|Congressman Alcee L. Hastings made the following statement on the House floor on February 29, 2012, remembering the life of Mrs. Sara Louise Jones Pettis:
M. Speaker, I rise today to remember the life of Mrs. Sara Louise Jones Pettis. Mrs. Pettis was a respected community activist in the Fort Lauderdale area, and her commitment to civic service was admirable. She recently passed away at the age of 90, and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathies to her family and all those who knew her.
Mrs. Pettis was a resident of Fort Lauderdale, Florida for 64 years. She married Mr. Cyrus Pettis in 1941, and the couple lived in Fort Lauderdale since first moving to the area in 1947. They both understood the importance of giving back to the community. Mr. Pettis was a postal worker, and Mrs. Pettis served as a teacher's aide at multiple schools in Broward County.
Mrs. Pettis was known for her desire to improve the community. She was a lifetime member of the Parent Teacher's Association, and she volunteered at local schools, churches, and other charitable organizations. Mrs. Pettis was ultimately credited for expediting the creation of the Dillard High School Gymnasium in 1959. Her dedication to improving the lives of the people of Broward County was truly remarkable.
In 1985, the Pettis family received a very special recognition from then-First Lady Nancy Reagan. The First Lady recognized the Pettis family as a Great American Family. Over 25 members of the Pettis family were in attendance at a special White House ceremony. The award is given to families leading exemplary lives, and giving back to their communities. The Pettis family is one of only nine other families to ever receive this award.
M. Speaker, I would like to commend Mrs. Pettis for her dedication to the people of Fort Lauderdale. I knew Mrs. Pettis personally, and I was saddened to hear of her passing. She had an extraordinary sense of civic duty, and I would like to extend my sympathies to not only her family and friends, but to the entire South Florida community, and all of those whose lives she touched. Mrs. Pettis will be truly missed.