Joseph Lenzy Pruitt, Jr. (Sonny), age 96, passed away Friday, September 1, 2023, at the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Chris and Brenda.
Mr. Pruitt was born October 22, 1926. He married Clara Messmer Pruitt on May 2, 1953.
Joe was a WWII Army veteran, serving the end of the War in Adak in the Aleutian Islands. He was stationed there to ensure the enemy didn’t try to retake American soil. He worked many jobs over the years and retired from International Harvester. He farmed in addition to working out. Like most of his generation, he worked hard all his life. He and Clara cut, split, and heated with wood from his property until he reached the golden age of 90. He loved his family, farm, cows, gardening, and playing pinochle and euchre. He was an accomplished ballroom dancer. As a teen and young man, he was known for his prowess at marble shooting. He loved to travel and wander the world. Joe had a sense of humor that drew others to him.
Joe is survived by his six children: Connie Lewellyn (Gary) of Sellersburg, Chris Pruitt (Brenda) of Pekin, Beth Wells of Louisville, Jeffrey Pruitt (Kelly) of Pekin, Janet Casey (Donnie) of Salem and John Pruitt (Sherry) of Garner, North Carolina, eleven grandchildren: Nyle Sullivan (Kristie), Linzi Pruitt, Clayton Pruitt (Jessica), Cassie Gilbert (Patrick), Dusty Sullivan, Eli Pruitt, Jason Pruitt, Kelsey Lewellyn (Tom), Shelley Mullins (Jake), Sydney Pruitt (Jamal), and Connor Lewellyn (Chellsea), 25 great-grandchildren: Parker, Tanner, Madison, Cambria, Ayden, Hallie, Abrielle, Elisabeth, Caroline, Brennan, Cora, Bowen, Sophie, Kayde, Kinzley, Forrest, Autumn, Simon, Aubree, Colton, Kayleigh, Grayson, Athena, Landon, and Serenity.
He was preceded in death by his wife: Clara Messmer Pruitt, and siblings: Mary Messmer, Helen Laverne Gilligan, Doris Woods, Larry Pruitt, and Joanne Porter.
Funeral services will be held Thursday at 11AM at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 208 S. Shelby St., Salem. Burial will follow in St. Patrick’s Cemetery with military honors. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4-8PM and Thursday from 9-10:30AM at Weathers Funeral Home.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt appreciation to Betty Bowers, who assisted in caring for him and the wonderful staff of Interim Home Health and Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: WHAS Crusade for Children.