|FRANKLINTON - Dr. C. Ray Pruette, an outstanding civic, educational and religious leader, died Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008 following a valiant battle with cancer.
A memorial service celebrating the life of Dr. Pruette was conducted at 2 p.m. Monday, September 1, at Franklinton Baptist Church. Interment followed at Fairview Cemetery in Franklinton.
He was born Oct. 3, 1917 in Stokes, to the late Warner and Gertrude Pruette. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Margaret Maria Allen Pruette, and a brother, James Hardy Pruette.
Surviving: his sister, Elizabeth Ann Hill; a niece, Vicki Hill; and a grandniece Jennifer Hoaglund, all of Locust; and his dear friend and companion, Ann Varker Goswick of Franklinton.
He was a 1934 graduate of Gastonia High School and received degrees from East Carolina University, 1939; Wake Forest College, 1946; MA from East Carolina University, 1950; Graduate Study (chemistry) at University of N.C. at Chapel Hill, 1960; Elected Fellow, American Institute of Chemists, 1969; Graduate Study (Physics), East Carolina University, 1969; and Doctor of Education, University of Central Arizona, 1980. In 1938, while a student at East Carolina University, he was elected editor of the college newspaper.
During World War II, he served in the Military Intelligence Division of the War Department in Washington, D.C. where he was assigned to the Japanese section.
Pruette was a long-time member of the Franklinton Baptist Church where he served as deacon, chairman of the Diaconate many times and church clerk. He taught the C. Ray Pruette Sunday School Class for 55 ½ years and was active in the Tar River Baptist Association for over 30 years.
His long involvement in the educational arena in Franklin County spanned 46 ½ years, beginning with teaching appointments at Edward Best High School, Franklinton High School, Mills High School, and as principal of Franklinton High School.
Pruette joined the Louisburg College faculty in 1949 and retired in 1985 as chairman of the Physical Science Division and professor of chemistry and physics, with 36 ½ years of service. During his tenure at Louisburg College, he served in many capacities. Upon his retirement in 1985, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the College. In 1997, he was the first recipient of the Louisburg College Alumni Association’s Cecil W. Robbins Public Service Award, which is awarded for highest commitment and dedicated service to Louisburg College. Pruette’s portrait hangs in the Main Building of Louisburg College.
Pruette had a distinguished record of service with the Franklinton Lions Club beginning in 1960, for which he received numerous awards. His also received Lions Club awards on the international level. In 1994, the Franklinton Lions Club named its Lion-of-Year award the C. Ray Pruette Lion-of-Year Award.
Pruette was a gifted speaker and often filled the pulpit in his own church and pulpits across the Tar River Baptist Association.
In 2002, he received recognition from the Association for faithful service and generous support.
Pruette was involved in all areas of life in Franklin County. In 1948, he became Scoutmaster of Troop 32 of the Boy Scouts of America in Franklinton. He served as president of the Franklin County Cancer Society in 1959.
Some of his other distinguished services include Chairman of the Franklin County Library Board, member of the Franklin Memorial Hospital Steering Committee, and chairman of the Franklin County Arts Council, as well as other memberships too numerous to mention.
He received the Individual Human Service Volunteer Award from Gov. James Hunt and the Governor’s Certificate of Appreciation of Volunteerism from Gov. James Martin.
Flowers welcomed or memorials may be made to: Franklinton Baptist Church, 102 W. Mason St., Franklinton, N.C. 27525; or Louisburg College, 501 N. Main St., Louisburg, NC 27549; or Franklinton Lions Club, P. O. Box 444, Franklinton, NC 27525; or Tar River Baptist Association, 92 N.C. Highway 56 East, Louisburg, NC 27549; or Community Home Care and Hospice, 928 N. Main St., Louisburg, NC 27549.
Arrangements by Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest, NC 27587; www.brightfunerals.com