Thursday, March 8, 2012
We all lost a friend in the early morning hours of Monday, March 5th. At the early age of 58 Uncle Bruce Pettitt ended his courageous battle with the disease that has affected us all. My memories are many! From golf to bowling to just socializing.
With all of those memories abetted deep in my heart I have to say the one that I will never forget is the way that he fought the brutal disease that ended his life. He confronted the illness like the true gambler that he was. He always made the most of the hand he was dealt and this hand took his best poker face because I am sure that he was hurting more than anyone ever knew. He showed an unbelievable positive attitude during his last hand. There was none of the “poor me attitude.”
You see he was an unselfish friend who always greeted you with a smile and always asked about you first. On my visits to the hospital he enjoyed picking on the nurses and I know that they had just as much fun picking on him. Before each and every one of them left the room he thanked them for what they had just done.
As the beautifully written recap of his life in Wednesday’s Daily Times Herald Newspaper stated he was a competitor in every sense of the word. He competed as a professional bowler and always took pride in his 34 year consecutive journey to the National Bowling Tournament. He anchored bowling teams with the best bowlers from around the area as his teammates. Bowlers with names like Ware, Janning, Puffett, Riddle, Hackett, Louis and Franey(I can hear him laughing at the last one). If a double was needed in the tenth to win the game you might as well go to the bar and order another beer as you knew Bruce could and would take care of it.
On the golf course his competitive spirit continued on every round from a nine hole skins game to the club and city tournaments to the Papa Joe Classic to the Bill Franey Open. I honestly believe that he viewed his best time on the golf course was spent watching or caddying for his nieces or nephews. One of the last days that I visited him in the hospital he had his laptop on his tray table so he could follow Kirby in a tournament in Hawaii. He was very proud of all of you and I know that he appreciated how well you treated him.
Bruce’s true happiness was his Tricia Sue. I had the honor to be with Bruce at Tricia’s wedding in Nevada and I can tell you the thought and act of giving his daughter away was one of the hardest moments of his life. When Tricia and Scott decided it was time to have a child Grandpa Bruce was all in to spoil Zachary. You know something is really special out West when Bruce went to Las Vegas and did not even gamble.
He loved life, his family and his friends. He made the most of every minute even in his last days. I am proud to say that Bruce was my friend. As a gambler you know when to fold them and Bruce was ready to go start another game with his buddies Dave Auen and Chuck Ware.
Bruce I hope that all of your frames are perfect, all of your shots are straight and all of your hands are blackjacks.
Take care my friend and thank you!