Peter D. Pruden Jr.

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Peter DeWitt Pruden Jr., 87, of Suffolk, died April 4, 2005. Mr. Pruden was a native and lifelong resident of Suffolk and was the son of the late Lillian Lovena Brett and Peter DeWitt Pruden. He was predeceased by his first wife, Judith Brothers Pruden and his sister, Ellen Pruden Russell. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis Stancill Pruden.

He attended Elon College before serving in the U. S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He owned and operated Pruden Packing Co. of Suffolk from the time of his military discharge until his retirement in 1980. Along with his father, he was an early member of the board of directors of Smithfield Packing Co. (now Smithfield Foods, Inc.), until that company was sold in 1969.

Mr. Pruden served on the Suffolk Advisory Board of American National Bank and the board of Louise Obici Memorial Hospital. He was a past member of the Suffolk Lions Club, American Legion Post 57, the Suffolk German Club, the Suffolk Tennis Association and was a charter member of the Suffolk Racket Club. At the time of his death, he was a board member of the Suffolk Recreational and Charitable Association, which operated the public Suffolk Golf Course and was a board member and benefactor of The Pruden Foundation, established by his father in 1972. He was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and former vestry member and church trustee and also attended Main Street United Methodist Church with his wife, Phyllis. In his latter years, Mr. Pruden expanded his philanthropic activities with gifts to several regional medical research hospitals, the establishment of need-based scholarships at many colleges in Virginia and North Carolina, and towards the establishment of the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. He enjoyed bridge and was a member of the Couple’s Bridge Club.

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Other survivors include two daughters, Judith Anne Pruden of New York, Martha Pruden McMahon and her husband, William of Winnetka, Ill.; a son, Peter DeWitt Pruden III, and his wife, Pamela of Suffolk; seven grandchildren, William Coulson McMahon III, Peter Martin McMahon, Caroline Brett McMahon, Peter DeWitt Pruden IV, Jonathan Edward Pruden, Emily Brooke Pruden and Taylor Randolph Pruden; two great-grandchildren, Tucker DeWitt Pruden and William Meade Pruden; stepchildren, Diane Stancill Hall and husband, R. C. Hall Jr., of Richmond, Nancy Stancill Norman and husband, Leonard Norman of Charlotte; Melinda Stancill Poe and Lee Poe of Virginia Beach; Steven Godfrey Stancill and wife, Tanita Lynn Stancill of Woodberry Forest; Jane Stancill Lawrence and husband, George Lawrence of Durham; six step-granchildren, David Robertson Hall, Steven Randolph Hall, Jeffrey Stancill Norman, Andrew Godfrey Stancill, Ella S. Stancill and William Wells Lawrence.

A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m.

Thursday, April 7, 2005 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with the Rev. Charles A. Robinson and the Rev. Robert J. Parks Jr. officiating. The burial will be private in Cedar Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends in the home of Peter D. Pruden III, 826 Riverview Drive, from 7 to 9 p.m. today.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Genieve Shelter, 1548 C Holland Road, Suffolk, Va. 23434, or the Suffolk-Nansemond Rescue Squad, P. O. Box 1515, Suffolk, Va. 23439.

R. W. Baker and Co. Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family. Condolences may be sent to