Alfred Pettit

Alfred Wells Pettit

September 21, 1928 - January 11, 2021
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Alfred "Alf" Wells Pettit died in the pre-dawn hours of Monday, January 11, 2021 after a rapid decline under COVID assault. Bright, witty, wry, flirtatious, devoted, hard-working, and quietly faithful, he was a resourceful care-taker who took his responsibilities seriously and sought out ways to help those in need.

Born in Bronxville, NY, to Alfred Meech Pettit and Ruth Baer Pettit, he was raised in and around New York City, attended the Dalton School, and graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Caldwell, NJ, and Lehigh University (’50). He served stateside in the US Navy post-WWII and in the US Army during the Korean conflict, then for 35 years in the Army Reserve and National Guard, retiring with the rank of Major. His duty included service as an aide to the Adjutant General of the PA National Guard. Professionally, Alf taught junior-high social studies in East Greenville, PA, followed by a three-decade career as a planning engineer for Western Electric and its successors.

Volunteering at Atonement Lutheran Church, he was a Church Council member, Head Usher, Sunday Church School teacher and superintendent, and, for ten years after retirement, Business Manager and tech team lead. He drove for Meals on Wheels and dedicated himself to literacy tutoring. He served as president of the Literacy Council and was repeatedly honored as Tutor of the Year; in 2003 his student was the PA state literacy Student of the Year. He was a committed supporter of Genesius Theatre, acting occasionally and for many years the theatre’s unofficial official photographer. He and his wife of 55 years, Betty (Acker) Pettit, traveled widely. They presented entertaining, educational, illustrated travel programs for organizations throughout Berks County, especially at The Highlands, where they resided. He was an avid photographer, gardener, bridge player, and Oreo-lover.

He was preceded in death by his wife; his sister, Marcia Saunders; and a great-grandchild, Rory Alfred Beninga. He is survived by Andrea G. Wittchen, daughter, of Bethlehem; her children, Samantha E. Wittchen and Benjamin Ditzler and their two children, of Philadelphia, and Alexandra V. Wittchen and her fiancé, Nate Grefe, of Philadelphia; Peter A. Pettit, son, and his wife, Lynn F. Pettit, of Davenport, IA; their children, Jennifer L. and Geoff Beninga and their two children, of Maple Grove, MN, and Sarah F. and Shawn McNaughton, of Hurricane, WV; and Armando Jimenez and his family, of Reading.

Private graveside committal was held at Bethlehem Memorial Park, with a memorial service to be announced at a later date at Atonement Lutheran Church when public gatherings resume. Contributions in lieu of flowers may be directed to Atonement Lutheran Church ( and the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks ( Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc, is entrusted with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed at
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  • Interment

    Bethlehem Memorial Park
    Address Not Available


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