Little, Vernon Keith
Pete Little, a long time Atlanta advertising executive, died of a brain hemorrhage on February 7, 2013. He was 81years old. Pete was born in Houghton in Michigan's upper peninsula to Dorcas Singleton Little and Fred Little. When he was ten when the family moved to Birmingham, MI. After graduating from Baldwin High School he attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism as an advertising major on a NROTC scholarship. While at NU he was a member of Psi Upsilon social fraternity and two journalism honorary societies: Pi Alpha Mu and another whose name is lost to his memory.
After graduation he was commissioned as an ensign in the US Navy and after attending Navy Supply Corps school was stationed aboard the battleship USS Missouri and destroyer USS Ingraham where he was the ship's supply officer. Also aboard the Missouri at that time were two Atlanta residents, Henry Grady and Bill Astrop. It was Mr. Grady who introduced Pete to his bride-to-be the late Adrianne (Abie) Johnson while they were rehearsing Bach's B Minor Mass with the Norfolk Civic Chorus. Abie was the daughter of RADM Jesse Gearing and Elizabeth Harrold Johnson.
After completing his three year tour of duty Abie and Pete returned to Northwestern where he obtained his MSJ degree. From that point until he retired in 1995 he was involved in advertising in the southeast. He was appointed advertising manager of the Norfolk & Western Railway and for his accomplishments there he received a national award from Industrial Advertising magazine as their Man-of-the-Year in 1963. From the N&W he went to Cargill Wilson & Acree advertising agency in Richmond as an account executive where he became a Senior Vice President and moved to Atlanta when CW&A opened an office here. After five years with CW&A he joined with two advertising executives who had an agency in Norfolk and formed Lawler Ballard Little. He opened an office of LBL in Atlanta which became noted for its outstanding creative product. In 1979 he opened his own agency, Little & Associates, specializing in advertising for financial institutions, business-to-business advertisers and residential resort properties.
During his career he was president of Advertising Clubs in Norfolk and Roanoke, the Atlanta Chapter of the American Marketing Association, the Southeast Chapter of the National Agri Marketing Association and the Business Professional Advertising Association. He also served on the national board of the BPAA.
While in Richmond he taught an Advertising 101 class at Virginia Commonwealth University and in Atlanta was a guest lecturer at advertising and marketing classes at the University of Georgia and Georgia State. He served as a judge at several local and regional Ad Club creative competitions and spoke on the importance of creativity in advertising to Ad Clubs from Baton Rouge to Raleigh.
He was an avid dry fly fisherman (more enthusiastic than skilled) and terrorized trout from New Zealand to Argentina to Great Britain. Pete spent many cold November days on Hatteras Island surf fishing for the large, and fortunately hungry (15#+) bluefish. He was also an enthusiastic doubles tennis player, teaming up with his late wife for many years. In his later years he played golf (again more enthusiasm than skill), enjoying the many venues in and around Atlanta and the company of his fellow players who tolerated his ineptness. Reading was always a major part of his life and in tribute to the Atlanta library he worked as a volunteer restacker (specializing in fiction) at the Buckhead branch for more than 15 years. Many hours were spent gardening, especially tending to his camellias which won many blue ribbons at the Southeastern Flower Show and on one occasion was awarded the Ema Tippins Hodges trophy for Best Outdoor Camellia . For many years he was a member of the Buckhead Men's Garden Club.
He is survived by his four splendid sons – Keith (of Houston), Geof (of Lyme,NH), Chris (of Irvington, VA) and Todd (of Ellsworth, ME); four wonderful daughters-in-law – Julie, Jeannie, Martha and Christa; and eight marvelous grandchildren – Chelsea, Harrison, Caroline, Rebecca, Jessica, Emily, Pedro and Pablo – all of the six oldest having graduated from high school and college with honors. A memorial service will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Saturday, February 16 at 11am in the Dobbs Chapel with a reception following. In lieu of flowers friends may send donations to the Maya Educational Foundation, PO Box1483, Wellfleet, MA 02667, www.mayaedufound.org.