Gene Edwin Pruitt, 83, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, in the comfort and company of his loving wife, Wanda. He was born on Dec. 16, 1929 in Gary, Ind., the son of Basil and Vesta Pruitt.
Gene grew up in Bainbridge, Ind. He was baptized in the Methodist Church of Bainbridge on May 2, 1943. Gene graduated class valedictorian of Bainbridge High School in 1948. Subsequently, Gene attended Indiana University, Purdue University and Butler University, obtaining undergraduate and post-graduate degrees from the latter two, respectively. Gene was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
Gene Pruitt served in the Army from 1953 through 1955, stationed both in Germany and Stateside (Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis). At the end of his service, Gene secured his first teaching contract at LaPaz High School, Marshall County, Ind., and successfully courted the love of his life, Wandaline Cook. They were married Dec. 3, 1955.
Gene and Wanda would later make much of their life together in the Indianapolis area. They would become the parents of two sons, Christopher Edwin (born 1961) and Gary Evan (born 1963). Gene taught and served as guidance counselor for Pike Township Schools before gaining a post as Assistant Superintendent of Schools, which he served until 1973. In that year, Gene obtained the position of Superintendent of Schools for Southern Hancock County and moved the family to Greenfield, Ind. He would see both of his sons graduate from New Palestine High School and attend colleges in Indiana.
Gene retired as Superintendent of Schools after 18 distinguished years, in 1991.
The 1990’s brought quieter and happy years in retirement and in the marriages of his sons and the births of his grandchildren. In 2011, Gene and Wanda moved to West Palm Beach, Fla, where they both enjoyed the mild climate and the vibrant energy and beauty of their new adopted home as well as continued close proximity to immediate family.
Gene Pruitt always cherished his time with family, in the out of doors, and with the concerns of young people. His 36 year long career in public schools, both as a classroom teacher and as an administrator is decorated with many acts of grace and pivotal influences with those he encountered. As a husband and a father, his wife and his sons remember him as the pillar of their family, the first and last hero in the hearts of two boys, and the greatest model of a man his family could ever have known.
Mr. Pruitt is survived by their two sons, Christopher, of West Palm Beach, FL, Gary and wife Tina, of Findlay, Ohio, and four grandchildren, Connor, Sarah, Cody and Cassidy.
A private family memorial will be conducted.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Lourdes-Noreen McKeen Residence, 315 S. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
Arrangements entrusted to Quattlebaum Funeral and Cremation Services 1201 S. Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
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