Cover photo for Peter A. Recka's Obituary
Peter A. Recka Profile Photo

Peter A. Recka

October 29, 1952 — May 23, 2023


Peter A. Recka

Peter A. Recka, age 70, of Lynnfield, died Tuesday, May 23.

Born in Waltham, on October 29, 1952 he was the son of the late Joseph and Cyril (Recka) Sullivan. He also held a special place in his heart for the late Robert “Pops” Woods, who he considered his surrogate father. Their profound bond was exemplified when Peter inherited the nickname “Pops” from Robert, a testament to the enduring love and connection that extended to his own cherished grandchildren when he became a grandfather in 2016.

Before moving to Lexington, he spent time on the family farm, A.W. Recka Dairy in Waltham.  After graduating from Lexington Highschool, he went on to attend Lowell Tech, working full-time delivering oil to put himself through school. His undeniable work ethic even continued during the winter breaks where he built roofs on lake Winnipesaukee. Peter successfully graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business. He was a lifelong learner and was always working towards additional education, hobbies and interests.

Peter began his career in the insurance industry in 1975 as a multi-line Field Claim Representative for Home Insurance Company.  In 1980 he began working at Hanover Insurance Company where he worked until 1988 being promoted from a Branch Claim Consultant to a Home Office Claim Consultant to Claim Manager.  He was responsible for opening their Peabody, Massachusetts office.  In 1988 he joined CNA Insurance Companies as a Branch Claims Manager.
In August 1992 he started at LDG Reinsurance Corporation as Assistant VP Claims. In October of 1992 Peter earned his CPCU designation.   He was then promoted to VP claims, followed by Senior VP of claims.  In 2004 he was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer.

More important to him than any of his outstanding career accomplishments, Peter was happiest when spending time with the love of his life, Barbie. Whether staying in a luxury hotel or something less glamorous, he always enjoyed his time and made the most of every experience the two had together.

Peter was the most devoted father, we honor his profound influence on Lindsey, Evan, and Jack. As their coach, he guided them on and off the field, imparting valuable life lessons. Together, they embarked on memorable journeys to Boston sports games, Disney adventures, and annual visits to Hampton Beach, forging lasting memories along the way. His humor and intelligence continue to live on through them, a testament to the enduring impact he had on their lives.

He was an avid golfer who participated in two leagues that spanned the north & south shore every Wednesday and Saturday with Dan, Tommy & many other treasured friends. His love for sports wasn’t confined to just the greens; he was an unwavering fan of all Boston Sports teams, a dedication so deep he had the Boston Redsox “B” tattooed on his leg. With a characteristic blend of humor and love, he even let his beloved Barbie playfully transform the “B” into her name using a touch of lipstick, a moment always cherished.

Peter held a deep affection for nature, with a special fondness for gardening and bird-watching, geese being the lone exception. He often laid out fruits and jams, much to the delight of his avian friends. His sense of humor, while distinct and captivating, added a lightness to life that many found infectious and sometimes “outrageous” in the best possible way. Among his charming eccentricities, one that stood out was his tradition for painting his toenails in accordance with holiday themes, a practice that brought simple pleasure to his loved ones, especially his dear children and grandchildren. His humor was a unique blend of innate wit, brought to life through his studies in the comedic arts. In doing so, he added a sparkle of joy and laughter to the world, especially his loved ones who giggled proudly in the audience.

The partnership between Peter and his beloved Barbie shined its brightest in the home they meticulously designed and built together on Pilling’s Pond in Lynnfield. This wasn't just a house, but a shared dream they brought to life. Peter's careful eye for detail and Barbie's creative flair were evident in every board and beam, every splash of the perfect sky blue paint, and every piece of carefully chosen furniture. Their tranquil boat rides across the pond served as moments of reflection on the beautiful home they had created together. Aruba, their beloved retreat, was their second haven. Yet, the home they lovingly crafted together in Lynnfield remains a living testament to their shared dreams and mutual dedication.

The house on Pilling’s Pond was built with a shared vision between Peter and Barbie, a vision that transcended blueprints and measurements. Their aim wasn't just to construct a house, but to create a welcoming place where their combined family and cherished friends could gather, a place that was as much about the people inside as it was about the walls and rooms. Every beam was placed, every room was designed, and every piece of decor was chosen with the intention of fostering a sense of belonging and warmth. The home, their labor of love, quickly transformed into a beloved gathering spot, and it was where Barbie's kids and Peter's kids truly became siblings. The house was filled to the brim with good times: Fourth of July parties that outshined fireworks, holiday feasts filled with laughter, and of course the pontoon boat rides. On those cherished rides, Peter's grandchildren took the helm as co-captains, their laughter ringing out with each joyous honk of the boat horn. Beneath the playful uproar, a quiet joy was shared - seen in Peter's proud smile each time the horn sounded across the pond.

Peter didn't just fit into Barbie's family - he was a cherished part of it. Her parents, Tom & Muriel came to love Peter like a son. Barbie's siblings found in Peter another brother, a true friend. And then there was Barbie's sister Karen, or as Peter fondly called her, "Special K". This playful nickname was often heard echoing through the house during the home building process, a symbol of the fun and love that filled the space. 

Peter had a unique nature that effortlessly combined grace and patience with a gregarious, lively spirit. Despite his soft-spoken demeanor, he was often the life of the party, his radiant personality captivating those around him. His unique combination of traits was a testament to his inherent kindness, a kindness so profound that it was virtually impossible for him to harbor anger. This rare blend of qualities, coupled with his unfaltering kindness, has left an indelible mark on all who knew him, especially the love of his life, Barbie.

Peter A Recka was the Soulmate of Barbara J. Dunn, with whom he shared 15 wonderful years. He was the cherished father of Lindsey Recka of Middleton, Evan Recka of Middleton, and Jack Recka and his partner Kaitlyn Newbegin of Stoneham; also Kayla and Mark Doherty of Lynnfield and Briana Doherty and her partner Patrick DeRosa of Lynnfield. He was the brother of Joseph Recka and his wife Anne of Wisconsin and the late Mary A. Averkiene. He was the adoring “Pops” to Brooklyn, Savannah, Charlotte, and Bennett Doherty. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends. In addition to his parents and sister, he was predeceased by his surrogate father “Pops,” Robert Woods and his surviving wife Maureen Woods of Wakefield.

Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, from 9:30am-12:00pm followed by a Graveside Service at Annunciation Cemetery, 155 Hobart St., Danvers at 1pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to No Kid Hungry, mailing address:
Share Our Strength, PO Box 715475, Philadelphia, PA 19171-5475.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Peter A. Recka, please visit our flower store.

Upcoming Services

Graveside Service

Tuesday, May 31, 2203

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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

9:30am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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