Obituary: Peter Boniface
Renowned photogrammetrist, soccer fanatic, traveler, teacher
Peter Boniface died in Claremont on October 11, 2022 at age 85.
He was born in Epsom, Surrey UK and moved with his parents to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) when he was 11. He studied in Cape Town and Durban, South Africa, and after moving back to the United Kingdom in 1968 he earned a Ph.D. at University College London after completing a study on digital aerial triangulation using a stereo comparator.
He assisted Professor E.H. Thompson in calculating the geometry of the Dome at Castle Howard, Yorkshire, prior to its restoration after being destroyed in World War II. The British TV series “Brideshead Revisited” was filmed at the site.
During his study period he became well known in the photogrammetric community in the U.K. and beyond. He also became an avid footballer, playing in Cape Town and in the United Kingdom. “He would watch a game, listen to radio reports on the way home, read about it in the papers, and then watch again on TV!” his family shared. He and his wife Marion watched the World Cup at Wembley Stadium in 1966 amongst a crowd of 100,000. “He also enjoyed cricket and was a mean piano player!” his family added.
Peter went on to carry out significant photogrammetric research and production work for various organizations in South Africa, Australia, (where he and his wife were lucky enough to watch Australia win the America’s Cup), Colorado, and San Jose, California, before moving to Claremont, where he was a teacher and researcher for 18 years before retiring. During this time he carried out a number of interesting projects, including two visits to Chile to record the Easter Island heads for UCLA.
He was a volunteer at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where he serenaded visitors on the piano and also worked in the gift shop. “But the chocolate counter was much depleted during his shifts!” his family said.
He was a skilled bridge player and hiker and he and his wife loved to visit Cambria, a very special place which captured their hearts. They also joined the Claremont Senior Bike Group, with whom they cycled for many years, including to Canada and on the group’s Cycle Oregon trip in 2008.
All this traveling resulted in about 20 moves over the years, including four continents and putting down roots — mostly roses — at their homes along the way.
In his later years he suffered from dementia as a result of a major traumatic brain injury from a cycling accident. He spent his last six years in a care facility with his cat Snowy and the support of his wife.
He leaves a son, Stephen, and a sister, Jennifer.
There will be no service. His ashes will be scattered along the coast in the couple’s beloved Cambria.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in his honor to Inland Valley Humane Society may do so at ivhsspca.org, or by check to 500 Humane Way, Pomona, CA 91766.