Chris Pettry, 42, was the sole source of income for his family, and Deffes says he had no life insurance.
“I just…wanted to do something about it,” Deffes said.
After looking for a way to give condolence money to Pettry’s family, Deffes made his own way.
“And I’m quite certain that if I hadn’t thought of it, you know, somebody else would have within hours of me thinking of it.”
Deffes started the William C. “Chris” Pettry Jacksonvile Cares Fund on yousharing.com. He hopes to raise $25,000 by the end of October, and as of October 14 the fund has collected $6,465 for Karen Pettry and her children. Deffes says they’ve already started receiving the money.
After speakin with Karen, Deffes says she’s “still distraught” over what happened.
“She put her husband on a plane to come down here and have a good time….and just like that….he’s not comin’ home.”
“Of course there was the thought that it was a black eye upon Jacksonville,” Deffes said.
But he says this does more than give Jacksonville a chance to say “I’m sorry.”
“This is actually going to help Karen and her three children survive.”
When she thanked him, he told her there's no need to.
“God watches everything I do, and that’s where I get my reward,” Deffes said.
“John, my kids and myself want to thank you so much for doing this for our family. Our life has been turned upside down. Chris will be proud how everyone has helped his famiy during these tough times. I also want to thank all that have donated to our family.There are no words that can express how thankful I am. Thank you so much.”
Matthew Hinson, 27, is charged with the murder of Chris Pettry.
CLICK HERE if you would like to contribute to the Chris Pettry fundraiser.