Peter Tyler Phinny, 72, passed away on August 13, 2021 after a lengthy period of declining health related to dementia. The oldest son of Robert and Sally Phinny, Peter was born August 5, 1949. Raised in Fremont, Michigan, he lived most of his life in the Glen Arbor area. Peter will be remembered as a solid citizen, one devoted to family, and, someone who was always kind and generous with friends, associates, and causes.
Peter graduated from The Fessenden School in West Newton, MA. in 1964, and went on to the Salisbury School in Salisbury, CT. In 1972, Peter graduated with a degree in literature from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. His love of reading and writing was well known, and writing became one of Peter’s regular pursuits, whether at his Michigan cabin or Patagonia studio. On those retreats, music was always at hand — Peter was an accomplished guitarist.
Throughout his school years and college, Peter excelled at soccer and various other sports — talents he learned over his many years at Camp Leelanau as both a camper and counselor. It was at camp where Peter also began a life-long love of horses. Nothing pleased him more than to be with his horses, especially Mr. Melody Jac, Brennas Kid and Bootlegger — three of several reining horses that inspired Peter to write about that specialty in the horse riding world. His book “Training the Reined Horse” represents a combination of his two passions, writing and western horses.
Peter has been honored by the National Reining Horse Association with the establishment of the Peter Phinny Leading Futurity Sire Memorial Award. This honor will remain a fitting legacy of his contributions to the sport. Peter’s horse breeding and training properties were located in Maple City, MI, and Patagonia, AZ.
Peter was predeceased by his father, Robert H. Phinny. He is survived by his daughter, Willa Phinny, and her mother Mary, mother Sally Gerber Phinny, sisters Dody Gates Everist, and Gay McClintock Phinny, brother Stephen Phinny, nieces Newell Brookfield, Sally McEntyre, Taylor Phinny, Sheila Phinny, nephew Wells Phinny, former wife Molly Phinny, and step children Morgan and Chris Fisher.
A private memorial service will be planned at a later date.
The family takes this opportunity to thank the loving staff at Effie’s Place, and to express deep appreciation to the personal caregivers who provided loving support for Peter.
Tributes to Peter’s life and memory may be made by contributions to the Alzheimers Research Foundation, or the National Reining Horse Association.