Mercedes Petty
Mercedes Petty

Obituary of Mercedes Clare Petty


Mercedes Clare Petty (nee Jennings), 84, passed away peaceably during the night on November 3, 2021 at Sky Ridge Hospital in Lone Tree, Colorado. She is survived, and forever loved, by her husband of 63 years, Gale Petty.

As she said in the emergency room, “Well, this is the pits, isn't it?!” She never complained about her illness and always had a quip, even near the end. Her 34 years of nursing prepared her to live life and not take anything too seriously. Mercedes was a graduate of St. Luke's School of Nursing in San Francisco, CA, and was an RN at Stanford University Hospital and Sequoia and Mountain View Hospitals in California, as well as at Tacoma and Puyallup Hospitals in Washington State and at Aurora Hospital in Colorado. Her specialties were in Intensive Care and Kidney Dialysis. She especially loved providing in-home dialysis care to her patients during the last year of her career.

Mercedes (Merce) was an avid gardener and always gave helpful advice such as, “I don't know, just throw down some seeds and it will grow!” She grew the basics and took an interest in unusual things, such as purple potatoes, rainbow carrots and rhubarb. She was infamous for pawning off overflowing zucchini on unsuspecting friends and neighbors. For many years she cooked “farm to table”, and whipped up some impressive culinary delights and goodies.

She never met an animal she didn't like. Oh, the slew of animals! Somehow Mercedes managed to house a peacock in her residential neighborhood in Los Altos, CA. She cared for her three “wine men” llamas---Chardonnay, Beaujolais and Bordeaux, and even trained them to visit retirement homes with her and walk in parades, transporting them to and from in the Petty Portable Pink Party Pad (a.k.a. extended van). She learned how to process and spin their wool, and created some beautiful pieces including afghan blankets and gloves. Even as she was ill this past year, her kitty Rudy brought her hours of entertainment buzzing around the house and playing on his cat condo tree. If you asked her how she was feeling she would say, “If I can kick the cat, I guess I'm doing OK”. Her simple and strong words to live by!

Mercedes knew how to have fun and involve others. At her home in Grass Valley, CA she helped start the first 4th of July parade down the streets in her neighborhood. The only requirement for participants was to display a U.S. Flag. She looked forward to monthly Bingo nights at the homes of rotating Parker, CO neighbors for many years. A few neighbors recalled on one night, they got her to take her first tequila shot at age 76! Everyone laughed and enjoyed the moment.

Merce loved to see new places and experiences, and sought out adventures. She traveled extensively in America and abroad to 26 countries, including China and Iceland, but was always happy to return home after each trip, spending her time reading, camping, crocheting and planning the next vacation.

Mercedes was the loving mother of three children, Vincent and Gordon Petty and Suzanne Kraus, and was a grandmother to Joel, Gregory and Rachel Petty, to Justin Micone and Riley Kraus, and a step grandmother to Ben and Alex Kraus. She was also a great grandmother to Malcolm Petty and a step great grandmother to Audrey, Hazel and Norah Kraus.

She was the daughter of Fred and Mercedes Jennings of Oroville, CA, and is survived by her sister Barbara Williams (Oroville, CA) and brothers Bob Jennings (Davis, CA) and Mark Jennings (E. Wenatchee, WA). Her third brother, Fred Jennings of Aurora, CO died in 2020.

Mercedes was a treasure and will be missed by so many. Thank you for being part of her life.

August 12, 1937 to November 3, 2021

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