George Wesley Pettis, Sr, age 90, of Blaine, lost his short battle with cancer and went home to be with his Lord on April 29, 2016. Retired US Army. Funeral service 11:00 A.M. Monday, May 2nd with visitation one hour prior to service at Blaine Baptist Church, 46 – 117th Avenue NE, Blaine.
George Wesley Pettit, Sr., was born on Sept. 16, 1925 to George Wesley and Mildred Leona (Guptill) Pettit in Oregon City, Ore., joining sister Nathalie. After his father died young, he was raised by stepfather Oliver Jacobson. George enlisted in the Army in April 1945 and over the course of his military career, he served in three wars: World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He spent the majority of his career overseas, including Okinawa, Japan right after the war, the Virgin Islands, Germany, Korea and Vietnam. In 1971, he was in Vietnam while his eldest son was also serving there. George began his career as a radar repairman and ended it as a trainer in Fort Bliss, Texas in August 1971. After his retirement from the Army, he worked for a charitable organization in Spokane, Wash. for 15 years before he finally retired for good.
George met Leona Mae Pollard in Erie, Penn. and married her seven days later on Feb. 17, 1950. They lived throughout the U.S. and the world while he was in the Army, deployed sometimes for a year or two at a time. Their adventures included four years in Germany. Three of George’s sons followed him into the military. He was a lifelong member of the VFW.
His children remember him as a man who was fiercely patriotic. The Army enabled him to serve his country while providing for his large family. He was dedicated to God, to his family and to his country.
George was an avid bowler, and was a member of the Alley Cats bowling team at Ham Lake Lanes for over 20 years. Just a few weeks before he died, he bowled a 200 game, and they shut down the alley to recognize him. He will be featured in a bowling magazine in May.
He loved to dance, and would dance with his daughters standing on his feet. When they were young, he played the harmonica. While living in Idaho, he enjoyed hunting for big game with members of his church. His children and grandchildren are spread out across the United States in seven states, but he worked to keep in touch with them, praying steadfastly for all and spending his vacations with them. He enjoyed spending Father’s Day at Back to the 50s, and could name every car. He spent Thursday nights over the past 20 years with his eldest son George Pettit, Jr. watching television, chatting about life, and serving his “famous” cooking.
His church was an important part of his life, and he met with six grandchildren for over 20 years to teach Bible lessons. He was a person who would help whenever there was a need; he’d give away money, fix your car or let a child move back home for awhile.
George Pettit Sr. passed away in his sleep 16 days after being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
He is survived by children George Pettit, Jr. (Beverly), Cathy Finnesgard (Mark), Virgil Pettit, Doreen Stroud (Carey), Rebecca Tricaglou (George), Paul Pettit (Amy) and Mark Pettit (Alana); 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his wife Leona (2012), daughter Elizabeth (at birth) and son John (1993).