William Pettit Jr.
William “Bill” Pettit 91, of Jackson was called home to be with the Lord December 12 in Jackson. A celebration of life service honoring Pettit was held December 15 at Natchez Trace Funeral Home in Madison. Graveside services followed at Natchez Trace Memorial Park Cemetery.
William was born June 11, 1927 in Vance, to the late William “Bud” Pettit Sr. and Willie Mae Haley Pettit.
He served in WWII and when he returned home he married the love of his life in 1948 in Charleston, Miss. They moved to Arlington, Va. in the ’50s and he worked with his uncle Harvey Pettit in the Good Food Shop Restaurant. In the ’60s he moved his family to Jackson and that is where they remained. He worked as a mechanic and a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service until he retired from the Postal Service in 1986.
That is when he turned his hobby of crappie fishing into a fine art. He was president of the Mid South Crappie Club and had a crappie fishing guide service on the Ross Barnett Reservoir. People came from all over the United States and paid good money for Bill to show them his “honey holes.” Jerry Clower was one of his most frequent customers. He had stories written in many magazines and newspapers and was on fishing television shows. He was absolutely one of the most knowledgeable and best crappie fishermen in Mississippi.
He was active outdoors until his health failed a year ago. He never met a stranger, knew how to fix anything and made the best hamburger steak you have ever eaten. He was a true Southern Gentleman and his word was his bond. He meant what he said and it was his way or the highway. He was the best husband, daddy and grandfather that anyone could ever ask for and we are all going to be lost without him and his guidance. He was truly our rock.
He is preceded in death by his parents, son Thomas “Tommy” E. Pettit, sister Mary Ann Ellett, brothers Kenneth Pettit, Wayne Pettit and Graham Bonner Pettit, and son-in-law Frank Keller.
William is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Betty Jo Dungan Pettit of Jackson; daughters Debbie Keller of Jackson, and Linda Gail Poole (Carroll) Webb City, Mo.; sisters Martha Kyle of Scobie, and Carolyn Little of Cleveland; grandchildren Monica Gilmer of Brandon, Lori Link (Berry) of Webb City, Shannon Keller (Melissa) of Cocoa, Fla., Greg Tant of Madison, Jeff Tant (Willis) of St. Johns Island, S.C., Derek Poole of Brandon, and Brent Keller (Jessica) of Jackson; long with a host of precious and loving great, and great-great-grandchildren.