Donice Hawes Kelly Pruitt
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Donice Hawes Kelly Pruitt
  • April 21, 1922 - July 7, 2016
  • Texas

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Donice Hawes Kelly Pruitt died peacefully at the Carillon House in Lubbock, Texas on July 7, 2016 at the age of 94. She was born at her childhood home (family farm) in Benton, Kansas in 1922 and was raised there by her parents along with her sister until leaving for college in 1940. Donice was inspired to learn and teach others. She earned multiple degrees having attended several institutions of higher learning including Harding University, Kansas State University, Penn State University and eventually a PhD. in Home Economics, Sociology, and Higher Education from the Ohio State University. Donice used her degrees to teach at the college level and ultimately became the Chair of the Home Economics and Family Studies Department at Abilene Christian University, having served on the faculty for 23 years until her retirement in 1987. Donice married her first husband Alvin Kelly in 1969 in Stillwater, OK and was married for 28 years until his death in 1997. She later married her second husband Walter Pruitt in 2000 in Abilene, TX and was a blessing in that relationship until his death in 2005. Donice loved and served so many people in her lifetime and was a true inspiration to all who were privileged to know her in the many places that she lived and worked. Donice is survived by her four step-children Kathy Kelly Feuerhelm of Londonderry NH, Mike Kelly and wife Tracy of Joplin, MO, Celeste Thompson and husband Mark of Lubbock, TX, Allen Pruitt and wife Celeste of Midland, TX; three loving nieces, Mary Henry Snyder of Dallas, TX, Carolyn Henry of Stillwater, OK, and Lora Henry Holeman of Bronson, KS; brother-in-law Dwight Henry of Stillwater, OK, Len Feuerhelm and wife Caren of Edmond, OK, plus numerous other cousins, 15 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents Will and Thurza Hawes, her sister Averil Henry, her first husband Alvin Kelly, and her second husband Walter Pruitt. Donice accomplished many things in her lifetime. She was not only a respected instructor, professor, and scholar but also had an interest in history and genealogy. She maintained great records of ancestry dating back to the formation of the United States and notable family members therefrom. She received numerous recognitions and professional achievements for her expertise in home economics and family disciplines. Most notably, many of her students from Abilene Christian University still remember her years after graduation as a favorite teacher. She regularly attended Hillcrest Church of Christ in Abilene, TX for many years and was well known to its membership as an active member, mentor to young women, and a faithful Christian example willing to serve wherever needed.
A viewing and family visitation is scheduled for Friday July 15 from 6-8PM at the Elliott Hamil Funeral Home (Hwy 277) in Abilene, TX for those friends and family who would like to pay final respects. A graveside service will be held at 11AM on Saturday July 16 at Elmwood Memorial Park in Abilene, TX. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials/donations to Abilene Christian University or Christian Service Center of Abilene. The family would like to thank the staff at Carillon House for their ongoing love and care and Hospice of the South Plains during her final days. Arrangements under the direction of Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home, Abilene, TX.