Pasquale (Pat) Vito Petitti was born in Chicago, IL on October 16, 1929 to Pasquale and Laura Girardi Petitti. He was the oldest brother to Robert Petitti (deceased) and Joan Petitti (deceased). He grew up in Chicago and as a kid would ride the streetcar to his father’s grocery stores and meat market to work. When WWII broke out, his family moved to a farm in Dundee, Illinois where Pasquale learned the hands on dairy business and the family owned a grocery in downtown Dundee. The Petitti farm was a weekend gathering spot for many Chicago Italian immigrants, specifically from Faeto Italy, and over the years stories were told of hunting and celebrating at the farm.
Pat graduated from Central Missouri State where he served with the ROTC and earned a degree in Accounting. He met Joan Rohlik of DeKalb, IL at the Log Cabin on Lake Delavan, Wisconsin and they married in 1953. Over the next 20+ years, Pasquale and Joan would vacation at that same beach with their 5 children and extended family.
After losing his father, Pasquale ran the family store and bought another with his brother. Eventually both stores were sold and in 1957 Pasquale began his grocery career with Piggly Wiggly in Carpentersville, IL. By 1979 he was a VP for Eagle Foods, a Division of Lucky Stores, and continued to work his way to the the top, raising their 5 children in DeKalb, IL, Clinton, IA and Davenport, IA. When he retired in 1995 he was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Eagle Food Centers.
He was actively involved in civic and community affairs, serving on the US Savings Bond Committee, Board of Directors for Junior Achievement, Board of the Better Business Bureau, The Annie Whittenmeyer Home and Assumption High School. He was an avid hunter and traveled near and far to hunt with friends, family and colleagues. His trophy room was his pride and joy along with his 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
Pasquale and Joan retired to St. Pete Beach, FL where retirement was anything but boring. Besides hunting and fishing, he volunteered with Joan at the Salvador Dali Museum, the Pass a Grill Beaches Museum and helped out on their island, Vina Del Mar. Their waterfront home was the center of celebrations for the last 25 years. He and Joan were married for over 67 years until Joan passed away in 2020. Not a day went by that his heart didn’t ache for his loss. He moved to Tavares, FL to be with his eldest son Edward, where he passed away on January 24, 2021.
Pasquale was preceded in death by his loving wife Joan of 67 years, his parents, both of his siblings Robert and Joan, and his daughter in law Mary Petitti of Tavares, Florida.
He is survived by his children and grandchildren. Edward Petitti and granddaughter Laura Petitti of Tavares, FL; daughter Patricia Schmitz (Richard) of Waterloo, IA and grandchildren Susan Schmitz (Max) Tarzana, CA, Dr. Anna Moriarty (Michael) and great grandchild Moriarty due in February, North Liberty, IA, Joseph Schmitz of Chicago and Frank Schmitz of Houston; son Paul Petitti (Jean), grandsons James Petitti and Alex Petitti, Lake Okoboji, IA, Thomas Petitti, Ames, IA and Anthony Petitti (Sara) and great grandchildren Bodhi and Wilder, Santa Monica, CA; daughter Lori Petitti Sakamoto (Scott) Lake Arrowhead, CA, and Cooper; daughter Susan Tilton (Scott) Germantown, TN and grandson Nicholas (Madison) and great granddaughter Millie, and granddaughter Christina Carter (Dave) all of Hendersonville, TN. He will be missed dearly but is reunited with Joan. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
The family requests any remembrances made on Pat’s behalf go to the Pass a Grill Women’s Club (PAGWC) PO Box 46763 St. Pete Beach, FL 33741