Harry Arnold Prillaman of Henry County, VA, died peacefully on November 15, 2017. He was born on December 16, 1924 in the Dyers Store Community to Vance Prillaman and Etta Richardson Prillaman. It was his wish that his body be donated to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC for research. He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Georgia Johnston Prillaman (2002); his sisters, Madgie Kenney, Viola Dyer, Lois Dyer, Martha Myers, and Dora Etta Prillaman; his brothers, Abner Prillaman, Richard Prillaman and Phillip Prillaman.
Arnold is survived by his loving wife of fourteen years, Mary Dell Richardson, his sister, Brenda Prillaman Purvis (Gary) of Swannanoa, NC, and his children: Gayle Prillaman (Joseph Holt) of
Franklin, TN, Jan Bryant (David) of King, NC.; Harry Arnold Prillaman, Jr. (Vickie) of Alpharetta, GA., and Leeland Vance Prillaman (Linda) of Katy, TX; his grandchildren, Virginia Ann Bryant Heald, Cynthia Bryant, JoAnna Holt, Adam Prillaman Holt (Jennifer), Andrew Prillaman (Kim), Jessica Prillaman, Leah Prillaman, and Madison Prillaman; and great grandchildren, Grace Wolfe, Eli Heald, and Georgia Turrentine, and stepchildren: John
Richardson (Barbara) and Carolyn Davis (Gene); grandchildren: Michael Richardson, Stephen
Richardson, Nicole Richardson Kumer, Randy Davis, and Gina James.
Arnold graduated from Martinsville High School in June 1943, and immediately went into the
Army Air Force. After basic training and gunnery training, he was assigned to a B 17 Flying
Fortress crew in June 1944, as a waist gunner, and stationed in Mendelsham, England in
November of that same year. He was in the 7th Bomb Squadron, part of the 34th Bomb Group
(H) of the Eighth Air Force in the European Theater of World War II. He flew more than 30
missions over Germany with Lt. Eugene James’ crew and considered these men as brothers for
the rest of his life.
After the war Arnold returned to Martinsville. He attended North Carolina State University, then
worked with Frank Stultz as a plumber. He married Georgia Johnston in August of 1947. During
this time he played on the Martinsville Optimist traveling baseball team as a catcher. In 1954 he
and his older brother, Richard, and Ed Pace co-founded Prillaman and Pace, Plumbing and
Heating as a partnership. He was a member of the VA Board of Contractors from 1972 to 1977,
and was active in professional contracting groups for many years. He was also active in the
Martinsville Volunteer Fire Company and local wildlife conservation groups for many years. He
retired from Prillaman and Pace in 1980. He was a founding member of the Loury Lester Air
Park (1980) and resided there until spring of 2017. Arnold and Georgia taught their children the
core values of love of family, the virtues of hard work and honesty, and the importance of
education. His lifelong pleasures were hunting, baseball, flying his airplane, and in his later years
being a “gentleman” farmer at the Fowlkes Farm and Marlowe Farm in Mountain Valley, VA.
Although he traveled widely during his lifetime, the best part of every trip was getting back
home to Henry County, VA. He was an outdoor person, happiest hunting with a friend and a
favorite bird dog, flying his plane, or checking on the cows.
The family would like to extend their appreciation to King’s Grant staff and to Althea Wallace
and Wandra Nesbitt, who provided kindness, patience, and diligence during his extended illness
this past year. Particular thanks to Valinda Dyer for her support during this time.
Visitation will be from 11:00- 12:30 on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at Norris Funeral Services
in Martinsville. The Memorial Service, a celebration of his life, will be at 1:00 p.m. at Norris
Funeral Services, followed by a private graveside burial at the Fowlkes Farm in Mountain
Valley, VA. Extended family is invited to Mr. Prillaman’s home at Loury Lester Airpark for a
reception from 5:00-7:00, following the graveside service. Donations may be made to Mountain
Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, 730 East Church St. Martinsville, VA 24112.
Norris Funeral Services, Inc. and Crematory, Martinsville, VA is serving the Prillaman family.
Online condolences may be made at www.norrisfuneral.com