Jim Pettey, Dick Pettey, Bob Pettey, Bud Pettey and Charlotte Page were at the cemetery during the installation of the new Orion Center Cemetery gates.  GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
Jim Pettey, Dick Pettey, Bob Pettey, Bud Pettey and Charlotte Page were at the cemetery during the installation of the new Orion Center Cemetery gates. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS
"I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter his courts with praise..."

"The gates say 'In loving memory of the Richard Pettey family'," said Mantorville resident Robert Pettey, sharing about the new gates that were installed at the Orion Cemetery near Chatfield last Saturday, Oct. 12, in honor of his parents, Richard and Ruth Pettey.

Richard and Ruth raised their children on farms in the Chatfield area, including one past Cummingsville, at the top of the hill across from Rattlesnake Crossing toward Marion.

"My dad was born out that way and my mother lived over by Elgin, and we have a lot of relatives over there," Richard said. "We lived on the Burnap farm for eight years, then we moved to the Eyota-Chatfield road on County 7 and lived there for about 20 years. There's nothing left there...it's all plowed under."

Robert said the family has chosen to replace the cemetery's aging gates.

"The old gates were in pretty poor shape," he said, "and if you look to the left, my mother, father, brother and sister-in-law are buried there, and to the east, my stepgrandfather and grandmother are buried, and one of his daughters is buried there, along with a lot of aunts and uncles, so we have a lot of relatives buried there. My brother, Bud, never had children, and he lost his wife six or seven years ago. He was talking to his administrator and said that he'd like to put new gates at the cemetery to honor our parents."

The Petteys then had to decide what design they would like to use, and they used the gate at the Dodge County fairgrounds as their inspiration.

"He (Bud) looked at it and decided he liked the looks, so he said he wanted to go for it. Ron Papenfuss of R&M Steel built it for us," Robert said.

Installation began early in the morning on Saturday as concrete trucks arrived and workers placed the gates, and the family, consisting of as many who could attend, reminisced and gathered for pictures of the occasion, a moment to be commemorated for the Pettey family and also for those who will enter the cemetery through its new gates.