KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A legacy that lives on in stories told and stories shared. That is how the family of an East Tennessee World War II Veteran will remember their hero.
Bud Petit, 99, died in November and his family hopes by sharing their memories of “LaFollette’s favorite” Petit’s legacy will live on.
“He didn’t know a stranger,” his great-niece Tina Baltimore said.
“Family was of the utmost importance to him,” his grandson David Gooding said.
Petit served five years in the US Army, in World War II. A job, his great-niece said, was a position he saw as his duty.
When he got out of the Army, he got a job at Chrysler — a position that would take him to Detroit, Delaware, and finally, back to LaFollette, Tennessee.
“He loved it, that he was retired longer than he worked there. He said, ‘I’m sticking it to Social Security,'” said Baltimore.
His greatest love was his wife of 71 years, Camilla. The person, his grandchildren say, they believe he is reunited with now.
Named after her grandmother, Petit’s granddaughter Cammy Blevins remembers road trips with her grandparents and the stories they would tell.
“I wouldn’t take anything for those hours in the car with them because they were, they were precious that he traveled well, didn’t complain about my driving,” said Blevins.
The family also sharing a video from the Mayor of Sarajevo, singing “Happy Birthday,” sent to Petit on his last birthday in October.
“Uncle Bud was in a room full of three hundred people, including generals and politicians, diplomats from all over the world, dignitaries. And he was recognized in the whole room, got a standing ovation,” Baltimore said.
“A lot of people didn’t believe he was old enough to have been in World War Two,” said Gooding.
Remembered as a hero and a Veteran, Petit’s family said they remember him best as, “Bud.”
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