His beloved wife of 63 years, Jean B. Pettibone, died in 2010.
The Pettibones raised their family in Northfield, Ill. and are survived by: three daughters, Pamela Pettibone, Susan (Dod) Fraser, and Laura Wright; grandsons Dod (Elisabeth), George and Duncan Fraser, and Torin Wright; and great-grandchildren Claire and Jack Fraser.
He is also survived by his sister, Marie (“Patsy”) P. McKeown and many extended family members.
Mr. Pettibone’s love of family is reflected by the many remembrances from family and friends in which common themes have surfaced – his careful listening, thoughtful observations, subtle humor, and good sportsmanship. Always a gentleman, he expressed genuine interest in the people he met in every aspect of his life.
Mr. Pettibone was born on May 28, 1921 in Chicago to Holman D. and Marie M. Pettibone. Following the example of his father, a former head of Chicago Title and Trust Company, he was active in community and business affairs throughout his life.
Mr. Pettibone was raised in Evanston and Winnetka, attended New Trier High School and graduated with academic distinction from Beloit College, where he played four varsity sports. He received an MBA from the University of Chicago.
A cellist in his early years, he enjoyed music of all kinds. His love of athletic activity, particularly tennis, continued until shortly before his death; he could be found on the courts playing with his children and grandchildren this past August. While playing in national senior tennis tournaments during his 70s, he reached a national ranking of 8th in men’s doubles.
Mr. Pettibone served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II with sea duty in the Pacific. Post-war he worked at G. D. Searle and Company. In 1960 he founded Pettibone-Chicago Inc. as an international distributor of bulk chemicals. After a rewarding career building his business, he sold the company in 1989.
Among Mr. Pettibone’s many business-related activities were serving as president of the Chicago Drug & Chemical Association, Chair of the World Trade Division of Chicago Association of Commerce & Industry, member of the International Policy Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, Trustee of International House at University of Chicago, elected participant from Illinois to the White House Conference on Small Business, co-founder of the Independent Business Association of Illinois, member of the Illinois Governor’s Advisory Committee on Small Business, member of Japan-America Society, and member of the International Trade Club.
After retirement from business, he volunteered for a decade in the Executive Service Corps of Chicago, advising parent organizations in the Chicago Public School system. He also served twice with the International Executive Service Corps as a Marketing Consultant to a large pharmaceutical company in Latvia, where he guided their transition to a free-market society after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
He was active in a variety of other associations, serving as a trustee of the Village of Northfield, trustee of Beloit College, trustee of Northfield Community Church, president of Beloit College Alumni Association, president of Middlefork Tennis Club, president of North Shore Interclub Tennis League, chair of the Northfield Caucus Committee and member of the Chicago Crime Commission. For 10 years he was the president of a family camp in Wisconsin, Camp Wipigaki.
Mr. Pettibone started coming to Boca Grande in 1987, and spent several weeks here each year.
A memorial service will be held on December 1 at 4:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Evanston. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Jean B. Pettibone Scholarship Fund of the Music Institute of Chicago, or the Pettibone Family Scholarship Fund at Beloit College.
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