William Caston “Wild Bill” Pettigrew, age 87, passed away Thursday, December 13, 2012, in Ardmore. Services will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at the First Assembly of God Church, 209 E. Overton St., Madill, Okla., with Pastor Weldon Wright officiating. Interment will follow in Pleasant Oak Cemetery, Enville, Okla.
Bill was born on November 2, 1925, to H. H. “Dan” Pettigrew and Tennie (Johnson) Pettigrew in Stonewall, Okla. Out of the three sons, Wild Bill was the only surviving child from this union. He was the middle child. His older and younger siblings died in infancy.
He grew up in the Stonewall, Ada, and Madill areas. At age 16, he got his first job working on the railroad and traveled with the railroad all across the United States. After working with the railroad, Wild Bill enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served his country in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After his honorable discharge, he returned to Liberty, Okla., where he met and married Margaret Sealy in 1943. From this union was born one daughter, Betty Jean Pettigrew. He always said with a proud smile whenever he saw Betty Jean, “There’s my number 1! She’s the one who started it all.” During this time, he began working in construction.
After the marriage ended, he worked throughout the state of Oklahoma. He married Emma Nelson and the couple made their home in Enville, Okla., and he continued working in construction as a heavy equipment operator. He always enjoyed playing guitar and bass in his band “The Tomahawks.” He played throughout the state. Later in life he turned to Gospel music and played at Gospel singings and local churches lifting his voice to the Lord.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife Emma; children, Betty Jean Woods and husband, Bud, Thomas Pettigrew and wife, Gail, Russell Strayhorn and wife, Lorenda, Robert “Choc” Pettigrew and Bonnie Brown, Darrell “Chic” Pettigrew, Mike Pettigrew and wife, Roxanne, Denise (Pettigrew) Ruth, Darlene (Pettigrew) Mason and husband, Steve, Diane Pettigrew, Joe Pettigrew and wife, Stacey; 26 grandchildren; 70 great-grandchildren; 13 great-great grandchildren; and a multitude of other family and friends.
Serving as pallbearers will be sons-in-law, Steve Mason and Darren Miller; grandsons, Brandon Pettigrew, Aaron Miller, Zakkary Pettigrew, and Brian Pettigrew. Honorary bearers are cousins, Calvin and James “Jay” Johnson, Eddie, Ronnie, Jimmy and Kent Johnson; grandson, Darrell Pettigrew, Jr.; grand-sons-in-law, Carlos Moore and Antoine Herbert; and family friend Doug Ash.
Family visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m. Monday, December 17, 2012, at Griffin ~Hillcrest Funeral Home, Ardmore, Okla.