Mr. Eugene “Genie” Lewis Pruitt, 75, of Tangier Island, passed away at home surrounded by loved ones on Jan. 11, 2024. Genie was born on Tangier Island on July 12, 1948, to the late Betty Jean and Eugene Hartley Pruitt.
From a young age Genie worked on the water with his father. He graduated valedictorian of his class at Tangier Combined School. Genie then earned his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Virginia at Wise. There he met his first wife, Nancy Jesse.
After graduation he taught elementary school in Bedford and then moved to Chincoteague, where he also taught elementary school. After the untimely death of his wife Nancy in 1972, Genie returned to his Tangier Island home to work as a waterman on the Chesapeake Bay. Crabbing and oystering was in his blood.
Genie married his present wife Kimberly in September of 1993. Together they welcomed their son Trevor Eugene in 1998, making their home together on the Island.
Genie, being well-educated and well-versed in history and world affairs, earned the nickname “Professor.” If Genie were not at work, he was reliving his days on the Bay talking about his catch, his deadrise box stern work boat named for his mother, “Betty Jean,” reading history or politics, and staying current in world events, which he had a passion for. He was a true patriot. Genie served as a corpsman in the Army reserve and as a councilman for the Town of Tangier.
Above all Genie’s life’s accomplishments, he remained an easygoing, kind, and humble man. He never uttered one complaint about his illness and continued working on the water through his cancer treatments. He was always happy to see friends and family, often offering a share of his catch.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Kimberly Ann Pruitt; son, Trevor Eugene Pruitt; sister, Annette Pruitt-Charnock; brothers, Lee Harris Pruitt and his wife, Kathy, and Gil Hartley Pruitt and his wife, Tamara; stepson, David Pruitt (Liz Fentress and her daughter, Gracie); step-grandson, Carter Pruitt; mother- and father-in-law, Margareta and Richard Pruitt; nieces, LeeAnn Beatty Smith, Teri Lee Williams, Hope Elizabeth Wallace, and Hartley Pruitt-Holland; and nephews, Brock Pruitt Beatty, Travis Pruitt-Beatty, and Gil Severn Pruitt. He is also remembered by many extended family, friends, and lifelong acquaintances.
A service to celebrate Genie’s life was held at the New Testament Congregation on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, at 2 p.m., with Elder Duane Crockett officiating. Family and friends gathered for a time of sharing one hour prior to the service.
Contributions in Genie’s memory may be made to the New Testament Congregation, P.O. Box 266, Tangier, VA 23440 or Tangier Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 239, Tangier, VA 23440.
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at
Arrangements were by the Williams Funeral Homes, Onancock and Parksley.