Bar News - October 16, 2009
In Memoriam: Hon. Peter J. Bourque
Retired New Hampshire Superior Court Marital Master Peter J. Bourque, died recently at his home in Manchester. He was 79.
Hon. Peter J. Bourque
The 2000 recipient of the William A. Grimes Judicial Professionalism Award from the NH Bar Association, Bourque, was often recognized in the legal community for his knowledge, integrity, civility and leadership.
"He was a wonderful mentor to the lawyers who came before him. Wise, thoughtful, pragmatic and authoritative," said Upton & Hatfield attorney Marilyn B. McNamara. "I look back and wonder what he must have thought of the cadre of young lawyers who trudged up to his bench or sat in his chambers—he was always patient, if...also direct in his critics."
Born and raised in Manchester, Bourque attended St. Joseph High School and later graduated from St. Anselm College cum laude in 1951. He then attended Boston University School of Law, again graduating cum laude in 1955.
He began his legal career at the Wiggin & Nourie law firm in Manchester before opening a private practice in the city where he practiced for 28 years. He also served as a US Commissioner and a US Magistrate for the United States District Court – New Hampshire.
Bourque began his career as a Marital Master in 1967 and became a full-time Master in 1988, where he distinguished himself with his empathy and even temperament.
He retired in 1999 to pursue his many hobbies.
Bourque is survived by his wife of 51 years, Claire; three daughters, Kathleen, Mary and Amy; grandchildren, Timothy, Matthew, Peter and Christopher; brother, Elmer; sister, Nancy; and many nieces and nephews.