Obituary – Preston Pettit Has died, Cause Of Death

Preston Pettit Obituary

Obituary: Preston Pettit Has died, Cause Of Death – Preston Matthew Pettit, more commonly known as “P” or “Little Mick”, was welcomed into this world as a special gift from God on December 9, 2001. He was the second son of his adoring parents Michael (“Mick”) Pettit and Debra Rectenbaugh Pettit and the “little” brother to Brandon Pettit. Brandon and Preston were raised country and bonded by their natural love and genuine compassion for farm animals, everything shows calves, shared competitive nature, and the Iowa State Cyclones. Preston was born the little brother Brandon “never asked for”, but Preston steadily matured and worked his magic to become Brandon’s biggest champion and loyal companion.

From the moment he entered the world, his infectious, mischievous eyes captured many hearts. His admirable personality traits and qualities were many. Preston is repeatedly described as “a fine young man” and “one of the hardest workers I have ever known.” He used his charm to make friends and cut deals. He was precious. He had “that amazing smile.” He had an old soul and a kind heart. He was a big dreamer and accomplished doer. He was an entrepreneur. He could sell ice to Eskimos.

He was unmistakably good with babies. He was a pain in the butt to Brandon’s friends. He was persistent yet compassionate. He did not know a stranger. He helped the underdog. He was uniquely creative and an “out-of-the-box” thinker. He purposely colored outside the lines. He understood and appreciated the value of experience. He understood the need to give back and help others. He opened doors for others and doors were opening for him.

He identified himself not as a rulebreaker but as a rule bender. He was ornery–but in a loving way. He confidently questioned authority and held his stance. He set a school record for red cards. He disliked the classroom but thrived outdoors, and was awarded an Iowa FFA Degree. Purposely squeaking by, he earned his Indianola High School diploma in 2020.

He was proud of his trucks. He was riding four-wheelers at the age of four, more often than not expertly tilted on two wheels. He achieved his goal of competitive racing with the “big boys” at the Warren County Fair (proudly doing an unfortunate but exhibitionist last place lap on two wheels to cheering fans). He moved up to driving tractors by age seven and semis by age nine. He could perfectly back a cattle trailer into a narrow spot on the first attempt. He was John Deere green and had a passion for antique family farm equipment, specifically his “Grandpa R’s” 318 John Deere lawnmower and his “Grandpa P’s” 4020 John Deere tractor.

He was an athlete. Preston was an “Indianola Brave” with a special group of young boys and had an original technique for faking a pitch to pick off a runner. He was a quarterback for the SF 49ers. He was a skilled bowler. He was a picky eater—two staples were (1) PB&Js with only Skippy Peanut Butter and Smucker’s Grape Jelly, spread on both insides of the sandwich, triangle slices with the crust cut off, and (2) Pettit pulled beef sandwiches.

He loved everything country and nothing city. He was “the guy” in the neighborhood hired to mow your yard. His lines were perfectly straight and developed into a manicured golf course pattern with each successive cutting of the grass. He was a Trump fan tried and true (able to cast his first vote in 2020). His relationships with older farmers were effortless.

He respected his elders. He created and mastered “the Grandpa handshake.” His good nature shone in his relationship with his Grandmas, not calling out any cheating by “Grandma P” and tilling “Grandma R’s” garden without her having asked.

He unapologetically took the time to enjoy nature, his Snaps often capturing picturesque sunrises and sunsets with insightful captions. He was fiercely loyal to his friends and matured into a man with his best friend Chandler Lowry (and the help of his family friend Nathan). He adored his girlfriend Kylie for her strength and beauty, both inside and out. He had faith and was grateful. It was important for him to earn respect and make his family and friends proud of him; he did. He stole our hearts. We were all blessed.

He honored and protected his Mom and never denied her a hug. He was wise beyond his years, often reminding his Mother to just use common sense–“Don’t use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.” He was witty, informing his mother when he left home after high school graduation that the dent his truck put in the garage door was simply him leaving her “a handprint on the wall.” He humored his Mom, playing piano, letting her take his picture, and competing in a mock trial.

He adored and was proud of his Dad to call him “my son.” He was the spitting image in temperament and mannerisms of his Dad—without irony nicknaming him “MickyBobby.” Following in his father’s footsteps, Preston did and drove everything fast, in his image and in his own way. He learned to drive the tractor and lawnmower through the “patient” instruction by his Dad. He was his parents’ baby boy and one of two apples in their eyes. We were the ones privileged to be his Mom and Dad.

Most important, he was a passionate farmer. He dreamt of making a living on his own farm, owning land to plant and harvest crops, and nurturing pastures to grow his Red Angus Cattle herd. He was well on his way to realizing that dream, having planted his first cornfield by age fourteen, combining 200 acres of corn and soybeans for his “Grandpa R” by age fourteen, baling countless cornstalks and haybales for his Uncle Dave each summer, working as a farmhand for neighbor Vinton Red Angus, and driving the auger wagon, “dumping on the go”, for his Uncle Scott and “Grandpa P.” At eleven, he started his own Red Angus Cattle Herd, with his first heifer calf a labor trade from his mentor and “third grandpa” David Vinton, and within a few years growing it to a 17-head cattle, 17-head calf, and 2-bull herd.

He insightfully knew his success as a young farmer was blending the experience and wisdom of all of his Grandpas with his keen understanding of new technology. After graduating high school, Preston, Ozzy, and his Red Angus Cattle Herd moved to the Kjos farm in Ridgeway, Iowa. There he attended Northeast Iowa Community College and, with the mentorship of Carlton Kjos, pursued his passion for farming. He was without question destined for success as a dedicated steward of the land and an attentive caretaker of his cattle.

Preston was preceded in death by his great grandparents Lonnie and Lillian Pettit, Lucretia (“Tete”) and Arthur (“Art”) Bakerink, Ralph and Thelma Rectenbaugh, and Vernon and June Gissible. Preston is survived by his parents and only brother, his beloved Australian Shephard Ozzy, his cherished girlfriend Kylie McVey, his paternal grandparents Lowell and Carmalita (Janet) Pettit, his maternal grandparents Dana and Marlyn Rectenbaugh, his godparent’s uncle Joseph and aunt Angela Baudler, his farm parents uncle Scott and aunt Melissa Pettit, his farm parents uncle David and aunt Audra Rectenbaugh, his uncle Todd and aunt Karyn Pettit, first cousins Chelsea (Curtis) Travis (daughters Chanelle, Stella, and Ivy Marlyn), Jasmine (Anthony) Nastasi, Amber (Michael) Baudler, Ava, Alena, and Allegra Rectenbaugh, Tyler (Rheanna) Pettit (sons Brady and Bentley), Taylor (Natalie) Pettit, and Logan Pettit, David (Megan) (daughter Arya), Carson, Alex, and Bradley Pettit, too many friends and buddies (young and old) to count and the lives impacted in such a short time here on earth immeasurable.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, March 29, 2022, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Indianola with burial following in the Evergreen Cemetery, Creston, IA. Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday, March 28 at the church, with a Reflection service at 7 p.m. Contributions can be made to the family for the establishment of a memorial honoring Preston’s life, including his commitment to the Red Angus Association.

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