Clinton Myers Petty

June 4, 1923 ~ December 16, 2021 (age 98)


Clinton Myers Petty, age 98, 06/04/1923 --12/16/2021

Clinton Myers Petty passed away peacefully in his home in San Marcos, California. Clinton is survived by his children, Mary Petty (Dan Walters), Candyce (Bill) Peterson, Craig (Jenny) Petty and Douglas (Gwen) Petty; as well as 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Grover and June Petty; sisters Virginia Petty and Geraldine Petty; brother Grover Petty; and wife of 55 years Edna “Edye” Petty.

Clinton was born June 4, 1923 in Des Moines, Iowa, the youngest of four children. The family moved to Omaha, Nebraska when he was about three months old. After the death of his father, the family moved to Hollywood, California. Clinton graduated from Harvard School in 1941, a military high school in Hollywood, and the following autumn he enrolled in Columbia University. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he moved back home and attended UCLA until he was inducted into the U. S. Army in January 1943. Clinton served in the 55th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 11th Armored Division, part of General George Patton’s Third Army. Clinton fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded, but he returned to his unit in time for the drive across Germany. After being discharged from the Army in December 1945, Clinton married Mary Nall and attended USC on the G.I. Bill, earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and finally his Ph. D in the Department of Mathematics with a dissertation on Minkowski geometries in 1952. Following a series of post-doctoral appointments at Princeton, Duke and Purdue, Clinton joined Lockheed in 1955 to work on celestial mechanics for the satellite program in the Space Division. He married Edye Pinkston on September 8, 1957. In 1966, Clinton accepted a professorship in Mathematics at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he taught and performed research until his retirement in 1992. After retirement Clinton and his wife Edye traveled extensively, traveling to all the continents except Antarctica. They moved to the San Diego area in 2002 to be closer to their sons. Clinton enjoyed reading about military history, attending theater, and watching his extensive library of movies. He wrote a book “Education and War: The Memoirs of Clinton M Petty.”

A private service will be held on March 21st at Mission San Luis Rey, Oceanside, CA.

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