As we retrace the footprints of Desmond we can only give thanks for the many lives he enriched along life’s journey. A strong, and quiet young man, he was blessed to enjoy many of God’s blessings as a son, a brother, grandson, nephew, cousin and trusted friend.
On October 25, 1978, Reva Blacknall and Swazy Pruitt welcomed the birth of a bouncing brown bubble of joy who they named Desmond LaMar Pruitt. From the beginning they knew he would grow up to be a very active and talented child. “Des” was the apple of his mother’s eye and Net made sure he had all that he needed and wanted.
Des was a 1997 graduate of Central High School where he excelled as a student. He took his education seriously and always reached for the stars. He maintained an impeccable G.P.A and always kept his priorities straight when it came to homework and exams. He built strong bonds and lasting friendships with many of his friends, faculty and staff at Central. He was a 2004 Cum Laude graduate of Philander Smith College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in organizational management. His stellar education included 2003-04 Dean’s List Scholar, National Dean’s List Scholar, and the US Presidential Scholar. He later completed his Master of Arts degree in 2007 majoring in Human Resources Management.
In 1998 Des started a flourishing career with Alltel Communications, Inc. His intellect, service, and integrity allowed him to earn many promotions while Alltel. He left Alltel in 2008 and worked as a collections Manager for Ally Bank–GMAC Financial Services. He later worked as a supervisor in the appointment center at UAMS, Target Stores and lastly with AirServe at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.
Des was a dedicated member of Greater St. John Baptist Church, a small fellowship where he served with the praise team, as a member of the choir, mentor for Homework Haven and served as staff with the youth department. He loved Greater St. John and those who know him witnessed his growth and development in Christ. He was a proud member of Gamma Mu Phi Fraternity, Inc. Des was the founder and former president of the Lambda Chapter. It was in this organization that he honed the attributes of brotherhood, good character, manhood, leadership, loyalty, professionalism scholarship and service.
He was that cool, laid-back friend who was in tune with the latest trends and fashions. He had a great sense of humor and never met a stranger. He lived life to the fullest and there was never a dull moment when Des was around. Desmond’s energetic personality, his giving nature and his pursuit for the next best thing was a magnet for those who wanted his energy to rub off on them. He was widely known for his quick wit and charm.
After 36 seasons of life he received his blessing of immortality on Saturday, January 24, 2015. As we retrace life let us remember that it’s not how long you live, but how well you live. His passing shall be filled with rejoicing for a life well lived. It is a given that he lived a brief life filled with love, joy, happiness and now is added to His great and blessed family in the world beyond our vision, a place not made by human hands, a place we call Heaven.
Desmond was preceded in death by his beloved mother who made her transition on May 21, 2014. Because love is greater than death Desmond will live forever in the hearts of his beloved aunts, Stacy Blacknall and Gloria Billings; his father, Swazy Pruitt; his cousins, Terrance Billings, Tessle Billings and Jessika Williams; cousins whom he cherished as brothers and sisters, Knaudia (Fred) Harris, Eric Bridges, Marc (Vera) Bridge and LaDonna Middleton; close friends Kenya Gary, Danielle Price, Shandrea McKenzie and Sonja Wray; his siblings, Swazy Pruitt, III., Khary Foxworth, Stevehen Pruitt and Sonja (James) Pruitt-Marshall; two aunts, Sherry Townsend, and Tia Townsend; one great-aunt, Bessie Blacknall; a special cousin, Rosie Blacknall-Gill; a caravan of other beloved relatives, friends, the Greater St. John Church family and the brother’s of Gamma Mu Phi.
A celebration of “Des” life will be shared at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Rev. Sherman McKenzie, eulogist and C. Dennis Edwards, I. officiating.
Public viewing will be at the funeral home on Friday, January 31, 2015 from 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm. Public viewing will resume at 6:00 pm at Greater St. John Baptist Church, 2024 S. Madison, Little Rock. The family will receive friends from 7:00 - 8:00 pm. Interment will be in Centerpoint Cemetery in Sparkman, Arkansas.