The official biography of Robert D. Pike, the former Riverhead Town councilman who died at the age of 57 on Mother’s Day (See obituary), includes such pertinent information as his lineage (the youngest child of former First District Congressman Otis Pike), his education (Riverhead High School, Stanford University and American University Law School), his good works (helping to preserve Robins Island, fashioning Riverhead’s first master plan), and various associations (South Oaks Hospital, The Nature Conservancy, Long Island University).
But it is the unofficial Rob Pike we come to praise today. He was truly a man for all seasons — especially winter, when he skied for weeks at a time at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, Vt., where he developed several rental properties. Which leads us to another of his talents: interior and architectural design. All his properties include unique, inviting spaces that were a direct result of Rob’s personal vision.
And in the summertime he was a boater extraordinary, having navigated the waters of Canada and the United States from east to west in his wooden boat, the Escrow, an experience he chronicled in “American Passages,” the book and website.
More recently, Rob and his family — wife, Carol, and children, Julia and Otis — could be seen at virtually every Riverhead Blues Festival aboard the Escrow, tied up snugly to the Peconic River bulkhead. Rob also was a musician himself, and one of his greatest regrets was the inability of Riverhead Town government to shepherd the restoration of the Suffolk Theatre on East Main Street into a regional performing arts center.
Did we mention professional boxing? No, Rob was not a pugilist, but he invariably invited friends and associates to view big bouts on the big screen television in the self-designed media room of his home, where he provided blow-by-blow commentary like a reconstituted Howard Cosell.
Yes, Rob Pike was a man for all seasons. And he will be greatly missed by those of us who crossed his path.