Bill Pettys ’63

Norman William Pettys, Jr. (Bill), 78, Son of Norman William Pettys and Jenny Lind Mather Pettys, passed away on Sunday, January 26, 2020, from sudden cardiac arrest.

An Atlanta native, he attended Morningside Grammar School and graduated from Grady High School, Class of 1959.

He attended Davidson College where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity and obtained his J.D. from Emory Law School in 1966. While at Emory he was a member of the Bryan Society (honorary scholastic fraternity) and Phi Delta Phi (legal fraternity).

His career in law began in Brunswick, GA as the Law Clerk to the legendary judge, Honorable Frank M. Scarlett. An active member of the US Army National Guard, he returned to practice law in Augusta and then opened a private practice in Acworth, GA. Around this time, he became an active Freemason and Shriner, following in the footsteps of his Father and Grandfather.

A lifelong dream, he purchased the Lake Rabun Hotel in 1990 and operated it until 2003. He moved permanently to Rabun County in 2004. He continued practicing law in Clayton and offered legal help to many who could not otherwise afford an attorney.

He once stated, “Although pursuit of other interests has provided a diversion, needed at times, law has always been my primary focus. I have always been a serious student of law, and have always performed my own legal research.”

Bill was always interested and active in local political campaigns. He was a Hospice volunteer in Clayton for many years. His church, the Clayton First United Methodist Church and his weekly Men’s Prayer Group were of primary importance in his life. You would find him regularly at the Rabun County Senior Center Pool.

He was an avid hunter and fisher, a licensed boat captain, a winemaker, a notorious practical joker, a lifelong broccoli hater, and the most loyal friend anyone could have. You wanted him on your side.

He enjoyed spending time with his Grady High School friends over the years and treasured the many memories together. His dog “King B” was his best friend and constant companion.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Richard Roy Pettys, Sr. (Dick).

Bill is survived by his son Norman William Pettys, III; sister Barbara Macon; cousins Larrilee Mather Smith and Susie Mather Butler; sister-in-law Stephanie Pettys; nephews, Ric, Beaux, and Chip; nieces, Laurie, Lynn, Jan, and Jenny; and many friends.

He spent the last 9 years of his life with his “Sweetheart” and Grady classmate Claudette Ransom Christensen.

There will be a Memorial Service at Clayton First United Methodist Church, 71 South Main Street, Clayton, GA 30525, (706) 782-4426, on Saturday, February 22nd at 11:00 am, visitation starting at 10:00. There will be a reception after the service at the Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to Clayton First United Methodist Church, and FAITH charity in Rabun County, Inc., P.O.Box 1964, Clayton, Georgia 30525. 706-782-1003.