Robert Leon Pettigrew Jr., 56, Blue Cross employee

Posted: March 14, 2014

YOU MIGHT have run into Bob Pettigrew in a pool hall, on a SEPTA train, on the street, or catching a lunchtime smoke outside his workplace.

Wherever, you couldn't miss Bob Pettigrew in his natty attire, and after he gave you his customary hug, you could smell his cologne long after you parted.

There was no doubt that Bob was a people person. He enjoyed people, had a ton of friends, and seemed always to run into somebody he knew, no matter where he went.

Robert Leon Pettigrew Jr., who worked in the program department of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and formerly was employed by the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and Southwest Airlines, an Army veteran and devoted family man, died March 4 of an aneurysm. He was 56 and lived in West Philadelphia.

Bob was born in Philadelphia to Robert and Nancy Pettigrew. He graduated from Overbrook High School in 1975. He was an active alumnus, attending the annual class picnic and other events.

He served in the Army in the late '70s and, when stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana, met his future wife, Terri Brown.

He worked for the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging for 17 years before joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

He also worked part time for Southwest Airlines and enjoyed taking advantage of free flights for employees, especially to visit his sons in faraway states.

Bob was a champion pool player, active in several leagues. He traveled as far as Las Vegas for tournaments and proudly sported a championship jacket after a league victory.

He liked to talk about pool, took his four sons to tournaments and practices, and taught them the game.

Bob was an active member of Williams Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, in Grays Ferry. He began attending services with his late grandparents, Wilmer and Lila Ford.

He was a devout Christian, and liked to share his religious views with friends and family.

"He loved people, and his warm, contagious smile was his greeting," said a cousin, Sheila Isaacs. "He was a good person, always going to check on his parents, who lived in walking distance of him."

Bob was a fine dresser and loved good clothes, hats and expensive shoes, his family said. He enjoyed meeting friends at local watering holes, such as Mr. C's Love Lounge in West Philadelphia.

Besides his parents, he is survived by four sons, Noel, Raheem, Robert Leon and James; two stepdaughters, Camile and Jontue Simpkins; two former wives, Terri Brown and Karen Simpkins; two sisters, Pamela Johnson and Sherry Wade; two brothers, Deric and Shawn Pettigrew; and 13 grandchildren.

Services: 10 a.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church, 6122 W. Girard Ave. Friends may call at 9 a.m. Burial will be in Fernwood Cemetery.

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