In Memory of






Obituary for Deacon Jessie Lee Pettaway Sr.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Deacon Jessie Lee
Pettaway, Sr., native of Mobile, Alabama, was born on November 15, 1947, to the late Robert “Lee”
Pettaway and late Joanna “Sweet” Pettaway and departed this life for his eternal home on Tuesday,
January 10, 2023.

“Perfect Attendance.” A certificate dated June 2, 1967, acknowledges his perfect attendance during
his senior year at Trinity Gardens High School. A 1967 graduate of Trinity Gardens High School,
Pitcher for the Trinity Gardens High School Falcons Baseball Team, listee of 1966 All City Baseball,
member of the Trinity Gardens High School Falcons Football Team, and retiree of Kimberly Clark Corporation
(formerly Scott Paper Company), the term “perfect attendance” not only applied to his role as a
student-athlete, but also to his roles as a husband, father, brother, Deacon, and employee. You see,
he maintained perfect attendance, particularly in the lives of his wife and children. He was never
absent, always present—always so selflessly giving of himself to those to which God assigned him.

On November 27, 1970, he married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Jean Tarleton Pettaway.
The two were inseparable. You did not see one without the other. In the most humble way, he and
the love of his life, Barbara, epitomized the true essence of building together and love in its purest
form—in both sickness and health. When describing their union, Barbara would often share that she
prayed intentionally for God to send her husband, Jessie—and his pretty brown eyes were just an
added bonus. Further, he did not hesitate to emphasize that his pretty brown eyes were only for

“Brother”—the seventh of ten siblings, he was the sibling who maintained communication and
would not let too much time pass without reaching out to each of his siblings. He would not hesitate
to speak with his siblings via telephone for hours—a beacon of hope, unwavering compassion, and
support for all of them.

“It’s just a blessing to be here today.” Upon marriage in 1970, he united with Goodwill Missionary
Baptist Church, where he was ordained as a Deacon in 1995. Later, as a faithful member of Lily
Baptist Church, he was ordained as a Deacon in 2002 and served in many capacities including, but
not limited to: Vice-President of the Deacon Board, member of the Men’s Bible Class, and President
of the Male Chorus.

“I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who can save anybody.” Deacon
Pettaway was a testament of God’s grace, mercy, and faithfulness, and did not hesitate to let
everyone he came in contact with know about his testimony and encourage them to get to know
God for themselves. Referred to by many as a “walking miracle,” he would reply, “You can’t have a
testimony without a test.”

He is preceded in death by his devoted wife of fifty-two (52) years, Deaconess Barbara Jean Tarleton
Pettaway; father, Robert “Lee” Pettaway; mother, Joanna “Sweet” Pettaway; paternal grandmother,
Paralee Pettaway; maternal grandmother, Mary Perry of Wiggins, Mississippi; and two siblings, Jonas
“Preacher” “Pett” “Johnnie” Pettaway and Izola Barnes.

He leaves to cherish his life, love, and memories, his children—Angela Renee (Terrance) Stokes of
Kathleen, Georgia, Jessie Lee Pettaway, Jr., Shantoino Denise (Charles) Jackson, and Dr. Shanita L.
Pettaway; his grandchildren—Telvin M. Stokes of Atlanta, Georgia, Quentin T. Newsom, Jr., and
Brianna N. Stokes of Kathleen, Georgia; his siblings—Esther Dean Kelly of Gulfport, Mississippi,
Mary Johnson, Betty Curry, Voncille Pitts, Ossie Pettaway, Tommie Pettaway, and Albert Pettaway;
and his aunt—Elizabeth Perry of Wiggins, Mississippi. He also leaves to cherish a host of nieces,
nephews, cousins, other relatives, friends, neighbors, and Lily Baptist Church family.

“Do Lord, Do Lord, Do Remember Me.” A true patriarch of his family, Deacon Jessie Lee
Pettaway, Sr. died, but leaves a lasting legacy that will live on—a legacy of selflessness, devotion,
unconditional love, hard work, joy, peace, perseverance, meekness, gentleness, one-of-a-kind
personality, a pure heart…and laughter. 

Visitation will be held on Saturday, February 4, 2023, from 10am until the 12pm funeral hour at Lily
Baptist Church, 358 Kennedy Street, Mobile, Alabama 36603, Rev. Donnie L. Powell, Jr., M.Ed.,
officiating. Interment will follow in Lawn Haven Memorial Gardens.