LONGVIEW (KYTX) - After a funeral service at First Baptist Church, family and friends gathered at a closed reception at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts. It was to honor Dr. John Petty's life and talent as a photographer. Museum Director and Petty's close friend, Renee Hawkins, says the family wanted the reception here to honor his work.
"Having his photographs here meant that friends could come and remember him. " - Renee Hawkins, Executive Director of Longview Museum of Fine Arts
Last Sunday, Petty went missing off the shores of West End, Bahamas. He went shark diving to take his usual breath taking photographs, but never surfaced. After 16 hours and covering 4,600 miles, the U.S. Coast Guard and family members decided to call off the search.
"We just want to honor the kind man that he was, and the kind soul that he is."
Petty's art exhibit was planned for this weekend over a year ago but is now a reminder of a loss the world has suffered.
"He gave so much. He was apart of everything and everything that he did was top notch. He was a very kind, caring man and very talented."