Don George Pettingill, í76, passed away on January 6, 2005 from complications due to double pneumonia. He was a leader for the deaf and beloved and known for his forceful presentation style.
Don was born on September 2, 1920 and attended the Idaho School for the Deaf. Upon graduation in 1938, he entered the field of printing and at the age of 26 bought his own printing shop for $9,500. While operating the shop, he realized that his calling was to serve the deaf. So, after sixteen years, he sold it for $75,000 and moved to Indianapolis to work for the Vocational Rehabilitation. He eventually became a director for Counseling Services to the Adult Deaf in Dallas and a project coordinator for Northwest Rehabilitation in Seattle.
In 1970, Don came to Gallaudet University as a coordinator of the work-study program at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf. Later, he became the director of programs in adult and community education, commonly known as continuing education, and he retired as a special assistant to the Vice President for College Relations in 1989.
He was very active as an advocate for the deaf, especially the National Association of the Deaf where he served as a president (1972-1974) and a board member (1964-1970). While he was the president, he worked full-time and was a full-time student at Gallaudet University. He received his bachelorís degree in 1976. He was on the Board of Directors of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association from 1989 to 1995.
The family is planning a memorial service tentatively for the end of February or March. Contributions in Donís memory can be made to Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave N.E., Washington, DC 20002-3695 or the National Association of the Deaf, East Thayer Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910-4500.
Posted: 14 Jan 2005