“Peter “Pete” Breen Halverstadt, a Nashville attorney and advocate for the legally underserved, died July 24, 2014 from complications related to cancer surgery. He was 46.
Pete was born July 12, 1968 in Richmond, Va., to the Rev. Dr. Hugh Fleece Halverstadt and Barbara Ann Hornby. He was the grandson of Presbyterian missionaries James Andrews Halverstadt (1912-2000) and Charline Fox Fleece (1915-1976) of Atlanta and later of the Belgian Congo and Nashville, and Lewis Alfred Hornby (1909-1965) and Doris Louise Breen (1911-2010) of Welch, W. Va. Besides his grandparents, he is preceded in death by his brother, David Andrews Halverstadt (1969-2012).
An attorney since 1994, he gave freely of his time and talents to benefit the legally disadvantaged and underserved by regularly participating in the Dial-a-lawyer and Pro-Bono clinics and most passionately with the nonprofit Guardianship and Trust Corp. on whose Board he served for more than a decade and to whose operations and clients he donated his services. GTC, the only nonprofit trust company in Tennessee, provides management and certain other personal and legal services to people who, faced with impairment of intellect, are unable to make informed and rational decisions about their finances, medical care and other matters.
Pete also served for more than 20 years on the Board of the Herbert and Gertrude Halverstadt Foundation, the last three years as secretary/treasurer. Originally established in the 1960s, the family foundation has more than tripled its endowment since 1984 while quietly gifting more than $2 million to various religious, charitable and educational entities since its inception.
A graduate of Davidson College and the University of Tennessee College of Law, Pete chose to dedicate more than 13 years of his legal career to public service with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, specializing in worker’s compensation law and was given the responsibility of being the primary drafter of the 2004 worker’s compensation reform Act. He strongly believed in a fair and impartial system that protected both worker and employer.
He was a man of deep and abiding faith who believed love was the most important ingredient for a meaningful life. In Barbara Anice Doak, a fellow Nashville attorney, he found a soul mate. They married April 18, 2009 in Nashville after a courtship of 16 months and settled in Fairview where they supported and volunteered at the local food bank and joined Emmanuel Presbyterian Church nearby.
Pete gave time and resources to help family, friends and the public in general. He was never too busy to lend a helping hand and was always ready with a pickup truck and a strong back. With three friends, he became a partner in The Board Room, a bar on Hermitage Ave. now called the Batter’s Box Bar & Grill. The investment nature of the business seemed almost secondary to the joy it gave Pete and his friends of congregating weekends to watch SEC Football, especially the Tennessee Vols, and root for his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers, the Tennessee Titans and the hapless Chicago Cubs. An avid sports fan,
Pete was sometimes particular about the level of sports he enjoyed, preferring college basketball to the professional teams; but watching both college and professional football and baseball. Pete also loved watching NASCAR, rooting for drivers that no one else supported.
Pete’s love of history was insatiable and enduring throughout his life and he took great pleasure in reading accounts of events or people that were either from a different perspective or were previously unknown to him. A Civil War buff well read on all aspects of the conflict, he was delighted to learn something previously unknown to him when he read about Jones County, MS, the lone county in that state to vote against Mississippi’s seceding from the Union in 1861.
Pete is deeply mourned by his wife, Barbara, his father Hugh Fleece Halverstadt of Oak Park, Ill., and his husband, R. Craig Endicott, the Doak and Halverstadt families, and many friends and colleagues.
A memorial service to celebrate Pete’s life, officiated by the Rev. Blake Hawthorne Interim Pastor of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Second Presbyterian Church, 3511 Belmont Blvd., in Nashville, with a wake to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Pete’s name to the Guardianship and Trust Corp., 95 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, Tenn., 37205.