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Here is Josh Peine's Obituary
Businessman was a free spirit
January 21, 2007
Josh Peine, owner of Clear Light the Cedar Company, one of the largest employers in Placitas, died at his home on Dec. 29. Equal parts free spirit and stubborn, he left an indelible mark wherever he went.
"I think he's probably the kindest, gentlest man I've ever known and certainly was a better man than I'll probably ever be. But he would test your patience," said longtime friend Don Keller of Albuquerque, with a chuckle.
Peine was a young man when he was tapped on the shoulder by a Hollywood agent. "You're going to be the next Robert Wagner," the man told him.
So Peine, born in Chicago and raised in New York, packed his bags and headed to Hollywood, where he acted in TV shows and movies.
Peine would later appear in shows like "Highway Patrol," "My Three Sons," "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" and "Father Knows Best." He also played Jimmy Stewart's son-in-law in the movie "Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation."
But Peine grew restless with the on-again, off-again work life of an actor, so he eventually ditched the Hollywood lifestyle and toured the Southwest and western Canada on his first Harley, said his sister, Penny Peine Kohlmeyer.
He traded with the Cree Nation in Saskatchewan and learned about cedar's healing powers from the Hopis and Navajos in New Mexico and Arizona.
After that, cedar never left his system.
Armed with little more than green cedar needle sachets, Peine rumbled into Santa Fe, where he first opened his business selling cedar fragrance products. He eventually landed in the mountains of Placitas in the early 1970s.
"He definitely was his own person," said longtime friend Julie Denison of Placitas. "He certainly had his own ideas and wanted to live his life the way he wanted and did."
He later expanded the business, selling lotions, shampoos, soaps, candles and incense, as well as other products made from other home-grown ingredients, such as lavender.
Over time, Peine slowly started to build an impressive client list. People from all over the world ordered his products, including an Egyptian prince, and some of the state's top tourist destinations carry his products. The business employs about nine people.
Cedar, though, wasn't his only passion, but it was high on a list that included Placitas and landscape design.
Friends and family say he loved his Harley-Davidson motorcycles almost as much as he did his business, and he was an expert skier. He also wouldn't shy away from good food and drink.
"He was an old Hollywood guy, like a Randolph Scott type, a loner," Keller said. "Even though he wasn't originally from here, he epitomized the one-man-against-the-world type that New Mexicans are known for. He did what he wanted to do�and I loved the guy."
Keller said some of the best times of his life were the moments the two men would drive across the country on their Harleys, stopping for Peine to take a drag off another cigarette or eating at some out-of-the-way roadside diner.
Friends also said Peine could always make them laugh, no matter how down on their luck they were. More importantly, his heart was in the right place.
"When I lost my husband, Josh was always so kind to me and made sure I was taken care of," said longtime friend Donna von Stetten-Ford of Placitas. "He had a free spirit and an amazing heart."
His sister, Penny, said she would take over business operations from her suburban Chicago home. "He had an amazing amount of charm and was very charismatic," she said. "Even though he would drive people mad with his persistence and single-mindedness, people still loved him. I think they were won over by his unique and winning smile."
A funeral Mass for Josh Peine was held at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Bernalillo. Memorial contributions may be made to the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, IL 60022; The Nature Conservancy, 1307 Rio Grande Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104; or National Public Radio, 635 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington D.C., 20001