In Memory of




Obituary for Peter John LaPlaca

Peter John LaPlaca, 77, of Vernon, CT, entered eternal rest on February 17, 2024, with his loving family by his side after battling leukemia for three years. Peter was born in New York City on December 9, 1946. He is predeceased by his parents, Lillian Celauro LaPlaca and Damiano John LaPlaca. He is survived by his wonderful wife of 56 years, Sherry Cutler LaPlaca, with whom he enjoyed traveling throughout the world, watching UConn basketball games, entertaining friends and family, and laughing together. Peter’s biggest enjoyments in life included golfing, photography, stamp collecting, and reading.

Peter is survived by his daughter, Michelle LaPlaca and her husband Andrés García, of Atlanta, GA, his son Matthew LaPlaca and his wife Kathleen, of Vernon, and four fantastic grandchildren: Rafael García, Andrés García, Dylan LaPlaca, and Hailey LaPlaca. He is also survived by his sister Camille LaPlaca-Post, and his brothers John T. LaPlaca and his wife Patty, Michael J. LaPlaca, and Richard J. LaPlaca, and many nieces and nephews.

Peter lived his youth in Orangetown, NY. He graduated from Tappan Zee High School in 1964 and attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, where he earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees. A life-long educator, Peter taught at SUNY at Albany (2 years), The University of Connecticut (28 years), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Hartford, 3 years) and the University of Hartford (10 years). He has lectured on six continents where he helped develop writing skills for doctoral students and young faculty members at over 100 universities. He was a specialist in business-to-business marketing, and from 1994-2016 was Editor-in-Chief of Industrial Marketing Management, the leading journal focusing on business-to-business marketing. He was founding editor of the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing (1985-93) and has served on the editorial review boards of several marketing and management journals. In 1982 he was named the Outstanding Marketer of the Year by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Extensively involved in professional marketing activities, Dr. LaPlaca was the founding President of A.B.M., the Association of Business Marketers. He was also president of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Marketing Association, Vice President and member of the National Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association and a member of its Industrial Marketing Council. He was also a vice president and director of the Academy of Marketing Sciences. As owner of LaPlaca Associates, he provided marketing strategy and training services to over 100 industrial companies.

He has published fifty articles in academic journals including the Journal of Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences and several others. He is the author of a widely used industrial marketing casebook as well as MARKSTAT, once the leading software package for undergraduate marketing research classes in the U.S.

In 2022 he coauthored The Connecticut Tercentenary Issue of 1935, a treatise on the famous Charter Oak stamp. This book received the 2022 Philip H. Ward, Jr. Memorial Award for excellence in philatelic literature. He also holds a U.S. patent for Protective Mask Communication Devices And Systems For Use In Hazardous Environments.

He is proud of his service in the public sector where he co-wrote the legislation for unit pricing in New York and Connecticut. He worked with Connecticut’s Attorney General to stop fraudulent automobile advertising in the 1980s. He served on the Vernon Board of Education and the Vernon Economic Development Commission. He wrote the plan to establish the Connecticut Small Business Development Centers that have helped thousands of small businesses create and grow jobs in the state. He also wrote the plan and served as the founding director of CONN/STEP which has aided Connecticut’s small and medium manufacturers since 1992. Peter served on the Board of the Connecticut Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society (1998-2008) and was president and a member of the Board of Directors of Community Health Charities of New England; he was on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Greater Hartford.

His active participation in the Roman Catholic Church began as an altar boy during elementary school. He was a communicant of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Rockville for 28 years where he served as a Eucharistic Minister, Lector, member of the Parish and Finance Councils and the St. Bernard Cemetery Committee. He was blessed to be part of the church’s bible study program for 15 years.

Calling hours will be Thursday, February 22 between 2-4:00 pm and 6-8:00 pm at the Burke-Fortin Funeral Home, 76 Prospect St., Rockville, CT. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Friday, February 23, at 10:30 am at St. Bernard’s Church, 25 St. Bernard Terrace, Rockville, CT.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Blessed Sacrament Parish at St. Bernard’s Church or The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.