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Mary Janis Pettigrew Obituary

Mary Janis Pettigrew was born to Minor C. and Leta Roasa on May 17, 1936 on the family farm out on Hwy 136 just over the Clark County MO line.   She passed away at the Clark County Nursing Home in Kahoka, MO on 2/9/2022 with her daughter by her side.

She attended grade school in Memphis, MO just after the family moved into town.  She attended Jr High and 2 years of High School in Bethany, MO after the family moved there to open a Western Auto Store.   She attended her Jr and Sr years in King City, MO.

After graduating in 1954, she married Paul Francis Pettigrew from Bethany, before he signed up to serve in the US Air Force. While he was in Germany, Janis delivered their 1st child, Sandra, in Kirksville in 1955. Their 2nd  child, Kenneth, was born 16 months later near Little Rock AFB, Ark after Paul returned stateside. After 10 years there, they spent 5 years at Wurtsmith AFB, in MI, while Paul did 3 tours of duty on a KC135 tanker crew refueling fighter jets over the DMZ in Viet Nam. Their last military assignment was at Castle AFB, in CA where Janis took a job on the base as a Civil Servant.  She transferred to Whitman AFB in MO in 1993 for 13 more yrs & returned to her home in CA upon her retirement at 70 yrs old.

Jan was an outgoing person who made many friends at every base. She was proud of her sacrifice  serving this country as a military wife for 20 years where she learned how to stretch a dollar and fish or wild game and her garden veggies into enough food to feed a family of 4; as well her Civil Service to the military for another 34 years.  She walked 5 miles almost every morning and enjoyed her  friends on bowling and bocci ball teams, duck club and deer camps, and regular BBQ’s and luncheons. Several times she flew into disaster zones to help military families with the aftermath. She moved into Scotland County Nursing Home in 2014, until it closed in Jan. 2022.  She lived as happy a life as possible there with her increasing dementia.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her son, and her ex-husband.  Surviving her is her sister Willa Prather of Memphis,, her brother Luther Roasa of Lee’s Summit, her daughter Sandra Mooneyham of Memphis &  CA, 3 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service will be held at 2PM on Saturday, Feb. 19th at The Payne Funeral Chapel in Memphis, MO with a deli type food offered beforehand at 1PM.  There will also be a hosted dinner for the family at The Catfish Place at 4PM.  Condolences may be left for the family online at to whom the arrangements were entrusted.