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Arther Jean "Polly" Pettway
June 16, 1956 ~ July 30, 2023 (age 67) 67 Years Old
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Arthur Jean “Polly” Pettway was born on June 16, 1956, in Miller’s Ferry, Alabama, and was called home on July 30, 2023. She was the last born of eight children to the late Percy and Mattie Pettway. After attending elementary, secondary, and high school in Miller’s Ferry, she spent a short time in Mississippi studying at Prentiss Institute. With her strong will and ambition, Jean relocated to Hackensack, NJ, in the late 1970s to pursue better opportunities for herself and her growing family. Here, she became a member of New Hope Baptist Church and devoted over 36 years to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey before she retired in 2016 at the age of 59 to live out her dream of moving back to Alabama. Jean’s zest for life, loving spirit, huge heart, deep affection for people, and love of music, dancing, and singing made her a mother figure to many of the community's children and adults. Furthermore, her passion for cooking brought people together and created a revolving door for anyone in need. Her southern cooking was nourishment for many whose souls needed to be fed.
Jean mothered many and created a sacred bond and love for her five children: Reginald, Mattie, Balitra, Joye, Cheryl (niece), and her beloved fur baby, Smokey “Bud” Pettway. She instilled her Southern mannerism, strong determination, generosity, and the importance of family in them all. Jean was predeceased in death by her parents, Percy and Mattie Pettway; brothers Percy Pettway Jr. and Willie James Pettway; and sisters, Alma Rochelle, Ardean Pettway Moton, and Loretta Pettway. She leaves behind to cherish her memories her son Reginald Pettway (Melissa) of Hackensack, NJ; daughters Mattie Pettway of Wetumpka, AL, Balitra Pettway of Newark, NJ, Joye Smith of Hackensack, NJ, and Cheryl Pettway of Hackensack, NJ; grandchildren, Tre Beckley, raised as a second son, Re’ona Pettway, Amanee Pettway, Jaylah Bennett, Ja’diya Bennett, Riley Pettway, Parker Smith, and Dallas Pettway; and faithful siblings, Lorene Smith of Charleston, WV; Savannah (Banga) of Hackensack, NJ; devout brother, Lorenza Pettway (Eula); niece and caregiver, Victoria Pettway, and a host of other nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.