Cathedral City — With little fanfare, a plaque was placed near one of the focal points of this community’s downtown, the Fountain of Life, to memorialize a man who gave so much to this community. The popular water feature is now officially known as the Gregory S. Pettis Fountain of Life.
The Fountain of Life was named in memory of the late Mayor Gregory S. Pettis who served on the City Council from Dec. 12, 1994 until his death on Jan. 15, 2019.
Shortly after his death, the Mayor Gregory S. Pettis Lasting Memorial Committee narrowed its list of ideas to two, which the City Council eventually approved in March.
The Memorial Committee recommended — and the City Council approved — the Fountain of Life and the Rainbow Crosswalk be named in honor of Pettis.
He died about a month after he was sworn in as mayor.
Pettis was known for being a fierce advocate for his constituents — all of them, Democrat or Republican, gay or straight, children and adults, men and women, and every ethnicity.
He had a lengthy record of legislative accomplishments that included shepherding some of the city’s jewels. One of those gems was the Fountain of Life. He enjoyed watching the children play in the water on sweltering summer days.
Pettis played a key role in fostering a relationship with Cathedral City’s sister city, Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, and bringing the granite used to construct the Fountain of Life from the state of Jalisco.
On Wednesday, with temperatures in the triple digits, children scampered and squealed with delight in the Fountain’s ever-flowing streams of water. That is what Pettis enjoyed. He said once that he never tired of it.
Pettis played a major role in turning the city’s downtown corridor into an Arts and Entertainment District. The Fountain of Life is part of this corridor. The overriding theme found in the fountain’s design is the spiral, a symbol of continuous birth and ever-upward rejuvenation, the essence of the process Cathedral City is involved with Downtown.
“We did a ceremony for the rainbow crossing near LGBT Days weekend; however, the fountain was low-key with just an announcement,” Chris Parman, Communications/Events Manager, told Uken Report.
The plaque dedicating it as the Gregory S. Pettis Fountain of Life is on the walkway wall going from City Hall to the fountain at Town Square Park.
- Gregory S. Pettis Fountain of Life: Owned by the author