Evan D. Pruitt
1925 ~ 2013
Evan (EV) Pruitt of Central Point, Ore., passed away December 18, 2013 from complications of a heart aneurism. He was 88. He was born Evan David Pruitt August 19, 1925 in Riddle, Ore. to Commie and Laura Keyte Pruitt. EV was the second of four children. His parents moved to Merlin, Ore. and then to Gold Hill, Ore. eventually landing in Grants Pass, Ore. His father ran grocery stores in each place, retiring in Grants Pass.
EV went to school there, graduating from Grants Pass High School in June of 1943. He participated in many sports (basketball, track and baseball). He was drafted into the U.S. Navy shortly after graduating. After completing Boot Camp and, due to his marks in mathematics, he was sent to Chicago, Ill., Houston, Texas, and finally Treasure Island, learning all he could regarding Radar and Radio Communication (Morse Code). He served the U.S. Navy aboard a Troop Transport Vessel, the USS Lavaca. He spent three years in the South Pacific, crossing the equator six times transporting troops and civilian personnel from the various islands in the war zone. He kept records of the arrivals and departures in the New Testament his mother had given him. The ship received news of Japan surrendering in August 1945 and headed to Manila Bay and then to Tokyo Bay. They witnessed the Surrender Ceremony on September 2, 1945 while they were moored in the bay. He returned to the States and was discharged April 12, 1945. Returning home, he continued education in Electronics, Radar and TV communications in Los Angeles,Calif.
Finishing his schooling he returned to Oregon and went to work for the Pacific Telephone Company in 1947. He married Ruth Sullivan in 1950 and his telephone career included transfers all over Oregon to Roseburg, Medford, Eugene, and again in Portland, finally ending in Bend. During the many moves they had four children, three sons and a daughter. They later divorced and EV later married Dorothy Erkenbeck. He retired in 1980 after 32 years of service.
After retirement he was very active building a garage and a home in Fall River Estates south of Sunriver. He became an involved homeowner overseeing the water system, helping to organize replacing a deteriorating wooden bridge and helping to establish a Road District to provide funds for paving the roads in the area. He had many talents, friends, and co-workers.
EV was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Ruth. Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; son, David (Sue) Pruitt of Seattle, Wash., daughter, Eileen (John) Palmer of Grants Pass, Ore., sons, John Pruitt of Syracuse, N.Y., and Tom (Patrice) Pruitt of Walnut Creek, Calif.; and a step-son, Cary Erkenbeck of Canby, Ore. Also surviving are seven grandchildren; one step-granddaughter; one great-grandson; a sister, Jean Pruitt Metcalf of Grants Pass, Ore.; a brother, Gary (Maxine) Pruitt of Littlefield, Ariz.; and several nieces and nephews.
EV was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Life Member of Grants Pass Elks, and a member of Rogue Valley Genealogical Society. Memorial Contributions may be made to Westminster Church, Rogue Valley Genealogical Society and our local Food Bank.
A Celebration of Life Service for Evan Pruitt at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 11, 2014 at the First Christian Church, 305 H Street, Grants Pass, Ore. Please send stories, comments, and memories to Pastor Winn at Weswinn@msn.com.