PETRI, HENRY C. (Hank) 91, born on May 8, 1921 passed away on December 4, 2012 of heart disease. Speaking of heart, now Hank was a man who had immeasurable heart, honesty, loyalty and zest. A character unlike any other, he leaves behind family, friends, "no known enemies," and innumerable memories of a life well-lived. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, oldest of two children, to Louis and Lydia Petri, he attended Boys Tech but understood at a young age that he desired more. Influenced by his maternal grandfather, Henry Bartell, a wonderlust and big dreamer, he, too, had the adventuresome gene. He enlisted in the Marines hoping to fly but ended up in the South Pacific during WW II.
What he realized, among other things, from this experience, is that he wanted to live in a warm, tropical climate. Eventually, with his wife, Ruth, and two young daughters, Hank moved to Miami, Florida in December of 1950 and the family spent Christmas day on the beach! Hank had secured a job as a pest control routeman with Truly Nolen. He was excellent at his job because, among other talents, he had people skills. His customers loved him! So, he took the risk and went into his own business forming Petri's Positive Pest Control in 1956. He was an active member of his church, his community and several business clubs and organizations but,most importantly, he had the love and support of his wife, Ruth, whom he acknowledged to be his best asset. He served as President of the Florida Pest Control Association and was active in the Associated Pest Control Association. In 1962, Hank moved north to Pompano Beach realizing his dream of living on the water and near an airport. He had taken flying lessons while living in Miami and eventually owned his own plane, which he flew frequently. He became active in civic organizations in Pompano and in Broward County. In addition, he became a member of the Navy League rising to regional vice president. This involvement led to another love he always had had and that was for travel, especially to adventurous, exotic places.
Hank eventually had traveled to all seven continents, to places like Antartica, Papau, New Guinea and the Amazon River. He was a self-educated, extremely well read man who had more facts stored in his brain than most and, as a former boy scout, had had real life experience in survival and was a lover of nature. His caregiver, Bob, commented recently that the year and and a half he had spent getting to know "Papa" was one of the most extraordinary learning and wisdom gathering experiences of his life. So, his legacy will be the wonderful family he always said he was so fortunate to have, his wife, Ruth (deceased), his son, Gregg (deceased), his daughters, Deborah and Barbara, his grandchildren, Brendan (Shay), Christopher, Trevor (Sitara), Petra (Stuart), Cameron (Denyse) and his great-grandchildren, Allison, Dillon, Ryan, Jasmine, David, Kristen, Lauren, Juliette, Jayden and Elias. Also, important in his life, was his friend and business partner, Brendan E. Cavanagh, and his wife, Joanna, his sons-in-law, Guido Lucchesi and Ken Beyer, his employees at Petri's Positive Pest Control, especially the "girls" in the office. His family would like to express their gratitude to his physician, Dr. Bachoo Singh and his staff. Visiting hours and funeral services were held at Forest Lawn Cemetery on Copans Road in Pompano Beach and the funeral was at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 7, 2012.