Peter Ward Rector, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, passed away March 11, 2019 with his wife of 51 years by his side.
Born October 25, 1938 in Newport, he was the son of the late Mason D. and Bernice (Harvey) Rector. Peter was a proud graduate of Rogers High School, Kenyon College, class of 1960, and Cornell University, class of 1962, where he received a Masters of Business Administration.
After graduate school, Peter began working at the Newport Creamery, his family’s business. He served as the company’s President from 1966 to 1998. For three decades, he touched many lives with his generous spirit. During this time, he brought the Awful, Awful ice milk drink to the Newport Creamery, now a legendary, local treat. Peter served as the Chairman of the Board of Newport Federal Savings Bank from 1966 to 2004. Additionally, he was on the Board of Trustees at Salve Regina University. Always busy and active in the community, Peter also served as board member of the Edgehill Foundation, the Preservation Society of Newport County, and the Newport County Chamber of Commerce. Peter enjoyed memberships at the Newport Country Club and Wanumetonomy Golf and Country Club. Peter and wife, Judy, raised their two sons in Portsmouth. He was often coach of his sons’ Little League baseball and CYO basketball teams.
In recent years, Peter found great joy in spending time with his grandchildren, attending sports games and concerts or playing an enthusiastic game of Monopoly. He was known to organize morning tennis matches for family while on vacation. His adoration of the Yankees – which he liked to share with his Red Sox loving sons – was a constant cause of spirited debate. Miskiania Camp, in Exeter, was a special place for Peter. Every summer, for most of his life, he could be found at the end of the dock with his fishing pole. He shared his love for this peaceful place with his grandkids who helped Grandpa scoop-up bass or pickerel. His family will miss his one-of-a-kind awards ceremonies, warm smile and humble demeanor.
A lifelong Newporter, Peter cherished his “posse” – his wonderful group of friends, the source of many laughs and good times. His family is so grateful for their love and support especially in recent weeks.
Peter is survived by his wife Judy (Cassedy) Rector and two sons; David Mason Rector and his wife Kimberly (Bahs) of Ridgefield, Connecticut and Paul DeMont Rector and his wife Sarah (Cody) of Essex, Connecticut, along with his four grandchildren Leo, Katherine, Samuel and Benjamin.
Calling hours are respectfully omitted. There will be a Celebration of the Life of Peter held Friday, March 15th at 12pm at Our Lady of Mercy Chapel, Salve Regina University, Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, RI.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Mason D. Rector Scholarship Fund at Salve Regina University, would be greatly appreciated. (Salve Regina University, 100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, RI 02840 Atten: University Relations Office). This scholarship fund has been serving students in need of financial aid since its’ foundation in 1966.