11 Sep Rest In Peace James Pruitt
We lost another good man. -Mayor Billy
A gentleman and an icon: Longtime Beaufort grocer James W. Pruitt dies at 83
THE BEAUFORT GAZETTE / STEPHEN FASTENAU - September 10, 2021
During the final days of his life, James W. Pruitt liked to sit at the dining room table in the morning watching the lake and birds and deer visit the backyard of the home he lived in on Cat Island.
He watched sports on television, worked on jigsaw puzzles and dropped everything to visit with his “adopted” great-grandchildren.
Pruitt died Wednesday at age 83 after serving generations of Beaufortonians with his downtown corner grocery stores. His final weeks were filled with love from his caretakers, John and Betty Barton, and their family. The Bartons invited Pruitt into their home after a series of heart surgeries almost killed him in 1999.
“He ended up staying, and it was good for all of us,” John Barton said Thursday.
Instead of quitting the store after the surgeries, Pruitt returned to work. He manned Pruitt’s Grocery on Greene Street until June, when he closed the doors on an institution that had been in his family 95 years, the last true corner store downtown.