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Willard E. Pruitt III  

Willard E. Pruitt III

December 21, 1940 – April 10, 2017

Willard E. Pruitt III, age 76, of Bethany Beach, DE, died suddenly on Monday, April 10, 2017.

A native Delawarean, Bill was born in Wilmington on December 21, 1940, and was the son of the late Willard E. Pruitt, Jr. and Marion (Marvel) Pruitt. He was a graduate of A.I. DuPont High School. A proud veteran of the U.S. Army, Bill served in the Old Guard at Arlington Cemetery where he led Black Jack, the riderless horse who was famous for his involvement in more than 1,000 armed forces burials, most notably the interment of President John F. Kennedy. After his honorable discharge, he worked as a pipefitter and maintenance planner for General Chemical in Claymont, DE, retiring after 33 years of employment.

Active in his community, Bill was a longtime member of Lafayette Lodge No. 14 A.F. & A.M, Delaware Consistory, Nur Temple Shrine, Masonic Motorcycle Club, Legion Riders, and the Blue Knights Delaware Chapter 1. Above all else, he was a devoted and loving husband, father, brother and grandfather who enjoyed spending time with family and friends and riding his beloved Harley. Bill will be lovingly missed by all who knew him.

Bill is survived by his wife of 49 years, Theresa F. “Terri” (Gerger) Pruitt; daughters, Lori Mitchem (Bob) of Middletown and Nicole Pruitt (Adam) of Bear; sisters, Ellen Pearce (Jack) of New Castle and Joan Williams (Tom) of Smyrna; grandchildren, Kourtney Mitchem and Jake Greenwood; and many nieces, nephews, extended family members, and close friends.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm on Tuesday evening, April 18, 2017 at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE. A funeral service will be held at 11:30 am on Wednesday morning, April 19, 2017 at the funeral home. Interment will follow in the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bill’s memory can be sent to Be The Match, 500 N 5th St., Minneapolis, MN 55401-1206.

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  1. Sherri and Mike Ferry, April 13, 2017

    Mike and I are very sad to hear this. Our thoughts are with you Terri and your family. He was such a wonderful, gregarious, fun-loving man and we enjoyed spending time with him when we were at Rose and Alex’s house. His smile was one of a kind. We will miss seeing him down the beach dearly, having cocktails with him and him proudly showing us his Harley full dresser. We are blessed to have known him and met him. He had such energy which only makes us think that he will always be around you. Sending love, hugs and peace.

  2. Mr and Mrs Stephen Wasson, April 13, 2017

    There are no words that can even begin to sum up what a wonder guy Bill is and will be as our guardian angel! We are honored to be able to have had a chance to be a part of his life. He is missed and always loved! Ride on our wonderful friend ……

  3. Andy pearc, April 13, 2017

    God took a great angel from us I’ll never forget you or stop loving you uncle bill

  4. David Gerger, April 14, 2017

    So sorry to hear about uncle Bill I will be thinking about him and the rest of our family.

  5. William Ostrander, April 14, 2017

    Just spoke with Bill last week while he was preparing to leave Florida. As usual he was his friendly, upbeat, enthusiastic self. He was always there to help and support anyone in need. Miss him already. Sympathy to all his friends and family.

  6. Dawn Voelker, April 14, 2017

    Lori, I was sadden to hear of your dad’s passing. My thoughts are with you and your family in this difficult time. Holding you close in my heart and thoughts. Hoping you are doing OK. Love Dawn

  7. Donna and Rob Koltuniak, April 14, 2017

    So sad to hear of Bill’s passing. Our sincere condolences to you and your family, Terri. Bill was such a nice man, always there to help out or share a story. George and Anna, and Brian and Linda were so fortunate to have Bill and you as neighbors! And Rob and I shared in that whenever we visited. We will all miss him so much! Much love, kind thoughts, happy memories, and prayers to you and the girls.

  8. Daniel, Robert & Alan Phillips, April 14, 2017

    So sorry to hear of your loss. We know what it is like but time helps. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

  9. Jim Schultz, April 14, 2017

    So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. Terri, our prayers go out to you, Laurie, Nicole and family. R.I.P Bill.

  10. Arlene and Rich Whittington, April 14, 2017

    Terri and Family, Our heartfelt condolences to you. Bill’s easy smile, laughter and funny stories will always be remembered from the old days at Christmas parties over Colette and Charlie’s home in Arundel.

  11. Lowell "Butch" and Linette Bowers, April 14, 2017

    We are shocked and saddened to learn of Bill’s passing. We are thinking of the entire family.

  12. Alex and Rosemary Ferry, April 14, 2017

    We are broken hearted over the loss of our dear neighbor and friend, Bill. He was a part of our family for the many years we had the privilege and honor to live next to him and Terri. He was truly one of a kind – always had a smile, a kind word, a helping hand, a good heart and was a truly good man. We adored him as did my children and will never forget all he did for all of us. We miss him more than we can ever say but will be ‘seeing’ him here always. He touched all of my family with his kind ways, endearing heart and good soul. All our love and prayers to you all.

  13. Pamela Szypulski, April 14, 2017

    Bill was 1 of a kind I fell in love the first time I met him….he always found time for everyone, even an unruly teenage my grandson he took under his wing as he taught him the value of work… so sorry Terri and family he will be missed

  14. Nancy and Al Mako, April 14, 2017

    So sorry to hear of Bill’s death. He truly was a good friend. Bill was always ready for a ride and went many great places with the Blue Knights. Al always enjoyed riding with him.
    Very happy you both were able to visit with us last week. He will be missed.

  15. Andrea Tustin, April 14, 2017

    Dear Terri and Family,

    Bill was the best. His smile went for miles.
    We will always have a smile when we think of Mr.Pruitt.
    Thank you both for all your kindness over the years to our entire family.

    Watch over us Bill, oh and don’t drive God to fast on your motorcycle.

    Andrea Ferry Tustin and Stephen Tustin

  16. Donna Miller, April 14, 2017

    Terry and family: I’m so sorry for your loss. What a shock. Bill was so full of life. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

  17. jennifer hawkins, April 14, 2017

    So sorry to hear of bill’s passing. My thoughts are with you, terri, lori, and nikki. Its been years since I have seen you all but they are all great memories.

  18. Larry & Judy Phillips, April 14, 2017

    Hi cousin Terri,

    We are so sad to hear of the loss of Bill. He was such a great guy, a true gentleman and a Brother Mason, and even though we had not seen him in many years, we still have so many wonderful memories of the times we shared with him and you together. May God Bless you and your family at this time, and give you the strength to carry on as you cherish all of the good times that you and Bill had over so many years. Our prayers are with you always.

    Larry & Judy

  19. Shiela, April 15, 2017

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss and wanted to share the Bible’s hope of a resurrection at John5:28,29 at a time when there is no more sickness pain or death right here on earth according to Revelation 21:3,4. Please read these scriptures and may the god of comfort give you comfort in this time of bereavement.

  20. Jim Davis, April 15, 2017

    World has lost another good guy to his heavenly reward.

  21. Mike and Joyce vari, April 17, 2017

    Joyce and I could not believe it when Mike called and gave us the sad news. We have known Bill for many years and went on many rides with him and Terry. Bill was always funny and ready to ride. he will be greatly missed. Heaven 1 is getting a good man and a friend.

  22. Nancy Barnett, April 17, 2017

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  23. Joe & Eileen Marino, April 17, 2017

    So sorry to hear of Bills passing. Rest in Peace Bill.

  24. Walter and Shirley Klein, April 17, 2017

    Teri and Family,
    It was a shock when we were informed of Bill’s passing. We send our prayers and condolences to you and the family. Bill will be missed by many.

  25. Bruce & CiCi Taylor, April 17, 2017

    We are so sad to hear of Bill’s sudden passing. You will definitely be missed Bill. Our thoughts and prayers for Bill and all his family members. Rest In Peace Bill.

    Bruce & CiCi
    Blue Knights DE 1

  26. Frank Chas Lind, April 18, 2017

    Not only was he a GREAT man but a good Masonic brother. And great friend ride in the sky my brother.

  27. Nancy Burns, April 18, 2017

    So sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. My thoughts & prayers are with the family. Loved his smile & funny stories. Always a gentleman. Rest in peace, Bill.

  28. Charlean Baird, April 18, 2017

    Lori – I am so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  29. Duane Donovan, April 18, 2017

    Terri and family:

    Terri there are no words to say how sorry both Bruce and I are to hear this news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  30. Becky Frenzel, April 23, 2017

    I was so sorry to hear about Bill passing and shocked. I saw Bill when he was getting ready to leave for Florida and know he was excited about it. He will be missed and I always enjoyed talking with him when
    we had Shuffle Board games. He was a great person and thought dearly of his family.

    You had a great husband and dad I know you will miss him dearly. I don’t know if time heals as I’m
    going through the same and only know it’s difficult but take each day at a time. God has a way of
    getting us through the difficult times.

    Take care,
    Becky Frenzel
    Ocean View, DE

  31. Carl Segerstrom, April 23, 2017

    I enjoyed working with Bill for many years at General Chemical. He made my job easy. He would always come in on the “call-ins” as an hourly worker, and later on did a great job as maintenance planner. I appreciate the help he gave me, as a young engineer. My thoughts and prayers are now with his family. Rest in peace, Bill


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