James "Jim" Kenneth Pettit, Jr., 97 passed away peacefully on Friday, February 11, 2022 at his home in Charlotte. Jim was born in Suffern, New York on November 17, 1924 to Anne McKinley Pettit and Dr. James Kenneth Pettit, Sr.
Jim had a unique childhood raised on the grounds of a residential institution in Haverstraw NY where his father was psychiatric director. He graduated from Haverstraw High School in 1942. His yearbook says the following, "Jim has a witty imagination and grand sense of humor, which has endeared him in the hearts and minds of all his friends." While attending Dartmouth College he volunteered and proudly served in the United States Navy during World War II from 1944 to 1946. After the war, he returned to Dartmouth and graduated in 1948. At school, he participated in football, soccer, tennis, track and dramatics. Post-graduation he went south where he met and married Jean Johnson of Atlanta and they had two sons. Jim had a career in pharmaceutical sales before he and Jean established the popular "Tennis and Ski Shops" in North Carolina which existed for more than 35 years. Jim continued to run the business after Jean's death in 1985. In 1992, the Ski Industries of America named Tennis and Ski one of the top four retailers in the country. After selling the stores, Jim continued his entrepreneurial spirit selling commercial real estate and marketing business seminars and literature. He remained active in the Charlotte area business community well into his nineties.
Jim remarried and is survived by his loving wife, Stephanie of 36 years. They enjoyed traveling, playing tennis, skiing and entertaining friends. They spent much of their time supporting tennis activities at Olde Providence Racquet Club, Carmel Country Club and throughout the city.
Jim is survived by his sons, William Walt Pettit and wife, Margy of Charlotte, NC and Stephen Pettit of Johnson City, Tenn. Other survivors include two grandchildren, Elizabeth Ostrow and husband, Ryan of Charlotte, NC and Captain James "Jimmy" Kenneth Pettit III, USMC of Fredericksburg, VA as well as two great grandchildren, William Jay and Sarah "Sadie" Elizabeth Ostrow. Jim had a close relationship with his stepsons, Charles Blankenship and his wife, Trina, their son Coleman of Charlotte, NC and the late Vann Blankenship.
A prayer service vigil will be held on Friday evening, February 18, at 6 p.m. at the Hankins and Whittington Funeral Home, 1111 East Blvd. On Saturday, February 19 a funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m at The Cathedral of Saint Patrick, 1621 Dilworth Rd., East. Graveside service to follow at Sharon Memorial Park.
The Pettit family would like to express appreciation to Jim's caregivers, Holly Seeley and Terry Short.