Pete Wilde and I graduated from New Bedford High School together as part of the Class of 1976. Pete joined the Army after high school while slugs like me sought refuge in the bars. Both of us spent most of our lives in Greater New Bedford. Pete arguably was a hell of a lot more committed to helping his fellow citizens than most.

Pete Wilde was a good man with a big heart, a deep soul, and a burning desire to be involved.

I didn't know Pete real well, but he never saw it that way. Every time we met, it was as though I was catching up with a long-lost friend. Pete always made you feel important, but it was he that was doing the important stuff.

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Whether it was his "Pop Up Pantries," providing help for the homeless and veterans, advocacy for business owners as a member of the One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce, particularly veterans, Pete was at the head of the charge. Pete also served as Sr. Vice Commander of the American Legion Post 1 and a member of the Veterans Association of Bristol County.

Pete was an old-school, hands-on kind of guy. He was generous with his time and energy. If you had a cause it became Pete's cause, too. He just couldn't say no.

He ran for the New Bedford City Council because he thought he could make life better for people. He was deeply involved in politics and helped many candidates, including his old friend, the late Ward 6 City Councilor Leo Pimental.

Pete Wilde passed away over the weekend. He would have been 63 years old in May. Thoughts and prayers to Pete and all of his family and friends. Like so many of the great New Bedford characters to pass this way, Pete was one of a kind. He will be missed.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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