Eugene Francis ‘Jeep’ Pettus, 78, bridge tender remembered for his ‘big smile and warm hugs’

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Eugene Francis 'Jeep' Pettus
Eugene Francis ‘Jeep’ Pettus

Eugene Francis “Jeep” Pettus, 78, of Wilmington, died Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Jeep was born March 9, 1937 in Staunton, Virginia, son of the late Hugh Francis Pettus and Della Leach Pettus. A son, Eugene Frankie Pettus, Jr.; grandson, Nicholas Dillon; sister, Mildred; and two brothers, Joe and Bruce, preceded him in death.

Jeep was a bridge tender at Figure Eight Island for many years. He loved his job and his coworkers and all of his special “breakfast” friends at Chris’s Restaurant. Jeep was retired from Pilot Freight Carriers and Teamsters union local #391. Jeep will be remembered by his big smile and warm hugs and will be truly missed by all.

He is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Loretta Smith Pettus; his son and daughter-in-law, Brian Pettus and Toi Pettus, and their children, Adam Dillon, Baron Pettus, Erika Pettus, Marissa Pettus, Amberly Pettus, Cade Pettus, Samuel Pettus and Jonah Pettus; his daughter and son-in-law, Lori Pettus Bowles and David Bowles, and their children, David Bowles, Jr. and Jason Francis Bowles; three great-grandchildren, Connor Dillon, Aubrey Dillon and Walker Dillon; sister and brother-in-law, Faye and R.J. Lewis; brother and sisters-in-law, Jack and Louise Pettus, Judy Pettus, Laurie Frohman and Linda Lynch; daughter-in-law, Rachel Pettus Taylor; and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at Andrews Valley Chapel, with the Rev. Eric Porterfield officiating. Prior to the service, the family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until the service hour. Interment will follow in Oleander Memorial Gardens.

Donations in Jeep’s memory may be made to Winter Park Baptist Church, 4700 Wrightsville Ave., Wilmington, NC 28403.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.

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