Warren Petty

My father's younger brother passed away today.  I was blessed to be with him and  his family last year when he turned 90.  Warren Petty was a bomber pilot in WWII and when he came home, he didn't fly any planes that I knew of. In fact his occupation was a photo engraver and he was a small businessman that manufactured unicycles on the side.

Somehow, this tribute started out just that and it turned into an obituary.  That is not what he or any of the family wanted, especially me.  I had to eliminate the second paragraph at least two times and start over.  Here is the third go.

Warren was one of those guys that loved people and in turn they loved him.  I think sitting on his back porch in Arvada, Colorado was the highlight of most of my trips to Denver.  He was not one to talk about his war service unless I pressed him directly.  He flew bombers during WWII and once described it as hours and hours of butt deadening work with a few intense periods over the target. 

I was a draftee in 1966.  I am sure that Warren's being an officer in WWII did a lot to influence my applying for Officer Candidate School.   I found a lot of people just like Warren in the Military and just kind of hung around the place for 30+ years.  

One story I tell is my surprise when I was reading the "Boy's Life" magazine in the Library at Minneha Elmentary in Wichita.  There in the classified Ads was my cousin Jim in an Ad that said, "Be on Top of the World on a Petty Unicycle."  I won a bunch of bets later on with my friends even if I really never got good enough to ride one. 

My wish in life is that when I am no longer alive, people say the same kind of things about me.  Kind, loving, great stories and a lot of laughs. 


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