Jonathan (Jon) E. Pettit, AIA, died August 19, 2013 in Seattle following treatment for cancer. He was 61. Pettit was a DLR Group managing principal and practiced for his entire professional career with DLR Group.
He was born March 29, 1952 in Princeton, N.J., and attended Princeton University where he was a three year lacrosse letterman. He graduated with a bachelor of arts in architecture in 1974. He located to the Pacific Northwest, and received a master of architecture from the University of Washington in 1978.
Pettit joined DLR Group on Sept. 12, 1977. One of the firm’s first employees in Seattle, he began his career in the multi-family housing sector. He was named principal in 1987, senior principal in 1998, and managing principal in 2005.
“Design may have been Jon’s profession but people were his passion,” said DLR Group Managing Principal Griff Davenport, AIA. “The fingerprints of Jon Pettit can be found not in buildings, but in the aspirations, enthusiasm, and integrity of design professionals he brought into this firm, mentored, and grew over 36 years.”
In 1986, DLR Group acquired John Graham & Associates. Pettit was instrumental in leading that merger process and instilling the employee-owner culture of DLR Group into the John Graham design professionals.
As leader of the Seattle office, he provided strategic direction for the growth of DLR Group into a Corporate, Justice, Higher Education, and K-12 Education design leader in the Pacific Northwest. Pettit was instrumental in developing the firm’s retail and workplace practice nationally. He was a passionate advocate for the practice of architecture within DLR Group, leading the firm’s Practice Forum for several years with a focus on continual improvement of the firm’s contract documents.
“The old adage says, hire people smarter then you are and that was the case with Jon,” said Dale Hallock, AIA, DLR Group board member who hired Pettit in Seattle in 1977. “Jon had the innate ability to both pull and push people to achieve. His legacy is a leadership culture that he championed across DLR Group. The leaders Jon influenced will ensure DLR Group’s continued success and opportunities for a new generation of design professionals.”
He is survived by his wife Barbara of Seattle, and daughters Emily, Kate, and Maggie. Memorial donations may be made in his name to FareStart, c/o Development Office, 700 Virginia Street, Seattle, WA, 98101. Pettit was a board member for FareStart, a non-profit providing culinary job training and placement for homeless men and women.