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May 13, 1933 – Dec. 18, 2012

LOCKPORT – Charles W. Pettit Jr., of Lockport, who had a long career in the aerospace industry and was an active leader in Masonic organizations, died Tuesday in Eastern Niagara Hospital. He was 79.

A native of Buffalo, Mr. Pettit attended Williamsville Central Schools and graduated from the University of Buffalo with a bachelor’s degree in management science. He was a life member of Theta Chi fraternity’s Gamma Pi Chapter at UB.

Mr. Pettit was employed by Bell Aircraft Corp., later Bell Aerospace, from January 1954 until 1983. He was president, treasurer and director of the Bell Aerospace Management Association from 1979 to 1981.

He moved to Marietta, Ga., in March 1983 and was an office management analyst there for Lockheed-Martin of Georgia until he retired in 1999. He was awarded membership in the Who’s Who Worldwide by the Global Business Leaders in 1993-1994.

After his retirement from Lockheed, Mr. Pettit returned to his aerospace interests in 2000 by serving as chief librarian of the Ira G. Ross Aerospace Museum in Niagara Falls.

Mr. Pettit was a member of Niagara Masonic Lodge 375 of Lockport; Henry Banks Royal Arch Lodge 153 of Villa Rica, Ga.; Royal Arch Ames Chapter 88 of Lockport; and Allied Masonic Degrees Niagara Chapter 101; and an honorary member of Charlotteville Lodge 73 of Newfane. He served as grand director of ceremonies for the Niagara/Orleans District and as staff officer for the Grand Lodge of Masons in New York from 2004 to 2006. He also was appointed to the leadership and educational services committee for the state, to train Grand Lodge officers and was a member of the Committee on Publications for New York State.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, the former Gail Dorothy Adams; a son, Charles W. IV; two daughters, Diane Elise Breczka and Jean Noelle Pettit; two brothers, Robert P. and Alan D.; and a sister, Elise Carpenter.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Prudden and Kandt Funeral Home, 242 Genesee St.