Stamas, Allor seek Pettalia memorial

LANSING — It has been just over a year since former 106th State Rep. Peter Pettalia was killed in a motorcycle accident in Montmorency County, but it appears his legacy in Northeast Michigan could be immortalized.

His deeds and accomplishments, as well as their impact on the residents, are not forgotten and as a tribute a section of US-23 could be named after him.

A pair of bills were introduced to the state House and Senate by Sen. Jim Stamas and Rep. Sue Allor to change the state highway to Peter A. Pettalia Memorial Highway. The section of US-23 named in his honor would run between Maple Drive and Misiak Highway.

Stamas, who was close friends with Pettalia and his family, said typically memorials are named after police, fire or members of the military who were killed while serving. He said Pettalia was killed while on his way back to Lansing to work for the people and is deserving as well.

“He was on his way back to serve the people so I think it is appropriate, Stamas said. “I talked to Gov. (Rick) Snyder, who said he is in support of it, and 37 of the 38 senators who signed on to sponsor it, with the lone person who was absent. I think it will go through.”

Allor said everyone she has talked to in the House supports the bill and although it is currently in committee, she doesn’t anticipate any resistance when it comes back to the floor for a vote. She said honoring her predecessor is the right thing to do because he deserved it.

“He had a large impact on the 106th and more importantly the people in it,” Allor said. “It is a fitting tribute to memorialize him and his name. Maybe 20 years from now, someone will see his name and look it up on the Internet and see all of the great things he did for our area.”

Pettalia’s widow Karen said Stamas talked to her about the idea to have the highway dedicated to her husband and she agreed it was a good idea. She said Peter worked hard for the residents in the area and took pride while doing it. Pettalia said he would be honored by the gesture.

“He worked hard to come up with a fair way to fund our roads and transportation going forward into the future,” she said. “I think it is a very fitting tribute and it means a lot to my family and I.”

Stamas said there is a chance there could be a small ceremony when and if the name of the highway is changed. He said there is nothing planned yet, but there could be once the bill is passed in the House and Senate.

“I think there absolutely should be a service of some sort,” he said. “It would be a great way to honor the man and his life.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.