Originally Published: March 14, 2018 6:01 a.m.
Joseph “Joe” Lawrence Petty, 59, went to be with the Lord, with his family by his side, on March 8, 2018.
Joe was born in Prescott, Arizona, on May 29, 1958, to Thomas Charles Petty and Frances Phyllis Petty. As a 2nd generation Prescott native, he grew up on a working ranch 25 miles N/W of Prescott in the true Williamson Valley, loving his cowboy heritage and way of life, learning commitment to hard work and understanding personal sacrifice for the betterment of his family. He was close to his Grandma Nellie, who he worked beside on the ranch as a child and for whom he had a great love and respect.
Joe attended Prescott schools, graduating from Prescott High School in 1976. As a senior, he was a member of the ICE program and at the age of 17 he obtained his first official job working for the City of Prescott as a mechanic, where he worked for 17 years. In 1978, he met the love of his life, Toni Marie Fisher, and they married in 1979. Together for 40 years, married for just shy of 39 years, they spent their lives building a home filled with love, raising and instilling their values in their three children.
In 1992, with the support of his wife, Toni, Joe became an entrepreneur, starting his own mobile mechanic business, (Petty’s Central Basin Fleet Management), which enabled him to provide for his family. This led him to working for the Prescott National Forest Service (PNFS) as a contracted mobile mechanic. With much dedication and perseverance, he eventually earned the title of Ground Support Unit Leader on a type two wild land PNFS, Incident Command Team, doing his part in helping to combat wild land fires throughout the western part of the U.S. He made many friends along the way within the firefighting community and earned the respect of many of his superiors, as well as those that he oversaw. Joe earned many awards and certificates throughout his wild land firefighting career, and he was officially recognized by the PNSF Incident Commander in 2016 for his invaluable support.
Joe actively contributed to the community by volunteering his time as a Little League coach for his son, Joey, where he served as a mentor for many, who to this day still call him “Coach.” When his children were young, to fullfill a need in the area, he formed a 4-H Horse Club (Williamson Valley Rangers), where he served as the 4-H leader. Some of his proudest moments were seeing his daughters compete for and win their Prescott Rodeo Royalty titles. He had a great love for the Prescott Rodeo and spent many years working and promoting Prescott Frontier Days, where he proudly served as a Chairman, Director and Vice President. Joe devoted years of service to our hometown rodeo and his efforts did not go unnoticed. He earned the friendship, love and respect of many, and he was proud to have been a part of ensuring the future of PFD.
Those of you who knew Joe, could recognize his big, booming laugh a mile away, couldn’t help but laugh at his quirky sense of humor, his uncanny ability to talk about everything and anything for hours. He lived a life full of love, hard work, and dedication to his family and friends. He was a gentleman cowboy with a heart of gold. Joe was a highly skilled mechanic, a Western history buff, and an accomplished leatherworker. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, fast cars, being out in the country, his horses, watching his grandchildren ride, and he had a special interest in Cowboy Mounted Shooting, but his biggest love was his wife, Toni. Joe had a great love for the Lord and felt deeply about the church and faith he grew up in. He knew the Bible well and never missed an opportunity to speak about the Lord; it was this deep faith that instilled in him the virtue of forgiveness. Joe left us all a great legacy and example that we may have love for one another and that we remember to always include God in our lives.
Joe, I miss you! God led me to you once, He will again. I can see that sweet grin now, “waiting on a woman.” ~ Toni Joe is survived by his loving wife, Toni Petty; his children, Janine Petty, Joey Petty (Kathleen), Deanne Petty (Brian); six grandchildren, Cody, Breanne~(BamBam), Jaycee, Caden, Brody and Connor; Uncle Donnie Petty; nieces, nephews, extended family and many lifelong friends. His mother, Frances. Siblings Dwayne and Anita. He is preceded in death by his father, Tom Petty Sr.; his brother, Tom Petty Jr.; his nephew, T.J; and his best friend, Duane Hoffman.
A service will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on March 16, 2018, at 11 a.m., with a Rosary at 10:30 a.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Rodeo Grounds in the Freeman Building on March 24, 2018, at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite western youth program in Joe’s name.
Information provided by survivors.