BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — TOWN OF LOCKPORT –– When they meet today, there will be an empty seat on the Lockport Town Board. It’s a symbol of what is a big loss for the community, local leaders are saying.
Longtime Councilman Paul H. Pettit passed away late Saturday night, while with his family, following a tough battle with cancer. He was 74 years old.
Pettit had served on the Town Board since 1997, including a stint as acting town supervisor. His presence and expertise will be missed, Supervisor Marc R. Smith said.
“We’re going to miss a great community advocate,” he said. “He was always interested in moving the town forward.”
Pettit had a background in engineering, which helped the board understand the infrastructure of the town and make decisions concerning repairs or construction, Smith said.
Pettit was born on May 21, 1938 in Medina. The son of Robert and Martha Sparks Pettit, Paul received his bachelor’s degree from the General Motors Institute and attended Ohio State University for graduate studies. He was a mechanical engineer and retired from Delphi Thermal Systems in 2000 after 36 years.
Prior to his election to the board, Pettit was on the town’s Zoning Board. On that board he was replaced by Paul W. Siejak, current town councilman. The two had first worked together at General Motors in Lockport, then again on the Town Board when Siejak was elected in 2008.
“It’s a huge loss,” Siejak said. “He was my partner, I owe him thanks for how he helped me. We had a close relationship.”
Pettit had five children and 13 grandchildren. And he loved to spend time with those gran
Smith said a decision would be made by the Town Board on how to fill Pettit’s seat. A resident would be appointed, as many have expressed interest in serving on the board, the supervisor said.
But Smith added a decision would be unlikely to come before January.
Pettit was a member of Lockport Alliance Church, as well as a member and secretary of Waterford Estates Board of Managers.
Friends may call from 2 until 4 p.m. and 7 until 9 p.m. Friday at Lange Funeral Home, Inc., 186 East Ave. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Lockport Alliance Church, 555 Davison Road. Memorials may be made to Lockport Alliance Church and Niagara Hospice, Inc. Condolences may be offered to the family online at www.langefuneralhomeinc.com.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.