Julia Clegg Richardson Pettigrew passed away peacefully in her home in La Crescenta on January 24th, 2011. She was 87. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's for the better part of 2010.
Julie, as she preferred to be called, was born in Macon, GA in 1923. The only child of Chavine and Florence Richardson, she was raised by her mother and her Aunt Julia, as Florence had divorced Chavine when Julie was a young girl.
At an Army dance at Fort Wheeler, GA, Julie met James Gordon Pettigrew, a trumpeter in the Army band, whom she would marry in June of 1944. Gordon, as he was called, went off to war; when he came back, they resided in Chicago, not far from where Gordon was born. Gordon played jazz trumpet in the clubs and Julie was a camera girl, taking and developing pictures of the club patrons as well as the jazz artists who performed there.
In 1947 they moved to Miami, after Gordon's successful Fall and Winter run playing in the hotels on Miami Beach. In 1952 Scott Gordon Pettigrew was born, and in 1955, Craig Richard Pettigrew was born.
In the early to mid 1960s, Julie went back to school and earned her Bachelor's in English from Barry College, and a Master's in Education from the University of Miami. In 1967, she started at Nova High school as a Guidance Counselor; she would continue to be a Guidance Counselor in the Broward and Dade county school system for the rest of her career.
In 1971, her husband passed away at the age of 58 of heart failure. She never got over the devastation of that loss; she never remarried, and the following year she started as a counselor in a brand new school closer to her home, North Miami Beach Senior High. She ended her career there and retired in 1992. Until her passing, students from as far back as her Nova days remained in touch with her, cherishing her talents and generosity as a counselor and as an educator.
Her first grandchild, Gordon David Pettigrew, was born to Craig and Judith Pettigrew in 1993. In 1995, Judith gave birth to Aaron Dickinson Pettigrew. Shortly after Aaron's birth, Julie moved from Miami to Glendale, CA, to be within walking distance of Craig and his family. Scott Pettigrew also moved to Glendale, after having lived and worked in Boston. When Craig and Judith moved to La Crescenta, in June of 2000, Julie followed, finding a house just across the street. With Scott in Glendale, the Pettigrews were a close family in every sense of the word.