This week Barbara read a book that was written backwards on purpose. It started where most books leave off and tell the story back to the beginning. I have been really trying to find a good way to tell my Factional Autobiography. I don't remember everything in enough detail that I would call it fact or an Autobiography. There has to be enough of my war stories thrown in to make it readable.
I think it needs to start with my Obituary so here is a go at that:
Colonel (Ret) Dennis Earl Petty
Age - OLDER than Dirt
Dennis Petty of Tecumseh died rather than sit around and waste away until he was no longer functional. He was born in Wichita, Kansas on the 1st of August 1947 to Glen Walter and Virginia Dene (Lee) Petty.
Dennis grew up in Wichita and attended Minneha until later he graduated from Wichita High School East in 1965. Dennis was drafted into the Army in 1966. He attended Officer’s Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Field Artillery on the third of July 1967. Upon Graduation, Dennis was assigned to Fort Irwin, California where he met and married the love of his life, Barbara. He then served a tour in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal with “V” device for his service during the war.
Upon discharge from the Army Dennis continued his education at Wichita State and Kansas University on the GI Bill. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business from Kansas University in 1975. He was a life long Jay hawk fan.
While a student at KU, Dennis Joined the Kansas Army National Guard. He Commanded Battery B, 2-130th FA in Horton, Kansas. He went to work for the Guard full time in 1975 and later commanded the 1st Battalion, 127th Field Artillery, 35th Infantry Division in Ottawa, Kansas. Dennis served on the staffs of two excellent Adjutant’s Generals and one of kind of OK guy. He assisted with planning and delivery of six Kansas Governor’s Inaugurals and the Military portion of the funeral of Alf Landon. He assisted in the writing and development of the Military Support Plan for the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant. He served as the “Big Bunny” as the planner for the Governor’s Easter egg hunt on many occasions. For many years Dennis coordinated the International Officer’s visit to Topeka from Fort Leavenworth. Dennis wrote prepared slides and delivered the Adjutant General's briefing to many groups. He served as President of the Kansas National Guard Association in 1988. He helped that organization reach 100% Officer strength that year. Colonel Petty worked full time for the Kansas Army National Guard until he retired as the Director of Plans, Operations, and Training in 1997 with 30 years service as a commissioned officer and over 20 years of Civil Service. Along with medals and ribbons for long service, he was awarded the the Meritorious Service Medal and the Legion of Merit.
Dennis sang with the Topeka Capitol Barbershop Chorus and the Free State Barbershop quartet. He was also a member of the Topeka Area Classic Chevy Club. Dennis volunteered with the Topeka Performing Arts Center. Dennis trained for and was a Master Foods Volunteer for the Shawnee County Extension program. Until his death, Dennis served as the head laborer, chief cook and bottle washer for his wife at Rabbit Run Farms in Tecumseh. Barbara said he would just load the dishwasher after a bad experience in the 9th grade when he got a D in Algebra and had to was the dishes for a family of six for 9 weeks.
Dennis Married his wife Barbara Jean (Schmoe) Petty in 1968 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was one of the few gambles he ever won there. They have one son David Petty who with his wife Barbara N. Petty live in Tecumseh. Other survivors include: His sisters; Myrna Ikenberry and her husband, Ray, of Lawrence; Carol Lee Landis and her husband, Alan, of Lawrence; and his brother Richard Petty of Skiatook, Oklahoma.
It was Dennis's goal in life was to arrive at the place of his death worn out, used well and put away wet a lot. He wanted to slide in the oven a day before the Devil knows he is gone. He wants to shout Yahoo so loud that the Devil is scared of who's coming. Dennis will be cremated and buried someplace when his wife figures out where at a later date. His military friends are all invited to meet him in due course at Fiddlers Green where he will have a cold canteen of Muzzle Blast waiting for them. Dennis has encouraged memorial donations be sent to the Museum of the Kansas National Guard, Forbes Field.
I am not dead yet Boys and Girls. Hope to be doing this for a long time
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