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Mourners Share Tears, Memories At Gathering
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After the memorial service at the Community Center Park, friends and family were invited to Scott Pettits Karate for Kids school for a reception. VIRGINIA STILL/The News

Dozens of area residents gathered at the Riverbank Community Center Park on Aug. 14 to celebrate the lives of Scott and Janet Pettit and mourn their passing.

The Memorial service was held at the park on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and a reception was offered at Scott Pettit’s Karate for Kids school directly after the service.

The couple and their two dogs were found deceased in their home early morning on Thursday, Aug. 8 after calls were made reporting a fire coming from the home.

Pastor Trudy Jewell welcomed friends, family, and students to the memorial service and after the presentation of the colors by Riverbank High School’s NJROTC and the Pledge of Allegiance, Jewell led the guests in an opening prayer.

“We thank you for this opportunity to remember Janet and Scott who touched so many lives with their warmth and generosity of spirit,” said Jewell.

The day was warm and the sun was on its way down as over 100 people attended the memorial, a somber mood filling the air.

“Scott taught me the serenity prayer; the line that means the most was ‘the wisdom to know the difference,’ that was Scott,” said friend Ross Hoskins. “The hardest part for me right now is that I can’t talk to either one of them. I can’t console them or have one of them console me.

“I loved that man, I loved him dearly; he will be greatly missed.”

Many took the podium to share memories, many identified only by first names and having been affiliated through work.

Longtime friend Christine shared some thoughts of her “dear best friend” Janet Pettit.

“She not only became nationally known, but world renowned for the great work she shared and published over the years,” said Christine. “I love you Dr. Pettit; you will forever be etched in my heart.”

Mr. Wolford, a friend to Scott Pettit, expressed that Scott was the best man at his wedding a few months back and was like a second father to his daughter.

“They are loved, they are missed and they will be remembered,” said Mr. Wolford.

“We are so terribly sad and devastated as all of you are,” said Dawn, a nurse who worked with Janet Pettit.

Jewell made some closing remarks and ended the service with a prayer.

Guests were invited to attend a reception held at the Karate school for some light refreshments. The school was filled with guests that walked around looking at pictures of the couple and others that were mingling sharing memories.