Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd's father Peter Aykroyd has died at the age of 98. The sad news was reported by The Ottawa Citizen, who cited Peter as being a successful top civil servant and engineer, as well as a writer, a philanthropist and a "community booster." In addition to his famous son, Peter is survived by his other son, Peter Jonathan, as well as Dan's family, which includes his wife, Donna Dixon and their three daughters. The outlet noted that Peter's wife, Lorraine, died in February 2018, just a couple of months before what would have been her 100th birthday.
Among Peter's many accomplishments, he once worked with former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. He also served as the assistant secretary to the Privy Council, and later became the deputy chair of the Transportation Development Agency, and assistant minister of Transport Canada. Peter also authored many books, including a book titled A Sense of Place, which is the history of the Aykroyd family. In another one of his books — A History of Ghosts, which "interweaves the family history marked by a fascination with ghosts." — Aykroyd wrote the foreword for his father. "My father, as a child, witnessed seance and kept the family books on the subject. My brother, Peter, and I read them avidly; and from all this, Ghostbusters got made," he scribed.
Along with his volunteer, philanthropic and mentoring work, Peter helped launch the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area. The Ottawa Citizen refers to it as "arguably" being "its biggest charitable organization." The organization's first director, Katherine Manley, spoke fondly of her interactions with Peter. "I was hired in March 1996. He phoned me right after the announcement was made. I had never met him. He talked about his vision of global philanthropy. His knowledge of giving was wonderful. I invited him to the national conference in London, Ontario, and asked him to join our board of directors," she said.
Manley went on to recall when the Aykroyd family helped to kickstart the foundation’s launch at Kingston City Hall, sharing, "Dan rode a motorcycle into Memorial Hall, with then-mayor Gary Bennett riding in his back seat and Dan presented a big cheque from himself and his wife. When he got off that stage, he walked over to Peter and Lorraine, who were sitting in the front row, and gave them both a big hug and a kiss. It was beautiful."