Wayne Arthur Pettis, age 68, of Hutchinson, passed away Wednesday, July 30, 2014, at the Belle Plaine Lutheran Home in Belle Plaine, surrounded by his family and grandchildren, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born Jan. 20, 1946, in New Ulm, the son of Lloyd and Lillian (Anderson) Pettis. Wayne was baptized as an infant at his home in Gibbon, and was later confirmed in his faith as a youth at Augustana Lutheran Church in Gibbon.
Wayne grew up on the family farm in Cornish Township, Sibley County. He received his education in Gibbon, and was a graduate of the Gibbon High School class of 1964. Wayne furthered his education at the Minnesota State University Moorhead.
He joined the United States Army Reserves in November 1967, and was called to active military service May 13, 1968, in Winthrop. Wayne served his country in the Vietnam War, and received an honorable discharge Aug. 11, 1969, at Fort Riley, KS.
Wayne was blessed with two daughters, Lynn and Katie. He resided for several years in southern Minnesota, and then in Cokato for many years. In 2002, he moved to Hutchinson.
Wayne owned Pettis Insurance Company in Cokato, and then operated his insurance business out of his home in Hutchinson.
He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Hutchinson. He was also previously a member of the Cokato American Legion Post 209, where he was Legion commander for three terms. Wayne was currently serving his third term as commander of the Hutchinson American Legion Post 96.
In addition, Wayne was a member of the Hutchinson Memorial Rifle Squad, Hutchinson VFW Post 906, the McLeod County 40 & 8, and the Disabled American Veterans. He was active in Hutchinson Mason Temple Lodge 59, and was a former member of the Litchfield Men’s Choir.
Wayne enjoyed yard work and tending to his gardens, as well as playing bingo, and playing cards with friends for quarters. He especially enjoyed spending time with his family, grandchildren, Legion family, and friends.
Wayne was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010, and doctored at the Minneapolis VA Hospital for four years.
He is survived by his children, Lynn Pettis-Burgemeister and her husband, Eric of Belle Plaine, and Katie Vavreck and her husband, Tyler of Andover; grandchildren Joseph Rayne Burgemeister and Brooke Lynn Burgemeister; sisters Janice Isakson and her husband, Eugene of St. Peter, and Barbara Stumm of Burnsville; brothers Harold Pettis and his wife, Bonnie, and Leslie Pettis and his wife, Diane, all of Gibbon; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Lillian Pettis; and brother-in-law John Stumm.
A memorial service took place Monday, Aug. 4 at 11 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Hutchinson with the Rev. Paulus Pilgrim officiating. The organist was Sharon Barton, and the eulogy was given by Ken Briese and Don Walser. Congregational hymns were “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” and “On Eagle’s Wings.” Special music was “The Battle Hymn Of The Republic.” Interment was at Oakland Cemetery in Hutchinson with military honors provided by the Hutchinson Memorial Rifle Squad.
Honorary bearers were Don Walser, Dave Heidebrink, Phil Trebelhorn, Kevin Erickson, Jerry Block, and Ken Briese.
Arrangements were by the Dobratz-Hantge Chapel in Hutchinson. Online Obituaries and guest book are available at www.hantge.com; click on Obituaries/Guest Book.