John Duane Pruett, 83, left this world Sunday, July 16, 2017, from Ben Hur Memory Care Unit, Crawfordsville. He was born Jan. 2, 1934, in Sandford, to Kleon O. and Wilma Jewel Pruett. On May 10, 1952, he married Patricia Sue Payne, who survives.
John was a 1951 graduate of Western High School in Russiaville. A United States Air Force veteran (1951-1955), John trained and taught electronics and radar maintenance. He worked for RCA on the Eastern Test Range in New Jersey, Alaska, Greenland, Florida, Trinidad, and on the ships Vandenberg and Mariner, using radar telemetry in support of early space flights. He started BSA Troop 309 in Florida, and later became scout executive and camp director at Camp Barnhardt in North Carolina. In 1974, he became the manager of Epworth Forest UMC Camp and Conference Center in North Webster. From 1978 until retirement in 2002, he was electronics instructor, then facilities director at Ivy Tech Community College in Kokomo.
John's joy was camping with his wife, Pat, their children and grandchildren. He was talented in carpentry and built their home and several pieces of furniture. He relaxed by playing piano and enjoying God's beautiful creations in nature. He was a member of the VFW, and St. Luke's UMC in Kokomo, then Christ's UMC in Crawfordsville, where they moved in 2014 to live by daughter Elisha and husband Rodney, near Ladoga.
In addition to his wife, Pat, John is survived by their children, Michael (Marian) Pruett, Carolina Beach, North Carolina, Marcia Kelly, Carmel, Jewel Kilmer, Kokomo, Scott (Tammy) Pruett, Nashville, Tennessee, and Elisha (Rodney) McCulloh, Ladoga; 12 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and half sisters, Diane Helms and Elaine Nelson, Michigan.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Richard Pruett; and half brother, Mark Helms.
A memorial service will be held in the spring of 2018 at Russiaville United Methodist Church, where John and Pat met, attended, and were married by John's stepfather, the late Rev. Roy R. Helms. Messages of condolence may be expressed online at www.stoutandson.com.
Published on August 4, 2017