near the Exxon at Massachusetts and 2nd Street NE knew Peter, even if they didn’t know his name.  From his place on the sidewalk, he would engage in conversation with passersby, wishing people a good day at work, or encouraging them to get through the week with a countdown of how much longer it was to the weekend.  When I used to walk to Union Station, I always made it a point to remove my earbuds before walking by Peter, because I knew he would always brighten my day – and he never disappointed.  I fondly remember his “no skinny dipping!” exhortations to people as they were heading home for the weekend.  He was always willing to strike up a conversation and he never asked for handouts.

Peter had been in the neighborhood for as long as I can remember (I moved here in 2005), and you can find many fond write-ups about him, including in The Hill and various blogs (a good example found here).  And, of course, you could read his various musings and theories on his personal blog.  He will be greatly missed by many people in the neighborhood.

We will post updates regarding any planned memorial services for him when we hear about them.


  • http://www.facebook.com/dana.peterson.739 Dana Peterson

    Peter will be missed by neighbors in the Wheat Growers Building next door to the gas station. He was a watchdog for our property and a friend to me personally as I walked my dog around the Hill. On several occassions I would help Peter (as do many of us) and have contact with his brother, which I spoke to today. Please do keep us informed of an memorial service.

  • http://twitter.com/TheMadameMeow María Helena Carey

    He would always say to my kids, “Take good care of your mommy and buy her an ice cream!” He was a sweet man and his daily catchphrases will be missed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lauren.shellito Lauren Shellito

    Pete would have lovedddd all this attention. Even from us Mongoloid Humans with split ends. I can’t believe he won’t be there tomorrow to show me all the news stories about him. He was my friend, and I’ll really miss him.

  • steve849

    Yes, please update us on any memorial plans. He’d tell my kids to buy me ice cream also. I’ll miss him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dana.Loves.Purple Dana Love Zeigler

    What a pleasant man Peter was. He was just the right person to brighten up a dreary day. He would ALWAYS say to me “Take care of nephew and would ALWAYS ask about my dog. The Exxon gas station and tree on the corner of Massachusetts Ave will never be the same. What an unexpected death that has touched my heart. Please keep me informed of an vigil or memorial service in honor of Peter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/benjamin.bloom.338 Benjamin Bloom

    2nd & Mass will never be the same, he always gave a kind greeting when you needed it most. This 2006 WAMU interview w/ Peter is a great listen: http://wamu.org/news/06/12/08/peter_bis

  • J B

    Peter’s memorial service is going to be held on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 12:30 pm at St. Joseph’s, 313 2nd St. NE. There’s a sign on Peter’s tree with details.

  • http://twitter.com/ImLizee Liz(ee)

    “No Skinny Dipping”, lol. Peter was awesome! He will definitely be missed. I always had a weird feeling when I would walk past his tree and not see him hanging around…. I’ll definitely have to get used to that now. :( RIP Peter!