Nathan Ray Pruitt – Eastland

Nathan Ray Pruitt, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend, and educator, passed from this earth on Saturday, July 11, at 1:00 pm at Mesa Springs Health Center in Abilene. Funeral Services will be at Daugherty Street Church of Christ on Wednesday, July 15, at 10:00 am, conducted by Ministers Larry Roberts and Burnett Hunt. Interment will follow at 2:30 pm in Hamilton with Minister David Wallace officiating under the direction of the Summers-Bakker Funeral Home in Eastland. Visitation will be from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Tuesday, July 14 at Summers-Bakker Funeral Home.

Born April 30, 1927 in Hamilton, Texas to Jessie Franklin and Mattie Knoxie (Stone) Pruitt, Ray and his twin sister, Nancy Faye Schrank, were the youngest of six children. He attended school in Hamilton, graduating in 1944. He then enlisted in the U.S. Navy for a two-year period. He attended Clifton Jr. College from 1946 – 1948 and graduated from ACU in 1950. He received his masters’ degree from Baylor University in 1952 and continued in his doctoral studies at Baylor. He began a long teaching career at Star, Texas as coach and teacher three years and coached at Vaughn, New Mexico for one year. While in Vaughn, his basketball team won the Bean Valley Tournament, which included the entire state of New Mexico. In 1954, he embarked on a school superintendentcy career which spanned 32 years, including 14 at Sidney, Texas, 6 at Roby, Texas, and 12 years at Eastland, where he retired in 1986. After a brief retirement, he served as Eastland County Auditor for eight years.

Ray was married to Wanda Jean Norris in1949, and to this union was born son Nick (Julie Murray) of Abilene – Wylie, Texas; daughter Karen Glenn of Eastland; and twin sons Mark (Sherry Williams) of Sugar Land and Tim, who resides at Abilene State School. Theirs was a happy life devoted to church, school and sports activities. In each city in which they resided, the support and love they received remains a special and treasured memory for him and his family.

Ray was a dedicated school administrator who arose about 3:00 am on icy mornings and ran the bus route to ascertain if the weather permitted school openings. Some neighboring superintendents trusted his judgment in determining their own decisions. He served in several offices and was awarded the Texas Actuaries Award for outstanding math teacher in Texas. He was given the Lions Club Golden Deed Award in 1986 and the Kiwanis Club award the same year. His former principals, secretaries, and teachers remain dear friends as do many too numerous to name.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Jessie Earl and wife Mary Ruth; Malcolm; and James Hubert and wife Sheryl; and one sister, Margaret Reese. He is survived by his twin sister, Faye, and two sisters-in-law, Cleo Pruitt of Lake Jackson and Fonceale Cole of San Antonio; and one brother-in-law, C. T. Reese. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Jeb ( Stacie Garner) and their children Jaycee and Blake; Justin Glenn and children Ashton and Dylan; Jacob Pruitt (Leah Wilson); Tory Glenn; Holy Pruitt; Timothy Pruitt; and Megan Pruitt; along with numerous nephew and nieces; and a protective, rascally dog named Buddy.

The family invites friends to leave condolences or share a memory of Ray at Summers-Bakker Funeral Home.

If anyone wishes to, memorials may be made to Volunteer Services, Abilene State School, Box 451, Abilene, Texas, 79603, or a charity of your choice.

The Pruitt family acknowledges with deep appreciation the support, love, and strength you have been to us through your calls, letters food and especially your prayers.

Nathan Ray Pruitt
Nathan Ray Pruitt