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Born in Mountain Grove, on Nov. 9, 1921 Marian Celesta Montgomery Pettit, 84, was born in Mountain Grove, on Nov. 9, 1921, to Bernice Montgomery Silverman and Charles “Monty” Montgomery.
She passed away on Dec. 11, 2005, surrounded by her family, at St. John’s Regional Health Center in Joplin.
On Valentine’s Day in 1939, Marian met Howard H. Pettit on a blind date while following his swing band. They were married on Dec. 24, 1939, in front of the Christmas tree in the house of Lyle Pettit, Howard’s brother. Howard and Marian had been married for almost 64 years when he passed away on December 14, 2002.
With the onset of World War II, Howard was inducted into the Army and stationed at Camp Kohler, in Sacramento, Calif. At this time, Marian was hired by the United States Government Rationing Board and worked for the Office of Price Administration in Sacramento for almost two years, issuing rationing stamps for consumer goods during wartime.
After Howard’s tenure in the Army, they moved back to Ava, and Marian became actively involved as a partner with Howard in his theatre and dry cleaning businesses. She enjoyed the public and worked side by side with Howard until their retirement in 1984. She spent the next 18 years enjoying his company as well as her family and friends.
Marian was a Christian and a member of the Ava United Methodist Church. She was also a member of Chapter IH of PEO and the Ava Art Club.
Marian was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved Howard.
She is survived by one son H. Bruce Pettit and wife, Pam, of Ava; two daughters, Carole Hayes, of Joplin, and Marsha Cowan and husband, Ron, of Rolla; five grandchildren Kelsea and Richelle Pettit of Ava, Shannon Bruffy and husband Bill of Oronogo, Matthew Cowan of Columbia, and Michael Cowan, of Rolla; two great-grandchildren, Bill and Emily Bruffy, of Oronogo; and a host of relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, in the Ava United Methodist Church under the direction of Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ava, with the Revs. Oren Alcorn and Greg Dowler officiating. Burial will follow in the Ava Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today (Thursday) in the Ava United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests the contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Association c/o Research, the Douglas County Historical Society, or PEO, Chapter IH, program for continuing education.