This past Monday, October 25th, Deacon Richard Arlen Pruitt passed away peacefully at his home with his wife Nancy Louise (Smith) and sons, Michael David and Brian Patrick at his bedside. Richard was preceded in death by two additional children, David Michael (1957) and Kelly Ann Olivares (2007). Born September 14, 1927 to Shannon Ector Pruitt and Marjorie Marie Zielke, Richard was truly part of "The Greatest Generation." He gave of himself, first to his country joining the Navy Seabees during WWII then USAF as a civilian, working on key Military/NASA projects until his retirement in 1981 at SAMSO in El Segundo. As a young man of 22 yrs. Richard made a significant decision that would guide his life and touch many others to this day. After much soul searching he converted to Catholicism, baptized at St. Anselm's Church in Los Angeles. In 1977, he accepted the honor, responsibility and commitment, of being the first Ordained Permanent Deacon at American Martyrs Church in Manhattan Beach. Having given to his country for 37 years, Richard now chose to give himself to the church and dedicate himself to the "sick and dying". His vocation encompassed assignments at American Martyrs, 20+ years at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance and most recently as the Parish Deacon at St. Anthony's in El Segundo. While Richard will be missed terribly by his family, friends and parishioners, we celebrate him as a wonderful and loving husband, father, role model, patriot and Deacon. We love you, we celebrate you and we thank you for all you've given. Your time is now with the Lord and well earned! As you would have said, "God Bless!" Viewing at White and Day Mortuary in Manhattan Beach Monday, November 1st from 1pm - 4pm. Services will be held at American Martyrs Church, Manhattan Beach, Monday November 1st - Rosary @ 6:45pm, followed by Funeral Mass, 7:00pm. A semi-private burial will take place Wednesday November 3rd, at Holy Cross Cemetery.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline


  1. I worked with Deacon Pruitt as chaplains in Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance. He was a good man, loving and compassionate. He comforted the sick and the dying and their families. I have no doubt God will reward him with everlasting life. May you rest in peace Richard.

  2. From the time I was a child, Deacon Pruitt was a fixture at American Martyrs Church. When I was in the hospital with cancer, he came to pray with me. He gave a life time being an example of service to God. With sympathy for your loss, denise and daughters

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook