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 Erna Serena <I>Schmidt</I> Pettit

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Erna Serena Schmidt Pettit

  • Birth 17 Oct 1899 Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, USA
  • Death 17 May 1929 Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, USA
  • Burial Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, USA
  • Plot Sec. D, Lot 266-E, Grave #2A
  • Memorial ID 53622862

ERNA PETTIT, age 29, died Tuesday afternoon at St. Mary's hospital. Surviving are her husband, JOSEPH PETTIT; two daughters, MARY ANN and VIRGINIA; a son, JOSEPH; her parents, MR. AND MRS. AUGUST P. SCHMIDT; four sister, MRS. LOUIS[E] ESCH, MRS. LEONA LANDGREN, MRS. ANNA BROWN and MRS. ROSE TOBIN, and a brother, RUDOLPH SCHMIDT. The body will be taken to the residence, 13 National Ave. N.W., Wednesday afternoon. Funeral announced later.

GRAND RAPIDS HERALD, Grand Rapids, Mich., Wed., May 15, 1929, Pg. 3, Column 4 (Obituary)


MRS. ERNA PETTIT - Funeral services for Mrs. Erna PETTIT will be held at St. Mary's church Friday morning at 9 o'clock. Burial in Mt. Calvary cemetery.

GRAND RAPIDS HERALD, Grand Rapids, Mich., Thurs., May 16, 1929, Pg. 3, Column 4 (Obituary)


NOTE: According to Erna's death certificate, her cause of death was Chr. Myocarditis - Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomy.


KENT COUNTY, MICHIGAN, MARRIAGE RECORDS (1922), Record No. 15017 - JOSEPH J. PETTIT & ERNA S. SCHMIDT, married 19 April 1922, Grand Rapids, Kent Co., MI. JOSEPH (Salesman), b. Grand Rapids, is the son of JOHN L. PETTIT & ANNA STERNBACH [STEINEBACH]. ERNA, b. Grand Rapids, is the daughter of AUGUST P. SCHMIDT & ANNA WINZIG. Married by John J. Riess, Clergyman. Witnesses: August Busch & Isabelle Lewis, both of Grand Rapids.


"A little background on your parents, they loved each other dearly. No wedding photographs that I can recall, in fact we had none either. Photography was not a popular hobby. Remember the following are a teenager's impressions.

Your mother [ERNA SERENA (SCHMIDT) PETTIT] was very friendly, carefree, an extrovert, laughed easily, great company.

I admired and loved her, she was like an older sister, I spent nights with her, when Joe was traveling, she treated me with hot fudge sundaes, let me wear her clothes.

She was beautiful inside and outside. Your father [JOSEPH JEROME PETTIT, SR.] was more of an introvert, embarrassed by emotions, a born athlete, won the City Title in tennis, very immature.

He also was very charming, the life of the party type, wonderful physique, very mischievous as a child, generous, smart and at the time very successful. He had a good job with Standard Oil. They moved to Kalamazoo, I spent many week ends with them, you were a baby and I'm sure I spoiled you rotten.

My mother [ANNA (STEINEBACH) PETTIT] committed a cardinal sin when she married an Irishman [JOHN LEO PETTIT], the German relatives never accepted him and in turn he hated them . They never spoke in English in front of him, he loved my grandmother [MARY (VOGT) STEINEBACH], who was an unforgettable character you read about in Reader's Digest. Nobody was more tolerant, she found only good in everybody.

Yes, your father was in Kalamazoo [State Mental Hospital] for Alcoholism, there was no knowledge or treatment available at that time for this disease, it was a vice. The more you read and learn about this illness, the better you will understand your father and his actions."



Oct. 17, 1899
May 14, 1929

  • Created by: Mike Cronk
  • Added: 12 Jun 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 53622862
  • Mike Cronk
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Erna Serena Schmidt Pettit (17 Oct 1899–17 May 1929), Find A Grave Memorial no. 53622862, citing Mount Calvary Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Mike Cronk (contributor 47300132) .