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Peter S. Lyde Jr., a gentle big man, dies at 25

PETER SHAFIK LYDE JR. was 6 feet 5 and weighed 425 pounds, but he was, as his family put it, just a "big teddy bear."

PETER SHAFIK LYDE JR. was 6 feet 5 and weighed 425 pounds, but he was, as his family put it, just a "big teddy bear."

Like a lot of big men, Peter was gentle and soft-spoken beneath his bulk. All he wanted out of life was to be a good friend and son, and to have a good time.

But his happy life ended brutally early Sunday, when he was struck by a stray bullet during a fight in a North Philadelphia bar where he was working security.

Peter had never been in the Pleasure's bar at 22nd Street and Ridge Avenue before and he had no involvement in the fight. He and another man had been hired to provide security during the bar's grand opening.

Guns were pulled, shots were fired, and Peter, in the wrong place at the wrong time, was hit. He died shortly after in Temple University Hospital.

"He never saw those guys before," said his father, Peter Lyde Sr. "I'm devastated. My wife is devastated."

Lyde's wife is Municipal Judge Jacqui Frazier-Lyde, daughter of Philadelphia boxing legend Joe Frazier. She had raised Peter from infancy.

Police said no suspects had been arrested in the shooting.

Peter was 25 and lived in Hunting Park.

He was born in Philadelphia to Peter Lyde Sr. and Patricia Nelson. He attended Whitemarsh Elementary in Montgomery County School and Ellwood Elementary in East Oak Lane.

He went on to George Washington High School, where he was a standout defensive end on the varsity football team.

Peter studied computer science at the Berean Institute and also attended the New Harvest Christian Academy.

After high school, he joined Laborers Union Local 332, of which his father is a shop steward. He became his father's assistant working out of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

He worked part time in security for a number of upscale clubs in the city, his father said.

Besides his union work and part-time jobs, Peter worked with his father when he was Jacqui Frazier-Lyde's promoter during her boxing career, and president of SoReal Communications.

"We went to her matches together and he helped me with the finances and merchandise," his father said. "He also provided personal security for his mother.

"He was my rock."

Peter was proud of being the grandson of Joe Frazier.

Although he was too young to see Frazier fight, he attended the many events at which Frazier participated and was honored.

"Being Joe Frazier's grandson was very special to him," Lyde said.

Peter showed up on the cover of a recent issue of Grandparents Magazine depicting Joe Frazier posing with his grandchildren.

"He enjoyed life," his father said. "He liked cooking, traveling, having a good time. He loved to eat out with friends. He loved life to the fullest."

His travels ranged from Canada to Florida and the Caribbean.

Peter also had a rich religious life. He was baptized in 1992 at the Way of the Cross Church of Christ, Broad Street and Wyoming Avenue.

He attended a number of churches around the city and recently became associated with Bishop Rudolph Nash at Zion BBNDC (Bible Believing Non-Denominational Church), Somerset and Ruth streets, Kensington.

He also is survived by a brother and a sister.

Services: 10 a.m. tomorrow at Triumph Baptist Church, Germantown and Hunting Park avenues.

Friends may call at 5 this evening and at 8 a.m. tomorrow. *