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Long-time Halifax County law officer dies at 81

Long-time Halifax County Sheriff’s Department Major Roy Hampton Pruett of Paces died Monday at his home following a lengthy illness.

He was 81.

Many who worked with Pruett in the sheriff’s department fondly remembered him Tuesday when learning of his passing.

 Former Sheriff Jeff Oakes described Pruett’s passing as “a great loss to the community.”

“He was an absolute cherished member of the sheriff’s office during his career and after.  He is one of those irreplaceable people. He knew everybody and treated everybody with courtesy and kindness. He is respected by every law enforcement agency in the region,” Oakes said.

Long-time Deputy Earl Conner of Nathalie who worked side by side with Pruett for 20 years remembered his friend and boss, saying, “He was my supervisor for many years, and he was excellent to work for. He will be missed.”

Linda Shelton of Halifax, who worked with Pruett during her years in the sheriff’s office, described Pruett as “always a gentleman who looked out for fellow employees’ best interests.”

Captain Thomas Logan, who also worked with Pruett for many years, said, “It’s really upsetting.”

“I started working with him when he came back in 1996 working part-time after his retirement. He is going to be missed. He was one heck of a man who was well-respected,” Logan added.

Chief Animal Control Officer and former Deputy Todd Moser recalled Pruett always being there.

“When I first started in law enforcement in 1992, Roy was helping with civil processing and courtroom security. He was probably one of the easiest going, most laid-back deputies I’ve ever worked with. He was also one of the most knowledgeable and smartest deputies I’ve ever worked with. He was very well-liked.

“There wasn’t a person who ever met him who didn’t like him,” Moser added.

Born in Halifax County on June 10, 1931, he was the son of the late Cornelius Jefferson Pruett and Virginia Mae Cook Pruett and was married for 60 years to Mary Ann Long Pruett who survives.  

He was a member of Mercy Seat Presbyterian Church where he was a former deacon and elder and was a lifetime member of the Turbeville Volunteer Fire Department.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by one daughter,
Susan Pruett Clarke, and husband Barry of Paces, four grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Funeral services will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at Powell Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Dan Ward and the Rev. Dr. Ed Melvin  conducting the service.  Burial will follow at First Crossroads Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends at Powell Funeral Home tonight from 7-9 p.m. and other times at his home, 5014 Melon Road, South Boston.