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Sylvia E. Petticrew

Obituary Condolences

Sylvia E. Petticrew Obituary

Sylvia "Sally" Eunice MacDermid Petticrew

June 1, 1917 - October 4, 2013

Sally Petticrew exemplified the adage "behind every great man there is a great woman," as she was the soulmate and wife for over 69 years to successful business, political, religious and community leader, C.R. "Dick" Petticrew, who pre-deceased her on April 1, 2008. Sally and Dick Petticrew co-founded the Petticrew Foundation in 1962, which has made several million dollars in donations to a wide variety of charitable interests. Dick and Sally's legacies include the Petticrew Computer Center at Hanover College, the Petticrew Auditorium and Hall at Methodist Hospital, the Petticrew Forum on Public Speaking and Petticrew Debate Team at Purdue University, and the annual "Faith in Action" seminars for the Christian Theological Seminary.

Sally Petticrew had ties with teaching ever since she graduated from DeVilbis High School in Toledo, Ohio in 1935 and enrolled at Purdue University.

While attending Purdue University and majoring in Home Economics, she taught American Red Cross Life Saving and Swimming to the Purdue faculty and other Purdue students.

After marrying Dick Petticrew, she continued teaching at the Indianapolis Boys Club and taught reading at the Indianapolis Public Library. She had six children and served as "den mother" for all five of her sons' experiences with Boy Scouts of America.

Other volunteer activities included 20 years as a "pink lady" at Winona Hospital and precinct work for the Republican Party. She was very active at Fairview Presbyterian Church, where she served in many clubs, committees as well as being one of the elders of the church. During one of the sessions she was quoted saying, "I like to think that dependence and independence go hand in hand - I need the church and the church needs me. I find it hard to accept constant changes in our church, children and lifestyle - but it has to be. The one thing that never changes is a fossil - and it has been dead a long time - so I better accept change."

She was an avid organist and was one of the volunteers playing the organ at the opening day of the Indianapolis Zoo. She was active in supporting and volunteering in the art and cultural community of Indianapolis and spent several years working as a volunteer at the gift store in the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Of course, her favorite teaching activities included being a mother and role model to her six children; 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Her hobbies and interests included golf and tennis at Meridian Hills Country Club in Indianapolis and Royal Poinciana in Naples, Florida. She also was an avid reader and kept busy with several bridge groups, working on word games and puzzles. She also was active in bowling and ballroom dancing.

Sally Petticrew joins her husband Dick (1915 - 2008) and sons, Dan (1943 - 2005) and Lew (1957 - 2003) in heaven. She is survived by respective sons and families of Rick and wife MarySue of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Jeff of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Paul and wife, Deni of Zionsville, Indiana and her daughter, Mary Petticrew Smalling and husband, Marlin of Richmond, Virginia, her family and families of departed Dan and Lew, including surviving wife, Ellen of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Services are to be held on Tuesday, October 8 in Flanner and Buchanan - Washington Park North , 2706 Kessler Blvd., West Drive, Indianapolis, IN, with viewing to be held from 6 to 7 p.m. and a memorial service at 7 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to Fairview Presbyterian Church, 4609 North Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46208.

Published in the The Indianapolis Star from Oct. 6 to Oct. 7, 2013
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