Robert Peter Lalor Jr.


Mr. Robert Peter Lalor Jr. died peacefully at his Onancock residence March 7, 2020. The only child of Robert Peter Lalor Sr. and Helen Frances Lalor, of New York, N.Y., he was born March 24, 1950. Raised in New York City and Pinehurst, N.C., Pete was a graduate of St. David’s School and Admiral Farragut Academy before earning BSE and MSE degrees in environmental and civil engineering from Duke University in 1973. He was named a Smithsonian Institution Fellow that same year and spent two years working in Malaysia. He earned JD and MBA degrees from the University of Virginia in 1982.

Pete worked as a civil engineer for several years before entering the world of corporate law and later, the emerging market of independent power producers. He worked and advised on hydroelectric, co-generation, and natural gas projects throughout the eastern United States before starting Commonwealth Power Corporation, which provided energy-related advisory services in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Through New Church Power LLC, a subsidiary, he pursued the development of an independent power plant in New Church, Va. Constructed in partnership with, and later purchased by, TECO Power Services, the plant came online in 2001, ensuring a reliable source of power for the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Subsequent to his retirement, Pete continued his active involvement in the community, focusing his philanthropic efforts on health and education. He served on the Board of Directors of Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital for thirteen years, including one term as chairman; on the Board of Riverside Shore Health Foundation for six years, including one term as chairman; and as a member of the Riverside Health System Board of Directors for four years. He served on the Board of the Eastern Shore Community College Foundation for eleven years, including one term as chairman of the Finance Committee and one as president of the Board, during which time the WorkForce Development Center was constructed and put into service. Pete also served on the Board of the Eastern Shore Broadband Authority for eleven years, including terms as vice-chairman and treasurer, and was involved in the transition of what was then a startup organization into what is now a fully operational and self-sufficient public authority. His love of the ocean, marine science, and education was evidenced by his four year involvement with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Advisory Committee and his advocacy for the VIMS Eastern Shore Laboratory in Wachapreague.

Pete was a man endlessly curious about the world and the people in it. He traveled extensively, out of a sense of adventure as a young man, professionally, and, later in life, for pleasure. The companies for which he worked invariably recognized his personal and linguistic skills, sending him to France to oversee the construction of the subway cars for the Atlanta airport transit system and Cairo to open an office. As a young man, he sailed for several years in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean before crossing the Atlantic on a 32-foot boat. An avid sailor, tennis player, and golfer, he was a longstanding member of the Eastern Shore Yacht and Country Club and the Pinehurst Country Club. He was also previously a member of the Lawrence Beach Club, New York Yacht Club, and Rockaway Hunting Club.

He loved the Eastern Shore: both its seaside, where he lived for 28 years happily walking his dogs over the marsh and kayaking through its creeks, and, more recently, its bayside, where he loved sailing on Onancock Creek. He relished being a part of the Eastern Shore community and especially enjoyed volunteering at the Wachapreague Firemen’s Carnival every summer, where he prided himself on making the tallest ice cream cones possible.

A loving father and husband, Pete is survived by his wife of 41 years, Deborah Miller Lalor, of Onancock and Pinehurst, N.C., and his sons Robert Peter Lalor III and Matthew Brewster Lalor, both of Denver, Colo.

A memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 66 Market St., Onancock, VA, Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Robert Coniglio officiating. A reception will be held following the service in the Oyster Room, Onley Town Center, 25020 Shore Parkway, Onley, VA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Riverside Shore Cancer Center, P.O. Box 430, Onancock, VA 23417, or to the The Bonnie Sue Scholarship Fund, (which provides summer internships for local high school students at the VIMS Lab in Wachapreague), payable to: VIMS Foundation, P.O. Box 1346, Gloucester Point, VA 23062. Memo line: 7Z0091 Bonnie Sue Internship Program.

Memory tributes may be shared with the family at

Arrangements were made by the Williams-Onancock Funeral Home.

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