Bears player starts fundraiser as funeral held for slain fan

Special to the Tribune

A private funeral service for slain Bears fan William Christopher Pettry was held this afternoon while a fundraising effort has been launched by Bears player Kellen Davis to help Pettry’s widow and three children.

Davis, the Bears tight end, will host a fundraiser for Pettry’s family at 5 p.m. Saturday at John Barleycorn on North Clark Street in Wrigleyville. Several current and former Bears players are expected to be on hand.

And at least two efforts to assist Pettry’s family – one by Davis – have been launched on, an online fundraising site, where more than $20,000 total has already been pledged.

Pettry, 42, of Lake Villa, died on Oct. 7 after his throat was slashed in a restaurant in Jacksonville, Fla., where he’d traveled to see the Bears play the Jaguars. A Jacksonville man has been arrested and charged in the killing.

Pettry’s sister, former Chicago police sergeant Veronica Pettry, said her brother was the family’s sole provider and has no life insurance.

“We are so overwhelmed and grateful that the Bears would take time away from their own families to help ours,” she said. “This person chose to take away my brother’s life, but they cannot take away the outpouring of love that is happening now.”

A public visitation for Pettry is planned for 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Strang Funeral Home in Antioch.


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