Willard E. "Bill" Pruitt

Willard E. “Bill” Pruitt III, 76, of Bethany Beach, Del., died suddenly on Monday, April 10, 2017.

A native Delawarean, Pruitt was born in Wilmington on Dec. 21, 1940, 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, Pruitt served in the Old Guard at Arlington Cemetery, were 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, Pruitt worked as a pipefitter and maintenance planner for General Chemical in Claymont, Del., retiring after 33 years of employment.

Active in his community, Pruitt 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. Pruitt will be lovingly missed by all who knew him.

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

A visitation was scheduled for April 18, 2017, with funeral service on April 19, 2017, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, New Castle, Del. Interment will follow in the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Bear, Del.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to Be The Match; 500 N 5th St.; Minneapolis, MN 55401-1206.

Condolences may be sent online at www.spicermullikin.com.