LEWISVILLE, Tex. (BNc) — Donald Eugene Petty, Sr. passed peacefully from this life Jan. 18, surrounded by his family as they sang hymns to him in both English and Urdu.
Don was born July 29, 1937, in Ft. Worth, Tex. He was the son of Eugene Fields and Velma Ruth (Henderson) Petty.
Don was a graduate of East Texas State University (now Texas A & M at Commerce) with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. His degree in chemistry served him well throughout his life.
He worked for many years for Frito Lay in development. He and his team traveled the world, and they were responsible for developing a number of products for Frito Lay.
On June 20, 1956, Don married Sylvia Flippin. They were happily married for nearly 56 years. To this wonderful union four precious children were born. They also had a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Don and Sylvia were devoted to carrying the gospel to the world, spending many years in foreign fields.
Their first mission point was Lahore, Pakistan. It was there that they worked with and formed a lifetime friendship with the Gordon Hogan family.
After returning to Texas for a short time, the Pettys then began a work in Teheran, Iran. They established a congregation in Iran, with 86 baptisms during their tenure. Due to the revolution in Iran in 1979 they were forced to leave, and they returned to Texas.
During the rest of his life, the Petty family worshiped with the South MacArthur, Webb Chapel, and Lewisville congregations. Don served as an elder for the Webb Chapel congregation for several years.
Don and Sylvia worked closely with the YE (Young Emissary) program, the Mission Learning Center, which they founded, and many other areas. During this time Sylvia served as a classroom teacher as well as a teacher in the Mission Learning Center.
For the last few years of his life, Don and Sylvia were active servants in the Lewisville church. They established the Lewisville Mission Learning Center and gave tremendous guidance in developing this good work.
Don gathered a group of song writers, which wrote more than 30 songs that are in a song book used by the Lewisville church.
Don came up with the idea for a “Sound Doctrine & Practice Workshop.” He helped in the planning and the selection of speakers. Hundreds of members came to hear speakers from around the world.
In his last years Don continued to emphasize mission work. He taught regularly for the World Evangelism School of Missions in Winona, Miss. He and Sylvia attended the Maywood Missionary Retreat every year that was held at Maywood Christian Camp in Hamilton, Ala., where he was a regular speaker.
On Feb. 19, 2002, Abilene Christian University and the Institute for Missions and Evangelism honored Don with the Barney Morehead Award. The award was given in recognition of Don’s personal dedication to mission work in the United States and abroad and for his encouragement of others in this arena of the Lord’s work. The honor also noted that “Don’s work includes mission efforts in both Pakistan and Iran but his real sense of accomplishment is found in his work with the ‘Mission Learning Centers’ and ‘Young Emissary’ programs within the Churches of Christ.”
Don wrote extensively and in recent years shared many of his insights in “Planting the Original Seed.”
Don was a wonderful example and a great inspiration to many. He was an encourager to many preachers. He will be missed by those who knew and loved him. It can truly be said that a great man of God has been in our midst.
Don’s body was laid to rest at the Nelta Cemetery in Hopkins County, Tex., Jan. 21. We extend our sympathy as well as our love to Sylvia and all of her family.
Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us