Claude O. Pettigrew, 22 year resident of Oconee County, peacefully passed away on Sunday morning with his loving daughter by his side. He had suffered an 11-month long battle with squamous cell cancer. Claude was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado and graduated high school in Colorado Springs in 1943. That same fall he married Jean M. Bergerson, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. They were married in Shreveport, Louisiana, on December 24, 1943, the only day Claude could obtain a 3-day pass from his commander. During the last years of World War II, Claude was stationed in the South Pacific as an Army Air Corps radio navigator on a B-29 Superfortress. He flew on 17 bombing missions over Japan.
Claude was preceded in death by Jean, his wife of 73 years. Claude and Jean’s legacy includes 4 children, two of which survive, Richard Pettigrew and Claudia Bailey, both of which live in Watkinsville,15 grandchildren, 13 of which survive and 36 greatgrandchildren.
Claude experienced the saving grace of the Lord Jesus in 1957, being led to the Lord by Jean, who was the first in the family to experience the salvation of Christ. Through her prayers and discipleship, the entire family came to faith in Christ in that year. Claude and Jean gave themselves to the discipleship of Christ through the work of the Navigator organization, whose home base is in Colorado Springs.
Claude and Jean became personal friends of Lorne Sanny, the President of the Navigators. Due to their association with the Navigator organization, they were introduced to and fellowshipped with many notable international Christian leaders, such as Dick Halverson, widely known conference speaker and Chaplain of the US Senate, Milton and Chris Vereide, Son and Grandson of Abraham Vereide, who founded the Presidential Prayer Breakfast during the Eisenhower administration, Bill Bright of Campus Crusade, William Townsend, the founder of The Wycliffe Bible Translators, Dr. V. Raymond Edman, the 4th President of Wheaton College, Jack Mitchell of Multnomah Bible College, Charlie Riggs, Billy Graham's advance crusade coordinator, Corrie Ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place and Malcolm Smith, world renowned Bible teacher, to list only a few.
Claude and Jean experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit in1964 and became an active part of the Charismatic Renewal. They moved from Colorado Springs with their family to British Columbia where they provided leadership for a Christian community farm, private school and convention center. They were avid Bible students and teachers throughout their Christian lives. They team taught the Bible to individuals, small groups, college classes and large convention gatherings.
In 1996, they left British Columbia to be near their children who were living in Watkinsville. Claude and Jean became Charter Members of Grace Fellowship in Oconee County. Claude was recognized as an Elder Emeritus after retiring from the Elder Board of Grace Fellowship to care full-time for Jean, who was suffering with Alzheimer’s disease. Their legacy of biblical education and Christian discipleship is carried on by their family, who are grateful for the salvation that the Lord ushered into their hearts through their godly example.
A visitation with Claude’s family will be held at Lord and Stephens West Wednesday evening between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. Grace Fellowship, 1120 Malcom Bridge Road, Bogart, will host the funeral service for Claude on Thursday, October 31, at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Grace Fellowship Missions in Claude's name.
Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, West, 1211 Jimmy Daniel Road, Watkinsville, GA is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com
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