Peter Joseph Manning, 78 of Portsmouth passed away on March 22, 2022. Peter was born in Newport, RI to the late Joseph and Beth (Alger) Manning. Peter passed away at home embraced by his loving family .

A lifelong Newporter, Peter was the loving husband of Cynthia Burke and the father of his favorite daughter, Melissa M. Moss (Thomas) from his previous marriage to Paula Bettencourt.

Peter was a graduate of Rogers High School, Class of 1961, later graduating from Wentworth Institute and Roger Williams University.

He served as a member of the RI National Guard from 1964 to 1975, achieving the rank of Captain, commanding the 115th Military Police Company in Pawtucket.

In 1965 Peter joined the New England Telephone Company. Within his 32 year career he assumed a variety of responsibilities in various location in across RI and MA. After retirement Peter decided to try out a different line of work and became a bartender at the popular Rhumbline restaurant in Newport 1998-1999. He then returned to work as a contractor for 2 additional years with what is now called Verizon.

Volunteerism when time permitted was a nice change of pace:

Auxiliary RI State Trooper (1969-1970)
St Marys Children’s Home (1996-1999)
Rhode Island Special Olympics
Potter League for Animals
Posing as Santa Claus for pet photos for donations to local animal shelters
American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina August 2005
Rhode Island Blood Bank
Therapy Dogs International
St Theresa’s Church Tiverton serving Thanksgiving Dinners to those in need
Father Flanagans Boys Town, Portsmouth, RI (2014-2017)
Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs
Portsmouth Covid vaccine distribution (Med-Pod) 2021

His interest in animals, dogs in particular, and his retirement allowed him the opportunity to adopt a dog of his own. That one step would evolve in the creation of Pet Connection, which became a full-time training, boarding and therapy dog organization. In addition to working with hundreds of dogs and owners, his therapy dogs visited patients in hospitals, nursing homes, students in schools and colleges across Rhode Island. Peter and his therapy dog Auggie, made countless visits to Miriam Hospital, Women and Infants Hospital, Newport Hospital, and Rhode Island Hospital. Their focus was the Oncology Infusion Center, and Surgical Ward-Post Op. Together they also provided comfort to those suffering in the aftermath of the Newtown and Boston Marathon tragedies.

Peter was preceded by is parents, Joseph and Beth Manning and is survived by his two loves, wife Cynthia and daughter Melissa.

In Lieu of flowers, please donate in Peter’s honor to Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. via https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1473005 or https://golden-dogs.org/donate/ .

A memorial service will be held on Saturday April 2, 2022 at 11:00 AM at Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway in Newport. Burial will immediately follow at Trinity Cemetery in Portsmouth. A Celebration of Life to honor Peter and the impact he made will be held at 12:30 PM at Food Works, 2461 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI.

May he rest in peace, Godspeed

Memorial Funeral Home

This obituary was originally published by Memorial Funeral Home on www.memorialfuneralhome.com. It has been republished here with permission and at no cost.