James White “Jimmy” Pryor
James White “Jimmy” Pryor of Tupelo, passed away Sunday, July 29, 2012, at his home after an extended illness.
Mr. Pryor was born June 30, 1928, in West Point, to Sarah Ware White Pryor and Roger Winfred Pryor. He and Judy Cook Riley were married August 8, 1975. He was an honor graduate of West Point High School and entered the Citadel in Charleston, S. C. at the age of 16. He graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in civil engineering and began his career in 1949, in Santa Fe, N.M. He returned to West Point, worked briefly at Pryor’s Department Store, then became the first employee and plant engineer of Babcock and Wilcox. He became a partner of J.T. and Robert Harrell in Building Service Company and in 1967, founded Pryor Construction Company, Inc.
Mr. Pryor was a deacon and served in numerous capacities at First Baptist Church of West Point. In Tupelo, he was a member of Calvary Baptist Church where he was a Sunday school teacher for several years. He was a founder and first state president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Mississippi. He was National Director, among other leadership positions, in the Associated Builders and Contractors. In West Point, Mr. Pryor was president of the Clay County Industrial Development Corporation and member of the Board of Directors of First National Bank. He served on the community board of the Bank of Mississippi and was a member of the Northeast Mississippi Industrial Association, Newcomen Society, Sigma Chi Fraternity and the Kiwanis clubs of West Point and Tupelo for over fifty years. He was a long time member of The William Gray Chapter of The Sons of the American Revolution. Mr. Pryor was an avid student of history and traveled widely.
Jimmy Pryor is survived by his beloved wife of 38 years, Judy, of Tupelo: four sons: Jim and wife Emily Pryor of Columbus; Roger and wife Mary Ann Pryor of West Point, Chris and wife Jennifer Riley of Tupelo, Brad and wife Cathy Riley of Tupelo; three daughters: Jan Cressman of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Melanie and husband Ted Olson of Portland, Ore., and Anita Pryor Mayer, also of Portland, Ore., fifteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his sister, Jane Pryor McCall, and a brother, Roger Winfred Pryor, Jr.
Funeral services are 3 p.m. today, Wednesday, August 1, 2012, in the Jefferson Street Chapel of W. E. Pegues with Dr. David Eldridge and Dr. Bryant Barnes officiating. A private entombment will be held in The Chapel of Faith Mausoleum at Lee Memorial Park.
Pallbearers are Larry Eaves, Haywood Washburn, Dr. Bill Hilbun, Ken Nester, Collin Maloney, Jim Weir, Dick Guyton, Dan Steele and Charles Leggett.
Honorary pallbearers will be Tony Carroll, Joey Hutto, Artie Ott, Bill Anderson, Dr. James “Buck” Shirley, Bill Cheek, Hoyt Pitts, and caregivers Janice White, Sharon Young, Carey Robertson, Angie McCollum and Bonite Scott.
Visitation is today, from 1 p.m. until service time at the funeral home in Tupelo.
Special Thanks is expressed to the Sanctuary Hospice House nurses and staff who provided wonderful care for Mr. Pryor, especially Dr. Lee Greer and his nurse Brenda.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Calvary Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 1008 Tupelo, MS 38802, The Alzheimer’s Society, 1900 Dunbarton Drive, Suite 1 Jackson, MS 39216, or Sanctuary Hospice House, P.O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS 38803.
W. E. Pegues Funeral Home of Tupelo is in charge of arrangements.