Westport High Remembers Classmate With Bow Tie Tribute
Last week marked the two-year anniversary of the sharpest dressed man at Westport High School, Peter Habib, who unexpectedly died during his sophomore year. Students came out together in full force to remember Habib and his legendary wardrobe.
A few days after Habib, 16, passed in March 2013, his classmates planned a suitable tribute to remember their fellow classmate with a “dress-up day.” Girls wore dresses, boys wore jackets, and almost everyone wore bow ties. Teachers and administrators joined in their students in the tribute.
According to the Standard Times, “He had high expectations and morals for himself,” said mother Susan Habib. “He didn’t like looking sloppy. He loved to dress nice.” He’s remembered for his tuxedos, suit jackets, bright button-downs, and most importantly, his bow ties, which he wore everyday except for on gym days.
Now two years later, the senior class and fellow classmates felt it was right to dress up one last time before graduation in honor of the friend they lost. The eighth grade advanced program at the high school wanted to give hope to the Class of 2015 that Peter will be remember for years to come, so they dressed up for the tribute too.
According to the Standard Times, “the gesture touched Susan, who lived with Peter, her only child, and husband Bruce on Plymouth Boulevard. It reminded her of the kindness her son’s friends showed immediately following his death, when they visited the Habib home to share memories and offer help.”
“I am thrilled they still all remember Peter and still love him very much,” said mother Susan Habib. “The kids in Westport are supportive. I’ve never seen a group of kids rally together like they have.”
He cherished his bow ties and hit the jackpot a few years ago when a family friend gave him a few boxes of old bow ties. “It was like Christmas in July,” Susan said. “He lit right up. He taught himself how to tie every different type of bow tie.”
“Peter would always say he wanted everyone to look their best,” said friend and classmate Kassidy Cestodio. “That was his thing. Dress your best.”
After picking the bow ties she wanted to keep and letting Peter’s best friends do the same, Susan put the rest in a basket at her son’s wake for visitors to take. Many of the bow ties students wear in memory of Peter were once his.
Peter had Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder affecting the ability to socialize and communicate. In his youth, he was teased and made to feel like an outsider, according to his mother, who feared the older students would “eat him up” once he got to high school, but the opposite happened. “They embraced him with open arms,” Susan said. “He blossomed. He just blossomed.”
While at Westport High, Peter an accomplished pianist, worked on his acting and singing skills, which he had the opportunity to bring to Boston Symphony Hall weeks before his death, and always had a thirst for knowledge.
Peter wanted to set a good example for others and wasn’t afraid to be unique, which made his parents so proud. So today, whip out those bow ties and dress clothes and remember Peter for the kind, sharp dressed, blossoming young man he was.