Obituary for John Bernard Prettyman

May 19, 1944 ~ November 6, 2019 (age 75)

This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home. It has been republished with permission, for free, and ad free as a community service.

John Bernard Prettyman, age 75, of Portsmouth, RI, passed away on November 6, 2019 at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, MA. John was the husband of Ethel J. “Penny” (Ames) Prettyman.

John was born in Milton, DE to the late James A. Prettyman and Katherine (DeShields) Prettyman. He was an excellent student and graduated from Milton High School at age 16 and completed his education with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Delaware State University at age 20. He joined his three brothers soon after graduation when he was drafted into the US Army where he proudly served in the Vietnam War.

Upon returning home, he began a professional career in Philadelphia as the Controller of the City’s Alternatives for Rehabilitation Department. In 1980, he took a position a business manager at the Widener University Delaware School of Law. In 1992, the former president of the University offered him a position at Roger Williams University School of Law, which brought him and his family to Rhode Island. He loved living on Aquidneck Island and enjoyed a long career at Roger Williams until his retirement in 2002.

John enjoyed a good read, spending time with his precious grandchildren, who fondly referred to him as “Grump,” for his witty and dry sense of humor. He could also be found treating them to trips the Boston Children’s Museum and countless hours at the playground. Ever the avid learner, John rarely missed an episode of Jeopardy or a good crossword puzzle. It’s safe to say John’s sports fanaticism started with Portsmouth High School Football and grew to encompass the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco 49ers. He enjoyed great seafood with his wife at their Island Park haunts and never met a Maryland Blue Crab he didn’t like. On summer nights you could find him cruising around the Island with the top down on his vintage Ford Mustang.

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John is survived by his wife of 40 years, Penny Prettyman of Portsmouth, his son Justin B. Prettyman and his wife Alyssa of San Jose, CA, and his grandchildren Jackson (10) and Kingston Prettyman (6). He is also survived by his niece Kathrine “Kitty” Harmon and nephew James Harmon of Milton, DE, as well as his cousins by marriage Doreen Pryor of Fall River, MA., Debbie and Mark Nooth and their son Mark Steven of Meridian, ID., Donna and Christopher Kelsick and daughters Kristy and Danielle and her husband Josh of Atlanta, GA, and Wayne and Laureen Pryor of San Francisco, CA.

John was eternally loved and supported by the Hale and Barry families as well as an extend family of friends, mothers, fellow fathers and twin “knothead” brothers from the Portsmouth High School and their surrounding football community.  He was preceded in death by his three brothers James, Noble, and Joseph Prettyman.

Visiting hours will be held Tuesday, November 12, 2019 from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM at Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, November 13, at 11:00 AM at the Memorial Funeral Home.

Memorial donations may be made to support our veterans returning home from foreign conflict suffering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury via the  Home Base Program, payable to Red Sox Foundation, 4 Jersey St., Boston, MA 02215.

To send flowers to John’s family, please visit our floral section.