Peter Joseph Ney was born at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut on July 6, 1955, to Peter and Josephine Ney. He grew up in the town of Hamden, Connecticut, graduating from Hamden High School in 1973. In January 1974 Pete joined the Navy and served in various capacities from 1974 to 1987. He spoke often of his time on the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), the first operational nuclear-powered submarine.
In 1980, Pete married Wendy Carpenter and moved to New Haven, Connecticut. Together, they had two daughters, Mandy and Corey.
Pete moved across the country to Springfield, OR in 2003. He worked briefly at Jerry’s Home Improvement Center, then at the call center for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) in Springfield, OR. Pete stayed at RCCL for 10 years as a Resolution Specialist, 2004-2014. His hard work and attention to detail paid off when he was selected to be a guest on a preinaugural cruise aboard the Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world at the time (2009).
In 2008, Pete met his future wife, Connie. He soon moved to Glendale, OR, commuting daily to Springfield, OR until 2014. Pete and Connie were married on September 4, 2011.
In October of 2014, Pete retired from Royal Caribbean. Although he enjoyed retirement, he soon grew bored and decided to go back to work. Pete was hired by the South Umpqua School District in Myrtle Creek, OR as an instructional assistant for Special Education at South Umpqua High School. At first, he worked with students in a Resource Room setting, helping with Social Studies and other subjects. He was later assigned to the Alternative Education program where he worked with students who found conventional programs and classrooms difficult. Although this job was demanding and often frustrating, Pete felt this was probably one of the most important things he had done. Helping kids find their way and making them feel empowered was important to him. He also had the opportunity to get to know other kids while working in the school cafeteria. Pete had a great sense of humor and used it often while interacting with kids and other staff members.
Pete and Connie had many adventures together: cruises to the Caribbean, trips to Montana, Wisconsin, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, and California. After his retirement from Royal Caribbean, Pete joined the Glendale Valley Singers and participated in many fun shows. In April of 2022, Pete and Connie purchased a travel trailer and began planning a long trip to Connecticut for September of 2023, his 50th class reunion. Pete retired from the South Umpqua School District in June of 2022.
Pete was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in October of 2022. He then developed kidney failure. Pete died at home on November 26, 2022, with his wife at his side.
Pete is survived by his wife Connie Ney, brother Tom Ney (Eileen) Venice, FL, and daughters Mandy Ney and Corey Velez (Chris, Cameron, Chloe), Connecticut. He was loved by his Oregon family: Ryan Jephson (Olivia), Sarah Jephson (Christy), and his five grandchildren: Auna, Lola, Ruby, Emma, and Gary. He leaves behind many cousins, nieces, and nephews in various parts of the country (Connecticut, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, and Oregon).
In the final weeks of his life, Pete was blessed to reconnect with family and friends from all over: New Haven, Connecticut; Hamden, Connecticut; Hamden High School, the US Navy, Royal Caribbean, and many beloved students (and staff members) from South Umpqua High School.
A graveside service will be held for Pete at the Glendale Memorial Cemetery on December 9, 2022 at 1:00 pm with an informal reception to follow at his home. Hull and Hull Funeral Home in Grants Pass, Oregon will manage the arrangements.