Frank O. Pruitt, Jr.

March 30, 1928 ~ July 13, 2011

Frank Oliphant Pruitt, Jr., died Wednesday, July 13th, 2011, in his home after a lengthy illness.

He was born March 30, 1928, in Miami Shores, Florida, the eldest of three sons of Martha Lowe Pruitt, originally of Macon, Georgia, and Frank O. Pruitt, Sr., of Thomaston, Georgia.

Mr. Pruitt attended local schools and graduated from Miami Edison High School in 1945. Upon graduation, Frank enlisted in the U.S. Army and was accepted into the "Army Specialized Training Program" (ASTP) at Georgia Military College in Dahlonega, Georgia. After completing a year of college work, his first military assignment was at Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1946, he was accepted into Officer Candidate School (OCS). In September of 1948, he completed his service obligation and received an honorable discharge.

Upon his discharge, he returned to the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he earned a bachelors degree in Business Administration. During his college years, he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, the Blue Key Society, and voluntarily continued his service as an Army Reserve officer. This status would result in his recall to active duty upon his graduation in June, 1951, when the Korean War was in its second year. He served as a First Lieutenant with the 223rd Infantry Regiment, 40th Infantry Division, from June, 1952, to January, 1953, and was stationed in Korea. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, with his citation reading, in part, "Lieutenant Pruitt led his company from Kapyong to Yanggu, Korea, a distance of over 50 miles into their positions on the Main Line of Resistance. Lieutenant Pruitts initiative, technical skill, and sincere devotion to duty reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army." After returning to the U.S., he was promoted to the rank of Captain.

During his second term of military service, he was stationed at Camp Polk, Louisiana, where he met Virginia Ann King. They were married on February 16, 1953, in Lake Charles, LA, at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. At that time, he entered the family insurance and financial services business in Miami, Florida.

In 1962, he and his family moved from Miami to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where he founded Mid-South Insurance Agency (now Louisiana Companies). He also worked in the family land and timber business. He served as Chief Operating Officer of The Powell Group, and was managing partner of Three Sisters and PKP, both family partnerships. In 1995, he was instrumental in the division of The Powell Group, and subsequently served as Chairman of the Board and President of PWK Timberland, LLC. His involvement in these land and timber companies led to his roles as President of the Louisiana Forestry Association, and, most recently, a board member of the LFA Foundation.

During his business career, he served on the board of directors of Calcasieu Real Estate and Oil (now CKX Lands), King Corporation, King Minerals, LLC, and Powell Lumber Company.

Governor Dave Treen appointed him to the Louisiana Board of Regents of Higher Education, and he served from 1983-1988. Mr. Pruitt was also active statewide with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI), having served as President.

His volunteer involvement included President of the Lake Charles Symphony, founding member and President of the Lake Charles Racquet Club, President of the Greater Lake Charles Rotary Club, Chairman of the United Way fundraising campaign, board member of the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana, charter board member of the Krewe of Contraband, where he reigned as King in 1985, King of the Krewe of Mystique in 1983, board member of the Chamber Southwest, founding member of the Montaigne Society, and the planning committee of the new Prien Lake Park.

A faithful member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Frank served on the Vestry for many years. He also served as Senior Warden, as Stewardship Chairman, as a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and several terms as a member of the Board of the Bishop Noland Episcopal Day School.

Frank loved to travel and he and Ginger, over the years, had visited 6 of the 7 continents. As late as June, 2010, he and Ginger traveled with four of their grandchildren to London, England, for an art tour. His many interests included hunting, fishing, sailing his Flying Scot, volleyball, racquetball, handball, tennis matches with his friends and the "half-fast" tennis group, the opera, reading, and running. He participated in many triathlons in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

Frank was an avid student of military history and frequently lectured about the Korean War at St. Louis Catholic High School, Barbe High School, and the McNeese Banner Series. He authored two books about his military service, Reminiscence of a Forgotten War and Delayed Letters from Korea. He wrote these books for the benefit of his children, grandchildren and friends, who might want to capture some of the atmosphere that surrounded a young man growing up during World War II and, later, serving in the Korean War. He returned to Korea on a few occasions, most recently, in 2003, along with his grandson, Andrew Pruitt, for the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement. His patriotism and love for his country were evident throughout his life.

In his senior years, he spent many hours with his collection of cats, always ready to welcome one more into the family. They included Molly, Andy, Buster, Dusty, Josie, Brother, and Black Cat.

Frank was devoted to his wife, children, grandchildren, and his extended family. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Virginia (Ginger) King Pruitt; one daugher, Septima Elizabeth Pruitt Maduzia and her husband, Bill, of Concord, CA; two sons, Samuel Yarborough Pruitt and his wife, Susan, and Logan Postell Pruitt and his wife, Elodie, of Lake Charles; nephew Dr. J. King White, and his wife Pattie, of Lake Charles; cousins Dr. Logan Postell Perkins and his wife, Meredith, of Lake Charles; and G. Merritt King, IV, and his family, of Kinder, LA; eleven grandchildren, James Frank Maduzia, John Robert Logan Maduzia, William Winslow Maduzia and Samuel Lowe Maduzia, of Concord, CA; Anne Elizabeth Maduzia, of London, England; Daniel Thomas Pruitt, Jacob Samuel Pruitt, John William Pruitt, and Charles Logan Pruitt, of Lake Charles; Andrew Gary Pruitt, of Washington, D.C., and his fiance, Anastasia (Stacey) Raftopoulos, of Baltimore, MD, and Martha Annette Pruitt, of Dallas, TX; two brothers, Henry Pruitt and his wife, Mary (Sister), of Stuart, FL, and Peter Pruitt and his wife, Shirley, of Vero Beach, FL; and numerous nieces and nephews.

His family wishes to thank Dr. J. King White for his medical assistance during Franks lengthly illness. They also wish to thank Dawn Watson for her many years of loyal service as Franks administrative assistant.

Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. Friday, July 15th, at Hardtner Hall of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 715 Kirkman Street. The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 16th, at the church, with a reception afterwards in Hardtner Hall.

Memorial Donations can be made to the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd Foundation.

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  1. I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Pruitt. I use to work for him many, many years ago at the Powell Group before moving to the Lafayette area. He was a great boss and I enjoyed working for him. My prayers are with his family.

  2. I was so sorry to hear about Mr. Pruitt's passing. When God calls our loved ones home, we are left with a gift of sweet memories, and what memories you all have. I was so blessed to have worked for him at PWK, he was one of the kindest anmost interesting gentlemen I have ever known. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the Pruitt family.Love,Lucie Vaughan Duplachan

  3. I will miss Frank. We played many a game of tennis together. I so much enjoyed hearing about his book on Korea. He was a true gentleman and scholar.

  4. Our deepest sympathy to the Pruitt family in the loss of Frank, a wonderful gentleman, patriot, and civic leader. We especially appreciate Frank's service to the Chamber SWLA where he served as Chairman of the Board. George SwiftChamber SWLA

  5. Sam family ; Frank was truly a shining light among forestry leaders in Louisiana. I will alwaysremember his steadfast support and vision for the LA Forestry Commission LA Forestry Association.Phi Alpha, Frank !God's Blessings to all, Paul Frey

  6. To Pruitt family- especially Tutti, Sam, Logan, King Elodie- my thoughts prayers are with you during this difficult time. Mr Pruitt was a real gem a great example to all.

  7. To the entire Pruitt family, but especially Sam, Logan, and King, my family and I would like to express our sincere condolences to each of you. I'm sorry I am unable to attend the services, but I will never forget Mr. Pruitt. For the many years I've known him from the business association we shared, he was always so kind and considerate of me, and willing to share so many personal facets of his amazing life. He was an individual who won respect from others simply by being around him. I really appreciated and admired Mr. Pruitt, and consider myself blessed for having known him. He was a good man and made a difference. God bless him and his family.

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