She was born on the family farm just southeast of Devon, to James and Sarilda Killion, on April 30, 1911. She married Elza R. Pruitt in Fort Scott, Kan., on Jan. 29, 1934. After sharecropping for a while west of Devon, they opened a grocery store which they operated for several years before moving to a farm south of Mapleton.
After six years of farming, they re-entered the grocery business, this time in Mapleton. They retired from the store in 1973 and later moved to Fort Scott, where they have since resided.
Bernice was a member of the Grace Baptist Tabernacle of Fort Scott. She previously had her membership at Xenia Baptist Church and later at Prescott Baptist Church. She was noted for her singing with her guitar. Following her retirement, she frequently sang in area nursing homes.
Survivors include two sons, Allen Pruitt and wife, Mary Jo, of Fort Scott, Kan., and Michael Pruitt and wife, Sharon, of Bronaugh, Mo.; six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren with one more on the way, and four great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by Elza, her husband of 70 years, her parents, eight sisters and one brother.
Rev. Paul Rooks will conduct funeral services at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Grace Baptist Tabernacle. Burial will follow in the Centerville Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to "Sowing Precious Seed," a scripture printing ministry used by participating missionaries, and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, Kan., 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.