Peter J. de Blanc, 57, of St. Thomas, U.S.Virgin Islands, died June 26, 2002, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after a battle with cancer. Born in New York City on November 17, 1944, he grew up in Niagara Falls, NY, attended Dwight School in NYC, McGill University in Montreal and the ITU in Geneva, Switzerland. For 30 years he studied with the ARICA School founded by Oscar Ichazo, philosopher and mystic.
President of COBEX International Inc, de Blanc was responsible for the introduction of the Internet to the U.S. Virgin Islands in Sept 1994 with free public Internet access via the VIP FreeNet. In 1995 he introduced the first commercial Internet Service in the Virgin Islands, developing the first WEB pages for the promotion of tourism in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Employed by IBM Research & Development Labs in East Fishkill, NY, in the late 60's, Peter de Blanc was an acknowledged technical genius. For the more than 25 years that he lived in the Caribbean he worked as a computer and communications consultant. A Senior Member of IEEE, he was at the time in 1973, the youngest member of IEEE ever elevated to Senior Status.
For several years during the mid 80's he served as a communications and micro-computer consultant to the U.N. Industrial Development Organization in the Eastern Caribbean. In 1998-99 he taught Computer Networking at the University of the Virgin Islands. He held U.S. Federal Communications Commission Commercial (Radiotelephone) and Amateur Extra (WA2AAX) Radio Licenses.
In the past few years Peter de Blanc was completely involved in Internet-related activities. He served as Chairman of the Administrative Committee of the ccTLD Country Code Top Level Domain constituency of 244 countries and was elected North American representative to the Board of the DNSO Names Council of ICANN (the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers), in both capacities shaping global Internal Policy and Internet Governance. His strong personal commitment to the advancement of developing countries through technological awareness and development was evidenced by many Internet- related speaking and consulting engagements in the United States, Canada, China, Egypt, Thailand and Africa.
An active Rotarian, Peter de Blanc was President-elect of St. Thomas Rotary II.
A passionate musician, he played pop and classical music on baroque English recorder at any opportunity.
He is survived by his wife Doris Sparks de Blanc, four children: Peter Dimitri de Blanc of Philadelphia, Annalisa Roger of San Anselmo, California, Andrea Kimmey of Taos, New Mexico and Alexis St. John-Gillott of Seminole, Florida; eight grandchildren: Molly de Blanc, Peter Nathan de Blanc, Jessica Kimmey, Lydia Kimmey, Alisha Roger, Stephen Roger, Peter Roger and Anna Roger; two brothers: Roger de Blanc and James de Blanc, a sister, Arlene de Blanc, Aunt Catherine Chesnea of Norwalk, Connecticut, and devoted Mother-in-Law Doris Huff Sparks of Macon,GA, along with countless friends and students whom he mentored and inspired.
According to his wishes, a Celebration of Life will be scheduled at Megan's Bay, St. Thomas.