Peter Austin Pane was born to Richard and Elizabeth Pane on April 17, 1987, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father, Richard, worked in construction. His mother, Elizabeth, had been a mathematics prodigy but dropped out of the University of Pennsylvania when she learned she was expecting Peter, a fact which Peter always believed caused his mother to resent him.
Peter was a happy child in his first two years. His father doted on his every accomplishment. But upon the birth of his younger sister Wendy, Peter had to share his parents' attention with her.
As with many siblings, there was a fair amount of competition between Wendy and him. While Peter studied very hard and invested a lot of time and energy to his schoolwork, Wendy still outshined him more often than not. He wouldn't have minded it so much if it hadn't seemed she did it with such little effort.
Throughout their childhood, they challenged one another on any and all topics. There was not one subject on which the siblings saw eye to eye. Naturally, this led to many pranks and practical jokes, where the recipient would vow to get the prankster back.
Despite this competitiveness, they got along as most brothers and sisters do. However, when their parents' marriage fell apart, the family dynamics shifted drastically. Where Peter once relied on his father as an ally, he now felt outnumbered because of the bond between Elizabeth and Wendy and his father's absence from the household.
For Peter, one of the saddest days of his life was when his father moved out. From that time forward, he had little time with Richard. After the divorce, Richard was bitter and rapidly slipping into alcoholism. He always complained to Peter about Elizabeth. He assured his son that all his woes were Elizabeth's fault because Elizabeth had broken up their home and denied them their father/son relationship.
Years of listening to his father's complaints drove a wedge between Peter and his mother, and by his eighteenth birthday, he felt alienated and alone. He decided to go to school at the University of Texas to get away from his mother and sister.
While in college, he dated Julianne Bower. They married on September 5, 2009, and moved to Dallas, Texas. From the beginning, the marriage was rocky. Peter, following his father's example, had taken to overindulgence in alcohol. Even after Julianne discovered she was pregnant in early 2013, Peter just couldn't clean up his act. In the end, Julianne kicked him out in June of 2013, and they were divorced a few months later.
Peter's daughter, Jacinta, was born that November. Though Peter has always stayed current with his child support payments, he does not see his daughter very often. She and her mother still reside in Dallas.
On his 27th birthday, less than a year after his divorce, Peter received word that his father had died in Pittsburgh of cirrhosis of the liver. He was devastated by the loss and very upset that neither his mother nor sister attended the funeral.
Peter's grief only intensified his problems with alcohol. He began to have difficulty at work and was eventually fired. But the loss of his job served as a wake-up call for Peter. He knew he had to change his ways, so he went to rehab and got clean and sober. When he was able to get a new job with a top tier company a few weeks after getting out of rehab, Peter knew his hard work had paid off.
Not long after starting his new job, Peter also started a new relationship with Amanda Hansen, a woman he met in Dallas. In January 2015, he decided to start his own business, and he and Amanda moved to her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
Peter soon found his entrepreneurial feet, connecting software developers with investors, including venture capitalists and Internet companies. He works freelance from his home office in Memphis and has done well in his business ventures over the past two years. By 2016, he was debt-free and had bought a home, a new car, and some impressive artwork.
In September 2016, Peter learned his sister, Wendy, had moved to Oxford, Mississippi when she contacted him at his home in Memphis. They were both surprised and delighted to discover that they could put the past behind them and enjoy an adult relationship.
Wendy was impressed with how much Peter had turned his life around and made something of himself. He was stable and had a home and a lovely girlfriend, Amanda Hansen, whom Wendy really liked. In fact, Wendy was so impressed, she agreed to allow her brother to handle the negotiations to sell the next software program she developed. They believed it was a new beginning, one they both truly wanted.
Peter was so devastated by his sister's death, he was inconsolable during the funeral preparations and service, and the family turned to Wendy's long-time friend, Anil Virani, to deliver the eulogy.