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Reverend Peter Alexander Dakers

NORTH CANAAN — Peter Alexander Dakers, 79, was born on July 3, 1942, in Port Glasgow, Scotland, and died on Dec. 7, 2021, surrounded by family in North Canaan.

The first son born to Alexander and Agnes Dakers, Peter grew up in Scotland and immigrated to the United States in 1953 through New York on the SS United States with his parents and his younger brother, Alan Dakers, and younger sister, Elizabeth Siemiatkaska. They moved to the Jamaica Plain neighborhood in Boston, Mass., and began a new life in America.

He graduated from high school at the age of 16 and planned to enter seminary immediately, but his mother, Agnes, made him wait one year before enrolling so that he could be certain about the decision. Peter was resolved to become a minister and entered Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Maine, in 1960.

He began his career at Veazie Congregational Church in Eastport, Maine, in 1963 and thereafter served at various churches in Malta, Mont., Middle Haddam, Conn., where he was ordained, Trumbull, Conn., and North Canaan, where he ultimately settled with his family. He was the driving force behind the merger between the Pilgrim Congregational Church and East Canaan Congregational Church into what is now known as the North Canaan Congregational Church. He was the minister at the North Canaan Congregational Church for over 20 years.

It was important to him to become a U.S. citizen and he completed the naturalization process on Dec. 12, 1975. He was deeply committed to his local community in North Canaan and served on the North Canaan Board of Education and the North Canaan Recreation Commission for many years.

He was very supportive of Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HOUSY) and was a fixture at HOUSY sports games throughout his life. He coached softball and girls and boys basketball. Many years ago, students at HOUSY affectionately nicknamed him “Little Rev” and the name followed him throughout his ministering and volunteering careers. Later in life he drove for the North Canaan Volunteer Ambulance and was a sportswriter for The Lakeville Journal and the Register Citizen.

He ministered in Torringford, Winchester and Falls Village before his eventual retirement. He held countless youth groups, baptized and married hundreds of people, ministered funerals, and was a trusted advisor to his community. He touched the lives of many people, but the parishioners from North Canaan Congregational Church always held a very special place in his heart.

Peter was an avid fan of all Boston sports teams, UCONN basketball, political banter, Democratic policies, recounting history, desserts, black coffee, breakfast at Collin’s Diner, clergy lunches with colleagues, striking up a conversation with anyone he came across, youth counseling, being a camp counselor and mentor at Silver Lake Conference Center in Sharon, traveling within the United States, fly-fishing, golf, hockey, softball, watching his children and grandchildren play sports, and reading. He was most proud of his family, his Scottish heritage, and reaching his 50th Ordination Anniversary.

Peter is predeceased by his parents, Alexander and Agnes Dakers. He is survived by his daughter, Laurel Caliendo and her husband, Mark Caliendo; his son, Earl Dakers and his wife, Christine Dakers; his four grandchildren, Alyssa Caliendo, Clayton Caliendo, Trevor Dakers and Chloe Dakers; his brother, Alan Dakers and his wife, Marge Dakers; his sister, Elizabeth Siemiatkaska and her husband, Walter Siemiatkaska;  his nephew and nieces, Mark Dakers, Darcey Kamanitz, Anne Siemiatkaska, Alison Welton, Alexandra Siemiatkaska; the mother of his children, Sally Ford, and many parishioners and members of the community whom he touched during his lifelong ministry.

Services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 15, at 10 a.m. at the North Canaan Congregational Church. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Reception details will be announced at a later date. Please observe COVID-19 safety protocols and precautions. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Peter’s honor to Housatonic Valley Regional High School Athletics.

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