MANCHESTER, NH — Peter J. Fleming, 55, passed away peacefully on April 20, 2020, at the Ridgewood Center in Bedford. His death was caused by an aggressive brain tumor.
Peter attended Pearl Street School, Hillside Junior High and the Easter Seals Jolicoeur School. He was very proud that he completed a course at the Granite State College.
No one can question the size of Peter’s heart and sincere desire to help others, especially those with intellectual and physical disabilities. The President and CEO of Special Olympics NH described Peter as “iconic.” Some of the most common words used to describe him are; “humble, compassionate, caring, committed, tireless, inspirational and loving.”
Peter first joined Special Olympics in 1982 as an athlete. In 1986 Peter moved to the Jolicoeur Jaguars where he was an athlete, coach and board member. He bowled at the 8th Special Olympics World Games in Minneapolis in 1991, and traveled to the National Games Iowa in 2006.
Peter has been a medal-winning skier for the past six years as a member of the Manchester Special Olympics Ski Team. Over the years he also participated as an athlete and coach in track and field, basketball, swimming, and golf. One of his golf partners recalls Peter making two birdies in one round of golf.
Peter began his wonderful relationship with Best Buddies International in 2009, and was instrumental in the opening of a NH Chapter four years later. He attended the National Leadership Conference in Indianapolis for 12 years, and served on their Advisory Board for eight years.
Peter was also a Global Messenger. Through his participation in these organizations, and serving on the NH Governors Council on Developmental Disabilities, as well as many other councils, Peter became a well-respected advocate and ambassador for his community.
Peter’s vibrant personality and his dedication to the disability community earned him the friendship of many people. Many of his fellow athletes looked up to him, as well as many Best Buddies, and his amazing friends at the Manchester Fire Department, and law enforcement officers throughout the state. He had no trouble making friends!
Peter took pride in being a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Lions organizations.
Peter was pre-deceased by his parents, James F. Fleming and Catherine H. (Keane) Fleming, his brother John Fleming and his nephew Timothy Fleming. Peter is survived by his brothers, James Fleming and Stephen Fleming of Manchester, Mark Fleming of Concord, Bryan Fleming and his wife Jeanne of Longwood, FL; his sister, Kathy Klein and her husband Bill of Bedford. Sisters-in-law Deborah Fleming of Colorado Springs, CO, and Lisa McDowell of Deering. He was very proud of his nephews and nieces: Mackenzie and his fiancee Molly, Mitchell, John, Collin, Caitlin and Danielle, as well as many cousins and relatives.
A private service will be held by the family.
Celebrations of Peter’s life will be organized through Special Olympics and Best Buddies. Memorial contributions may be made to Special Olympics of NH, 650 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101 or Best Buddies International, c/o NH 100 SE Second St, Suite 2200, Miami, FL 33131.
Condolences may be sent to www.caringbridge.org/visit/Peterfleming326. Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting with arrangements. To send an online message of condolence, please go to www.lambertfuneralhome.com.