Col. (Ret.) William M. Pettigrew, III

col. (ret.) william pettigrew,

July 27, 1934 ~ May 18, 2021

Born in: Walker Co., GA
Resided in: Arden, NC

USMC Col. (Ret.) William M. “Mick” Pettigrew, III, of Arden, died peacefully Tuesday, May 18, 2021.

A native of Walker County, GA, he was a son of the late William Malcolm Pettigrew, Jr. and Mary Caldwell Pettigrew. He was also preceded in death by two sisters, Linda Stiles and Ann Tignor, one brother, Jim Pettigrew, and one son, David Malcolm Pettigrew.

Mick graduated from Berry College, GA and was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps in 1957. He was a Naval Aviator with a distinguished career of 30 years’ honorable service. His assignments included several AH-1 and UH-1 squadrons, two combat tours in Vietnam, Naval Flight Instructor, Presidential Helicopter pilot at HMX-1, Commanding Officer of HMA-369, Director of NROTC Unit at The Citadel, and tours at the Marine Aviation Training Support Group in Pensacola, FL. He has a graduate degree from the Air Command and Staff College. His personal awards are the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal 40th Award, Navy Commendation Medal with Gold Star and Combat V, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, and other Commendations.

In the years following his military retirement, he and Jonnie had several successful business endeavors. The most notable of which was owning the Happy Valley RV Park in Maggie Valley, NC for 14 years.

Mick was charismatic, loved a great conversation, a good laugh, and to be near the mountains. During their many adventures throughout the world, he and Jonnie made many lifelong friends. He will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 65 years, Jonnie Faye Pettigrew; one son, Jeffrey Allen Pettigrew and his wife, Sarah, of Port Tobacco, MD; daughter-in-law, Anne Pettigrew of Summerville, SC; three sisters, Billy Jean Kirkland of Chattanooga, TN, Janette Lemons of LaFayette, GA and Sue Bowman of Ft. Oglethorpe, GA as well as many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

A Celebration of Mick’s life will be held at 1:00 PM on Friday, May 28, 2021 in the chapel of Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian. The service will be livestreamed thru the funeral home’s Facebook page. A reception will be held at the funeral home following the service until 4:00 PM.

Mick’s family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in his memory to his favorite charity St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Celebration of Life: May 28, 2021 1:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


Reception: May 28, 2021 2:00 pm - June 20, 2024 4:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
72 Long Shoals Road
Arden, NC 28704


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Memories Timeline


  1. From the Ridley family, our condolences to Jeff and the entire Pettigrew family during this time of loss. May God’s peace and family memories comfort you during this time of loss. Colonel Pettigrew was obviously a great man, husband, father and Marine Corps Officer, and this I see reflected in his son Jeff.

  2. From John & Virgene Harder,

    We enjoyed the hospitality of Mick in Maggie Valley, NC

  3. My deepest sypmathy to the entire Pettigrew family. Mick was my brother in law’s brother. When my husband was in the Asheville VA Jim told Mick. I was back at work in GA and went up on weekends. Mick took time to go visit Bobby. Bobby was so impressed that he would cone tp vist and enjoyed the visit so much. Bobby never forgot it. Sending sympathy, love and prayers. Tammy

  4. Dear Jonnie and family, My heart goes out to you, knowing that losing your partner of many years is incredibly difficult. But you’ll feel his presence until you join him. There are so many memories to leaf through, and some that will appear out of nowhere, to humor you, to bless you, but best of all, to remind you/us that you spent most of your life with him, and those were the best years, and the saddest ones, but you were together. My Mike passed ten years ago, but he’s still omnipresent.
    My chief worry is, who will Malcolm have to swap war stories with? Ah, those Marines! Love to you,
    Winnie Tierney

  5. Mick and Jonnie were my neighbors for a few years in Asheville. I shared memories with Mick that my dad was a Marine also. I even gave Mick some drinking glasses that belonged to my dad with the Marine emblem on them. Mick was a super person to be around and will be truly missed. My deepest sympathy to Jonnie and the family.

  6. I will miss getting to know Mick better. I expect we will meet again where our ailments are gone and we can enjoy fellowship together. My condolences to Jonny and the family. Mick was a friend and cousin that I will miss.

  7. Thinking of you in these difficult times and sending love from long time friend from Iwakuni, Japan

  8. My deepest condolences during this difficult time. There is no doubt Mick was a great American and took proud in all facets of life. You and Mick reared an excellent son, my previous boss for nearly three years.

    Peace be with you,
    Jason Hernandez

  9. We are sat at the Beach in Budeligh Salterton, Devon, England, drinking a champagne toast to a True Gent, Mick, we really miss you, but we have great memories spent with you, we’ve shed tears of laughter and heartache through the years, but we got through it all together. Thank you for extending your lovely family to include us. The sound of your laughter will stay with us forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all today.

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