Jim Galbraith Petty

November 9, 1939 – May 7, 2020



Jim Petty

James Galbraith “Jim” Petty died On May 7, 2020 at age 80 in Raleigh, NC in home hospice care, surrounded by his family after a courageous fight with cancer. Jim was born on November 9, 1939 in Lima, Ohio to William and Jean Petty and raised in the small town of Wapakoneta, Ohio with 3 brothers and 3 sisters. After graduating from Augusta Military Academy in Fort Defiance, Virginia, he attended the University of Virginia where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. After being commissioned as a Naval Officer on June 2, 1962, he served as a Navy Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy from June 1962 to February 1966. While flying the F-4 Phantom supersonic fighter jet as a member of “The
Be-Devilers” of FIGHTER SQUADRON 74 (VF 74), Lieutenant Petty completed two 9-month deployments on the USS FORRESTAL (CV 59), executed numerous night/day carrier landings and air-to-air engagements with Russian aircraft, and received 2 Battle Efficiency Awards from the Atlantic Fleet Commander for his “excellent demonstration and high degree of proficiency in weapons delivery” as a Radar Intercept Officer. While on leave in Virginia Beach, VA at a costume party, Jim met the love of his life and wife of 55 years, Claudette (Saleeby) Petty.

When he asked her what she did for a living, she decided to tell a story and say she was a country music singer, despite being a teacher, which Jim found funny and endearing. After an international romance through letters and calls that included Jim buying a diamond ring during a port visit in Naples, Italy and mailing it to her, Jim and Claudette were married in Wilson, NC on April 10, 1965.

After getting married and leaving the Navy, Jim started his professional Engineering career. He worked as a Mechanical Engineer at J-B Tool & Machine with his brother William “Bill” Petty in Wapakoneta, Ohio; EB White in Wilson, NC; and ultimately at the Square D Corporation in Knightdale, NC where he worked for over 25 years after settling in Raleigh, NC.

Jim lived in the beautiful city of Raleigh, NC for over 45 years with his wife, raising 2 children (Richard and David) , playing tennis, going on beach vacations, and surrounding himself with an incredible group of family and friends too numerous to mention.

Jim Petty

He spent the sweet years of his retirement building custom furniture, landscaping, gardening, cooking, hosting large family gatherings, and spending quality time with his wife, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Jim had an amazing life and the love he shared with all of us will never be forgotten. Jim is survived by his wife Claudette Petty of Raleigh, NC; son Richard (Cathy) Petty of Raleigh, NC; son David (Lisa) Petty of Virginia Beach, VA; grandchild Drew Snodgrass of Charleston, SC; grandchild Hannah (Chris) Xaros of Layton, UT; grandchild Stella Petty of Virginia Beach, VA; grandchildren Helen Grace Petty, Sullivan Petty, and Ryan Petty of Raleigh, NC; sister Martha Holloron of Saint Augustine, FL; brother George (Ann) Petty of Florence, AL; brother Tom (Alice) Petty of King William, VA; sister-in-law Shirley Willett of Raleigh, NC; niece Tamara Petty of Chapel Hill, NC; and great niece Sara Petty of Winston Salem, NC.

Jim is preceded in death by his father William Petty, mother Jean Petty, sister Jane Klopfenstein, sister Chris Petty, brother William “Bill” Petty, and brother-in-law Michael Willett.

Jim will be cremated after a private viewing on May 11, 2020. Funeral plans will be announced when COVID-19 restrictions
are lifted so that more than 10 people can attend the Funeral and appropriate Military Honors can be given.

We will reach out to family and friends when we know more. In lieu of flowers,
please make contributions to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network at https://bcan.org

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