Home News Pickaway’s oldest veteran, Richard Pettit

Pickaway’s oldest veteran, Richard Pettit


Today, Pickaway County came together to honor one of its most esteemed citizens, Richard Pettit, the county’s oldest living veteran. Born in 1927, Pettit’s journey is a testament to a life filled with service, dedication, and adventure.

Pettit’s roots run deep in Circleville, where he was born over the family tire and appliance store at Court and Franklin Streets. Despite the challenges of his era, Pettit embarked on his college career at OSU in 1945. However, his path was soon altered when he was drafted into the Army Air Corps.

His military journey took him through basic training in San Antonio, Texas, and eventually to Okinawa at the end of World War II. Along the way, he met his future wife, Joanna Grove, with whom he shared a deep connection from childhood playmates to lifelong partners. Together, they ran the family appliance store with skill and dedication, raising two daughters, Leslie Pettit and Lisa Whitehead, and cherishing their four grandchildren. In 1993 they made the decision to close the store and retire.

In retirement, Pettit’s thirst for adventure never waned. He explored the country’s vast landscapes on yearly solo trips out west, reveling in the freedom of the open road. A skilled pilot, he soared the skies in his Cessna and even crafted his own experimental aircraft. His interests extended to craftsmanship, evident in the elaborate ship models he meticulously constructed.

Beyond his personal pursuits, Pettit remained active in his community as a proud member of the Masons, the Scottish Rite, and the Aladdin Shrine. His volunteer work at the Burger hospital gift shop underscored his commitment to serving others.

While Pettit’s beloved wife, Joanna, passed away in 2004, his legacy of service and adventure continues to inspire all who know him. Today, Pickaway County salutes Richard Pettit, a true hero and an embodiment of resilience, determination, and unwavering spirit.