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June 1, 2020
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Richard Eugene Pettitt


Published May 22, 2020

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Richard Eugene Pettitt, 70, passed away suddenly on May 17. It was sunny. He was in his favorite spot on his favorite beach with one of his best friends.

The day before he sat in the same spot belly laughing with his “sun sisters”—they called him their “best girlfriend” and their “forever plus one.” They were his happy place.

He was born on Aug. 19, 1949, to his late parents Elenora (Ellie) Pettitt McMunn and William Pettitt in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He studied industrial management and graduated from Youngstown University in Ohio. He was also a proud member of Theta Chi National Social Fraternity.

Richard was the most positive, loving, caring soul. He always truly saw only the best in others. He treasured his children and embraced every moment with them. He especially loved his role as grandpa. He made friends everywhere he went and always told us that his colleagues at Kohl’s in Branford, and William Raveis Real Estate in Madison, were so special to him. Richard had this aroma about him. He was able to connect with everyone in the room to some degree. And by the end, everyone felt like they left with a new friend.

His passions revolved around the beach and sunshine. Kayaking, collecting sea glass, shells, and arrowheads, sunbathing, swimming—absolutely the tannest person in our family by far. He loved what some detest like weeding and yard work. Weekly visits to the Madison Coffee Shop for doughnuts, friends, and laughter were a must. You’ve likely seen him in his full Adidas attire head to toe, his bathing suit, or his business suit.

Richard is survived by his children Devon Pettitt (wife Sarah), Breeann O’Connor (husband Tom), Mackensie Brunetto (husband Eric), and Shayln Johanson (husband Max). He is also survived by his grandchildren Reese and Graeme Pettitt, Isabelle and Thomas O’Connor, Ellie Rose and Oliver Brunetto, and Everly Johanson.

He also leaves his twin brother Daniel Pettitt (wife Jo Anne) of Charlottesville, Virginia, and sister Nancy Aubel of New Castle, Pennsylvania; and many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.

Some of his favorite quotes are “To thine own self be true,” “Don’t sweat the small stuff...and it’s all small stuff,” and “Wear life as a loose garment.”

Memorial services will be held at a later date with assistance from Swan Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to Save the Sound. Please visit for tributes and service updates.

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