On November 12, 1917, Dorothy was born to Flora Monday Ward and Robert Milton Ward in Greenville, Texas, the County Seat of Hunt County where the Ward family had resided for more than 100 years. She was raised in Greenville. While in high school, Dorothy was a founding member of the Flaming Flashes drill team directed by Gussie Nell Davis who later became the Kilgore Rangerette Director. Dorothy was known for her “million dollar smile” and was chosen class favorite in her junior year of high school. Dorothy attended Wesley College and East Texas State College. While at E. T., Dorothy was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority.
In 1940, Dorothy married M. M. Pruitt just prior to his induction into the U. S. Air Corps. For the following 5 years, they made their home in California, Idaho, Utah and Florida as they traveled around the United States while he served his country. During the 9 months, M. M. served overseas; Dorothy returned to Greenville.
Dorothy and M. M. moved to Bonham, Texas following his military service and later moved to their farm in Celeste.
During her time in Celeste, Dorothy was actively involved in the school activities of her children David and Jan. She served as room mother for both of them. Dorothy’s outgoing personality and self-deprecating humor made her popular with both young and old in the school. As a matter of fact, Dorothy was nominated to be room mother by her children’s friends. Dorothy was a regular at football, basketball and other sporting events in support of her son, David. She made many weekly trips to the Dallas Easter Seals Center for daughter Jan’s therapy during her pre-school days. Dorothy was a favorite at the Easter Seals Center. She always had Jan at the Center on time with her braces polished and dressed neat as a pin. According to the Center’s therapist, Dorothy was as good as any therapist at the Center. Jan said that Mother made the trips fun by counting cars or naming colors while commuting to Dallas. On a regular basis, Dorothy and Jan would stop at the Toyland store to look. Dorothy and Jan always visited Aunt Evelyn or Aunt Pat before returning home.
In later years, Dorothy and Jan had many home improvement projects, such as painting the fence and carpeting the hallway. These projects went from easy afternoon projects to many days of hard work.
In the 1970’s the Pruitts moved to Celeste where Dorothy continued to be involved in the bingo club, coffee club and the Methodist Women’s activities.
Dorothy’s optimistic attitude and confidence in David and Jan served them well throughout childhood into adulthood. Because of Dorothy’s and M. M.’s constant love and guidance, David and Jan are healthy, happy adults today. Dorothy Pruitt was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, M. M. Pruitt; her parents, Flora Monday Ward and Robert Milton Ward; stepfather, Ota H. Ward; sister, Martha Mae Ward; brothers, Robert Monday Ward, James W. Ward and Ota Ward.
She is survived by her son, David Ward Pruitt and wife, Patricia of Midland; her daughter, Janet Evelyn Pruitt of Sulphur Springs; three grandchildren, Jana Alison Pruitt, John David Pruitt and Charles Tyler Pruitt; and great-grandchildren, Aaron Shipp and Mason, Kirsten and Ethan Pruitt; and nephew, Bobby Ward.
A visitation has been scheduled at Coker-Mathews Funeral Home in Greenville from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday.
Funeral services will be held at Coker-Mathews Funeral Home on Saturday at 4:00 PM with Reverend Bill Eason officiating. Interment will follow at the Celeste Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Bob Barnard, Chris Barnard, John Mark Barnard, Robbie Barnard, Mackie Don Babers, Jeffrey Babers, Richard Phillips, and Johnny Lyon. Honorary Pallbearers will be Bill Barnard and Ronnie Clinton.
Memorials can be made to First United Methodist Church of Celeste, Texas or the North East Texas Easter Seal Center at P. O. Box 227158, Dallas, TX 75222-7158.
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