Cover photo for Jimmy Don Pettigrew's Obituary
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1929 Jimmy 2023

Jimmy Don Pettigrew

November 30, 1929 — May 13, 2023

Jimmy Don Pettigrew, 92 years old died from natural causes on May 13, 2023 in Broomfield, Colorado. Born October 18, 1930 to parents Lillian Frances Pivonka Pettigrew and Jimmy David Pettigrew in McPherson, Kansas. Jim was raised in Dighton, Kansas by his mother, and spent most of his preteen years with his grandfather, John Pivonka where he helped with his grandfather’s gas station, grocery and cabin camp business, teaching him life skills through this process. In 1948, Jim graduated from Lane County High School and attended Fort Hays Kansas State College to study pre-med. Unable to continue his college career due to finances, he began working full time at REA. In 1950 he entered the Coast Guard and received training as a Hospital Corpsman, which duties took him to the Atlantic, Pacific, North China Sea and Honolulu, Hawaii. While stationed in Port Angeles, Washington, he met and married Arlene Ordway Hunter, and they became parents of Jonda Lee born in 1956 and Jeffrey Ward born in 1959. Jim was Honorably Discharged from the Coast Guard in 1953 and attended UC Berkeley graduating in 1957 with honors in Chemical Engineering. While working for Dow Chemical and Shell Development in California, he obtained patents for projects in inorganic and polymer chemistry. He began working for IBM after relocating his family to Boulder in 1965, developing magnetic recording tape. In 1976 while still working at IBM Boulder he met and married Shirley Beal. Their blended family included Shirley’s two daughters, Donette and Kathie and one son, Steve. The family enjoyed many ski vacations, camping and boating trips. Jim and Shirley traveled much of Europe, Scandinavia, South Africa and the South Pacific. Jim retired from IBM in 1988 as a Senior Engineer, following retirement he worked for four years at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the School of Engineering assisting students to find research opportunities. He met life’s many challenges with courage and a grateful attitude, emerging as a hero to his family. He loved every opportunity to be with family and friends, meeting all with a strong handshake and most importantly connecting with people by looking each person in the eyes. He taught this to all the family including his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Never did he meet a stranger, rather he met another friend, and never forgot a name. Spiritual through his entire life, he continued reading and learning through Bible study and satisfied his lust for knowledge by reading science and engineering journals written by UC Berkeley. Always up to date on these matters, he constantly shared his enthusiasm with everyone by engaging in conversations, challenging, encouraging and inspiring everyone to pursue their dreams. He will be deeply missed by his wife Shirley, sons Jeff and Steve, daughters Jonda, Donette and Kathie, sister Karen, twelve grandchildren and eighteen great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Friday, June 9, 2023 at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 12099 Lowell Boulevard, Broomfield, Colorado, officiated by Pastor Aly Kohlmeyer. Luncheon will be served at 12:00 PM in the Fellowship Hall, service will begin at 1:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to Wounded Warriors ( or Doctors Without Borders ( The family thanks you for all your loving thoughts and heartfelt prayers.
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Cross of Christ Lutheran Church

12099 Lowell Boulevard, Broomfield, CO 80020

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