Rodney Hamilton Petty, 74
SIERRA VISTA — Rodney Hamilton Petty was a charismatic, loving, and faithful husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He left this world peacefully at his home in Sierra Vista, Arizona on January 7, 2021, at age 74.
He was born in Los Angeles, California to Charles and Betty Petty on April 10, 1946. After graduating from El Monte High School in 1964, Rod joined the United States Navy and proudly served his country as an Aviation Electrician Third Class Petty Officer for four years during the Vietnam War. Rod would happily share his “sea stories” with just about anyone he met. His love of country was apparent to all.
In April of 1974, Rod met JoAnn Gutierrez and knew immediately he had met the love of his life. Following their marriage in October of 1974, Rod and JoAnn spent the next 47 years together throughout California, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. In 1985, Rod started working for the Bureau of Reclamation, and later the National Park Service, from which he retired. Together they raised two sons, Clay Petty and Jeffrey Petty.
Rod led a life full of many interesting hobbies that included starting the Montrose Mountain Men Club where he and JoAnn organized several Mountain Men Rendezvous; as well as establishing the well-known Moab Rod Benders Car Club, which, at times, hosted over 1000 cars and 4000 spectators! Rod rode and built motorcycles, built and refurbished numerous classic cars and trucks; and was passionate about hunting, fishing, photography, steam and diesel trains, and taking trips around the areas he lived.
Rod had the unique ability to connect with those he met. He had an ear for listening and wasn’t afraid to offer encouragement and share his faith in God. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, JoAnn; and his children, Clay (Patti) and Jeff (Vanessa). He will also be fondly remembered by his grandchildren Brook, Allyssa, Jessica (Keith), Alex (Kayla), Mariah (Casey), Nicholas, Michael, Kady, and Zachary; and his seven great-grandchildren.
A private memorial service with military honors will be held in Sierra Vista on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Due to COVID, it will be invitation-only, but will be broadcast online for those who can’t attend. The link will be posted on JoAnn’s Facebook page. Sympathies may be expressed at Hatfield Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the veterans organization of your choice in Rod’s name.