William S. Pritchard
February 20, 1922–November 22, 2011
William S. Pritchard’s long life was not unlike many of his generation—raised in a small town, committed to duty to his country during World War II, achieved a respectable career, and retired comfortably to his home of over 50 years in Kansas City, MO. There are many things to say about our Uncle Bill, but one of them was his love of animals. He adored his Miniature Schnauzers and raised three generations, all named Henrietta. Later in his life he took in several rescue dogs, including one he found as a stray in a nearby park that he named Rusty. Over the years, he made numerous donations to ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States. In his late elderly years, he shared his home with me, a great niece, my husband, and our pack of hounds that, after an incident with the Easter ham last year, earned the name “Bumpus hounds.”
This last year, our Treeing Walker Coonhound, Sawyer, took to Bill and became his constant companion as they wiled away the day watching the television or sitting on the back porch while I worked in the garden and yard. Nothing brought a smile more to my uncle’s face than to receive slobbery kisses from the hounds and holding their heads in his hands while he petted willing ears and chins. He particularly loved Grady’s long Black and Tan ears. And mealtime became their favorite time as Uncle Bill would slip them morsels of food.
As the end of Uncle Bill’s life journey was nearing, Sawyer stepped up his vigilance. He could be found sleeping in a chair in Bill’s room or curled up at the foot of his bed. He and our other hounds—Grady, Bella, and foster George—provided that special affection and love that only a dog can tender. Even now, Sawyer can be found in Bill’s chair.
Dave and I are honored that the Pritchard family chose the rescue groups that we volunteer for to memorialize our dear uncle. He was a kind, generous, and thoughtful person, and will be greatly missed.
Beth and Dave Harris