Remembering Pete McBride

By: Hannah Benjamin

Remembering Pete McBride

NORWICH – There was no shortage of laughter or tears on Friday, as the friends, family, and colleagues of Pete McBride gathered at the Norwich Courthouse for a private memorial service hosted by Supreme Court Justice Kevin M. Dowd.

Peter "Pete" McBride was born in the Bronx in 1934, and lived a boisterous and gregarious life before passed away unexpectedly on October 11, surrounded by family. Pete moved to Oxford in 1971, and soon after became a public defender in Chenango County. He led an exciting life, traveling the world with his wife of 59 years; Rosemary, spending time with his family, and dominating the courtroom.

In the obituary written by Pete's daughter, Maureen, she says, "Pete was the Public Defender in Chenango County for several decades and fearlessly fought to protect the rights of his clients. Beyond being Public Defender, he maintained a general practice and possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of the law."

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During the memorial, Maureen spoke of his career saying, "I've never seen anything like it, I've been a lawyer now for 25 years, I've never met anyone like him, who had a practice like him. The amount of people in this county that he affected and have benefitted from his advice is just so vast you couldn't even put a number on it."

Others spoke during the memorial, including Pete's nephew and Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride. Joe told stories of growing up with Pete, and his antics in the courtroom. Recalling one of his favorite stories, Joe said, "The guy was convicted and said "What happens next" and Pete said "You're going to jail, and I'm going to Florida.""

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