Dr. John Phillip Pruitt, 67, died unexpectedly Friday, April 2, 2021. But more importantly he lived for 67 years with a fierce passion expressed through his faith, family, giving, & dentistry.
Dr. John Phillip Pruitt, aka “Papa Doc”, was born February 23, 1954 to Thomas Pitts Pruitt & Josephine Poole Pruitt in Hickory, NC.
John attended Sewanee Military Academy, played several sports, and was quite the prankster in his younger years. John applied to 1 college and went on to graduate from Wake Forrest University, then attended UNC Chapel Hill Dental School from 1976 - 1980. Upon graduation from dental school, he moved to Winston-Salem to begin working with his dental mentor & partner, Dr. Charles Culbreath.
It was in Winston-Salem where he met his wife, Vicky Clark, and started a family with sons, Phillip and Michael.
He served in the US Army reserves for +10 years and was honorably discharged as a Major in 1992. He grew and expanded his dental practice to what is now known as “Winston Smiles”, whom he considered his 2nd family. He recently celebrated his 40th year in dentistry, where he likely would have never fully retired because of his love for the profession.
He served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and dental missionary through Calvary Baptist Church, Pinedale Christian Church, and Center Grove Church. His passion was to serve communities locally and all around the world with his dental gifts. He provided free dental clinics monthly in Winston-Salem, Veteran clinics around North Carolina, and provided care to over 50 locations around the globe for underprivileged communities.
He was a founder & pioneer for developing “Footbridge” which is a nonprofit organization that connects medical professionals with churches locally and globally to meet the physical and spiritual concerns of people in need.
Above all these accolades and accomplishments, John is best remembered for his relentless giving nature and high intensity in everything that he did.
Dr. Pruitt is survived by his wife, Vicky, his sons, Phillip & Michael, daughter-in-law, Megan Pruitt, granddaughter, Olive Mae Pruitt aka “Sugar-plum”, and his 3 dogs. He is also survived by his mother Josephine Pruitt, brother Tommy Pruitt (Leanne), sister Rebecca Gammon (Bill), brother-in-law, Bruce Clark (Pam), & father-in-law, Curtis Clark.
It is impossible to measure the impact, love, passion, and faith of a man’s life in a couple of paragraphs. His impact reaches wide and deep. Those who had the honor of calling him a friend, mentor, or family member have a piece of him to share with others and to pass on in their lives.
A celebration of life will be held for Dr. Pruitt Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at Calvary Baptist Church (Peacehaven Rd) at 1PM. A burial service will follow at 2:30PM at Forsyth Memorial Garden. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in John’s memory to Footbridge PO Box 1716 Welcome, NC 27374, Calvary Baptist Church 134 S Peacehaven Rd Winston-Salem, NC 27104, & Center Grove Baptist Church 8750 Lasater Rd Clemmons, NC 27012.
There will be a viewing available on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 from 4pm – 7pm at the Hayworth-Miller Funeral Homes & Crematory, Silas Creek Chapel. Also, there will be a 1 hour viewing prior to the Funeral ceremony at Calvary Baptist Church.
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