JAN PRUITT, LT’09, LA’12
While surrounded by family, Jan Pruitt, 63, of Dallas, TX, ended her battle with cancer on Monday, January 2, 2017. Jan was born in Ennis, Texas, on March 23, 1953, to Denvil and Dorothy Tucker, and graduated from Ennis High School in 1969. There, she met her husband Charles W. Pruitt, whom she married in 1972. Together they raised four children before discovering her true calling. Encouraged into service by her priest, she began her career by organizing the canned donations closet at a local Methodist church. It wasn’t long before they would need a bigger closet, which led to her creation of the Lancaster Outreach Center. What began as a single building quickly transformed into an entire block. Jan returned to school, receiving a degree in Social Work from Dallas Baptist University.
In 1997, she began her tenure as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Texas Food Bank. Under her leadership, NTFB experienced exceptional growth-and today, provides 190,000 nutritious meals each day to hungry North Texans. Jan initiated a strategic plan to improve the quality of life in North Texas by increasing the number of annual nutritional meals provided to 92 million in 2025. Her work to end hunger was trans-formational and went far beyond her home state of Texas. Her awards and board memberships are too numerous to list, but among them, she received the John van Hengel Fellowship Award, Feeding America’s highest honor for the executive food bank leadership. Most recently, she served as board chair of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization. A true pioneer in the field of hunger relief, she spoke often across the nation on issues concerning hunger, leadership, and social justice.
Jan loved to play piano. She enjoyed dinners with family and friends. She also loved to travel, and she journeyed across the globe for both work and leisure. These trips delivered her alongside with Charles and companions to the corners of the earth, including a study of hunger in India. However, she enjoyed nowhere more than her hometown of Dallas, where she helped initiate popular events such as Empty Bowls, Restaurant Week, and the Taste of the NFL, all of which benefited NTFB. She brought together communities. She threw stones at giants. She took epic selfies and rarely sat still. She gave voice to those who previously had no voice. She restored dignity to the hungry and exceeded expectations previously believed unattainable. She treated the world as her peer and will be missed by so many.
Jan is survived by her loving husband of 44 years, Charles W., daughter Natalie of Dallas, as well as three sons, Eryk (Lana), of Durham, NC; Chris (Bahar) of Heber Springs, AR; and Jonathan (Lizbeth) of Dallas; as well as five grandchildren, Serena, Bauer, Bryeken, Caleb, and Iker, as well as her trusted companion Brie, her beautiful cat. She is also survived by her brother-in-law Raymond (Andrea) Caldwell; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and her entire food bank family. Jan is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Shirley Caldwell, and her brother Denny Tucker. Services will be held at First United Methodist at 1928 Ross Avenue at 2:30pm on Saturday, January 7. Dr. Andy Stoker will officiate. There will be a visitation on Friday, January 6th from 6-8pm at Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the Pruitt family has asked that donations be made to the food bank in her honor at ntfb.org/jan pruitt.
Obituary courtesy of the Dallas Morning News. To view the obituary on the DMN’s site, please click the link below: