She was born Oct. 14, 1928 in Westline, Penn. to Harold and Evelyn Pollard. She wed George Pettit, a soldier, in Erie, Penn. on Feb. 17, 1950. They lived throughout the U.S. and the world while he was in the Army. When he was deployed (sometimes a year or two at a time), she ran the household and cared for the children. Leona was a strong woman who showed her children unconditional love. They remember her as a woman who gave her children the greatest gift one can: the gift of herself. She lived a life that put everyone else’s needs before her own. Leona never gave up on any of her children; she prayed for them, as well as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, every day. She was a selfless woman who gave good counsel, full of wisdom and grounded in Biblical principals. Her children recall many late night conversations with her, as she was interested in whatever they were interested in. She had a quirky sense of humor, was patient and stubborn at times, and had grey eyes full of comfort. The one thing that never changed over the course of her life was her strong Christian faith.
Gardening and birdwatching were her passions. She and her husband, George, enjoyed traveling throughout the United States after his retirement. She enjoyed playing Scrabble and Boggle with her grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband George Wesley Pettit, Sr.; children George Pettit, Jr. (Beverly) of Isanti, Minn., Cathy Finnesgard (Mark), Virgil Pettit, Doreen Stroud (Carey), Rebecca Tricaglou (George), Paul Pettit (Amy) and Mark Pettit (Alana); 18 grandchildren, including Joel (Elizabeth) Pettit of Isanti and Jesse (Tesha) Pettit of Minneapolis; and 9 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by daughter Elizabeth (at birth) and son John (1993).
Memorial service Tuesday, Feb. 7, 11 a.m., Blaine Baptist Church, 46 117th Ave NE, Blaine. Visitation one hour prior. Private interment at Isanti Union Cemetery. Arrangements by Strike Funeral Home.