Bro. Alfred Petty (1926 - 2013)

posted Mar 9, 2015, 10:22 AM by Seattle Alphas
Bro. Alfred Petty was born in Asheville, North Carolina on November 25, 1926.  Bro. Petty is a Charter Brother of Zeta Pi Lambda. In 1932, the Petty Family relocated to Washington DC.  Alfred attended Armstrong Technical High School. Thereafter, he was accepted into the Engineering and Architecture schools of Howard University, Ohio State University and MIT.  When he asked his mother which university he should attend, she made it clear that he would be staying right there in Washington DC and attending Howard University thank you.  Alfred graduated from Howard University in 1948 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

As a Second Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Infantry, Alfred served in Korea where he worked with the Army Corps of Engineers erecting and dismantling strategic supply route bridges.  He was subsequently stationed out of Ft. Lewis in 1952 where he met his wife Delores Carr who lived in Tacoma, Washington with her Aunt Sue Harris.  He retired from the Army as a Lt. Colonel on November 25, 1986.

After his service, Alfred was one of the first African Americans to be employed by the Boeing Company as a Civil Engineer.  While working full-time, Alfred decided to go back to school, earning a Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Washington.  He also received the Sloane Fellowship Award from the Boeing Company and completed the program for Urban Executives at MIT. In 1972, Mayor Wes Uhlman appointed him as Superintendent of Buildings for the City of Seattle.  Mr. Petty, along with Walter Hundley, was one of the first African Americans to hold the position of Superintendent of a City Department. 

Mr. Petty served in this capacity for eight years, during which he approved the construction plans for many of Seattle’s iconic architectural landmarks, including the Kingdome, the Rainier Tower and the restoration of the Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square.  After his tenure as Superintendent, he returned to his position at Boeing.  Mr. Petty retired from Boeing after 40 years with the Company. He continued his involvement with the Boeing Company as a consultant.

Mr. Petty was an active Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member who was made in the Beta chapter at Howard University.  He was also a charter member of the Zeta Pi Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha in the city of Seattle. Pledges could be seen tending to Mr. Petty’s lawn and shrubbery from time to time, as he held the position of Dean of Pledges.

Mr. Petty was an active member of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church for nearly 60 years, where he served in many capacities.

Mr. Petty was a long time member of the Seattle Rotary Service Foundation and the Washington Athletic Club.  He was an avid sports fan and an original season ticket-holder for the Seattle Supersonics and the Seahawks.  He also enjoyed his season tickets for Washington Husky football and rarely missed a home game.