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Statesman Peter H. Dominick dead at 65

DENVER -- Peter H. Dominick, a former U.S. congressman, senator and ambassador, died of a heart attack at his winter home in Hobe Sound, Fla., early Thursday, his family said. He was 65.

Dru Arena, husband of Dominick's daughter, Lynne, said the multiple sclerosis which struck Dominick in 1975, had progressed to the point where the former ambassador could not withstand Colorado winters.

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Dominick and his wife, Nancy, lived in Cherry Hills Village during the summer and bought the winter home near Palm Beach several years ago.

Sen. William Armstrong, R-Colo., said Dominick's 'life-long example of conviction, determination and compassion are all too rare in public service and other sectors. Peter Dominick, his service and example will not be forgotten by all those he touched, professionally and personally.'

Dominick was born July 7, 1915, to Gayer Gardner and Eleanor Hoyt Dominick in Stamford, Conn. He attended St. Marks School, a private eastern academy, and graduated from Yale University in 1937.

After pursuing a graduate degree from Yale, Dominick joined the New York law firm of Carter, Ledyard and Milburn, then flew four years for the Army Air Corps during World War II, in which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal and Cluster.

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Shortly after the war, Dominick and his family moved to Denver, where he joined the law firm of White and Holland. He was a founding partner of another Denver law firm, Holland and Hart, in 1947.

Dominick won his first elective seat to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1954, representing Arapahoe County. He was elected to Congress in 1960 from Colorado's Second District and in 1962 began his 12-year stint in the Senate, where he became a vocal supporter of a strong military and defense policy.

Dominick, who also took a strong interest in international finance, was defeated in a reelection bid by Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., in 1974.

President Gerald Ford named Dominick ambassador to Switzerland in 1975, but he resigned that same year because of failing health, ending his public life. His illness remained a mystery for several years but finally was diagnosed as multiple sclerosis.

A spokesman for Aycock Funeral Home in Stewart, Fla., said the funeral will be Saturday in Jupiter Island, Fla. Burial was scheduled at an undisclosed location in Colorado, and a memorial service also was planned in Colorado later this week.

Survivors included his wife; three sons, Peter of Denver, Michael of Boulder and Alexander of Washington, D.C.; a daughter, Lynne, of Washington D.C.; a brother, Bayard of New Canaan, Conn., and five grandchildren.

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The family requested contributions to the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Denver General Hospital in lieu of flowers.

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