Homer Alaska - Obituaries

Story last updated at 4:47 PM on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

John S. Pettavino

Sept. 25, 1919-Aug. 9, 2011

John S. Pettavino, 91, died Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, in Homer at South Peninsula Hospital. His daughter, Paula Pettavino, and "First Friend" Shirley Timmreck were at his side. A World War II combat veteran, Pettavino's remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Va. A U.S. flag was flown at half-mast for Pettavino by his friends and neighbors at Thermal Products in New Orleans.


John S. Pettavino

Pettavino was born Sept. 25, 1919, in New Orleans, where he grew up there. He joined the U.S. Army in 1941. When the war started, he was assigned to the Americal Division. On Guadalcanal, in one of the first land battles in the South Pacific, Pettavino received the Bronze Star and the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation.

After the war, he was employed by the U.S. Postal Service in the years when a mail car was included on passenger trains between New Orleans and Texas.

Pettavino and Timmreck were both from New Orleans and first met in 1937 at business school when they were 17. After 72 years of separate lives they found each other by phone Sept. 12, 2008, and exchanged visits in the summer and winter for three years. Johnny will be missed by Shirley and the many friends he made here in Homer.