Rosemary Elam Pritchard

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Rosemary Elam Pritchard, 92, joined her Heavenly Father on January 14, 2017 following a brief illness.  Rosemary, born February 9, 1924, in Elam, Prince Edward County, was the daughter of William Carter Elam and Janie Fuqua Elam and was the last survivor of her five siblings. She was the widow of Luther Douglas Pritchard Sr. to whom she was married for 64 years.

She is survived by a son, Luther Douglas Pritchard Jr. (Mary); daughter, Jane Pritchard Kelly (Kevin); and daughter, Patricia Pritchard Willis (Larry).  Rosemary was so proud of her seven grandchildren, Sam Pritchard (Hannah), Will Pritchard, Catherine Kelly, Michael Kelly (Laura), David Willis, Patrick Willis (Stephanie), and Rosemary W. Ferrera (Ryan). She was also blessed to have seven great-grandchildren, Joel Pritchard, Ruth Ann Pritchard, Kaelyn Pritchard, Alyssa Pritchard, Canaan Willis, Calvary Willis and James Ferrera. Rosemary’s extended family consisted of numerous nephews, nieces, sisters-in-law, Joanne Elam and Edna Pritchard; and her brother-in-law, Emery Wilkerson, who only strengthened her love of family.

Mrs. Pritchard touched the lives of so many during her teaching career with Hopewell Public Schools. She taught in the 1940’s and 50’s before taking a sabbatical to raise her children, returning to teach middle school children from 1968 through 1986. She was made an Honorary Member of the Hopewell High School Classes of the 1950’s in October 2010. Mrs. Pritchard graduated from State Teacher’s College (Longwood University) on June 6, 1944. At Longwood, she was a member of Alpha Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority. Upon graduation, she accepted a job as a business teacher at Hopewell High School where she taught for two years, and then moved to Roanoke to teach at Virginia Southern Business College. She returned to Longwood from 1947-1948, where she was the Assistant Dean of Women. The alumnae association awarded Rosemary the Distinguished Alumnae Service award in 1971.

Rosemary married Douglas Pritchard on September 18, 1948, after which they moved to Birmingham, Alabama for a short time before returning to Hopewell where they lived for all of their married life.  She was an active member of First Baptist Church, Hopewell, for over 65 years. She served on most every church committee and became the first woman chairperson of the Board of Deacons or Diaconate. She was a charter member of the Patrons Group for the James River Ball. She was also a charter member of the Nathaniel Cawsey Garden Club.  Rosemary was awarded a lifetime member of the Federated Woman’s Club of Hopewell in 2011 after being a member for over 60 years. She was also a charter member of Hopewell’s chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an education sorority, and remained an active member of the Retired Teachers’ Association. She was a member of the Historic Hopewell Foundation and served as a docent at Weston Manor for many years. She was made an honorary member of the Hopewell Rotary Club in 2012.

Rosemary’s wonderful spirit will be missed by many as the days go by. She was the epitome of a Christian woman and seemed to make a quick friend of everyone she met. Her strong faith carried her through these last years and she always said how grateful she was that God had let her live so long. Those who knew Rosemary know she is back with all those she loved, especially Douglas, and is getting heaven reorganized and sharing her thoughts with all. Her legacy will continue in the lives of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The family will receive visitors at First Baptist Church of Hopewell on Friday, January 20, from 5-8 p.m. The funeral will also be held at First Baptist Church of Hopewell at 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 21. A graveside service will follow at Appomattox Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 401 N. Second Ave, Hopewell, VA 23860. Arrangements are being made by J.T. Morriss of Hopewell. Condolences may be registered at