Wilburn Larry Pritchett


Wilburn Larry Pritchett, 83, of Cleveland, was called to his heavenly home on Monday, May 3, 2021.

He was of the Christian faith and passed peacefully at his home of 45 years.

Larry was a Vietnam War veteran. He served his country proudly and retired from the United States Navy after 30 years of service (20 of which were active duty). He was a gunner’s mate, Missiles, First Class, at the time of retirement.

He traveled the world during his Navy career. Notable ships he served on included the USS Leahy DLG-16, Charles R. Ware DD-865, USS Bremerton CA-130 and the USS Chicago CG-11.

Larry received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Dominican Republic), Navy Expeditionary Medal (Cuba) for active involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Combat Action Ribbon and Meritorious Unit Commendation awarded to the USS Chicago CG-11 during the Vietnam War. He also received three Good Conduct Award Medals.

After retiring from active duty in 1974, Larry worked for a small local garage and attended Athens Area Vocational-Technical School, where he was awarded a diploma for automobile mechanic in 1977. He then went to work at Hall’s Chevrolet as a mechanic and moved over to Calloway Chrysler, Plymouth and Dodge Inc. where he served as their service manager. He joined the maintenance department at Cleveland State Community College in 1979 and later retired as maintenance manager in 1999 with 20 years of service.

Larry was a good man and a selfless patriot. He worked tirelessly all his life to protect the country he loved and provide for his family, even after he retired. He was a doting father and grandfather. He never met a stranger and would go out of his way to help others however he could. He loved telling stories about growing up with his siblings and cousins and his many adventures and combat missions while in the Navy. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends he met along his journey.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Lola Pritchett; Navy-wife, Martha Elmore Pritchett; daughter, Robin Pritchett; brother, William Pritchett; and sister-in-law, Wanda Pritchett.

He is survived by his son, Brian Pritchett; daughter, Vanessa Ramey and husband, Mark; grandchildren: Mandy Pritchett Dodd (Josh), Kyle Pritchett, Travis Pritchett and Liam Ramey; sister, Patsy King and husband, Kenneth, all of Cleveland; sister-in-law, Mary De Los Santos and husband, Alfredo, of Marietta, Ga.; brother-in-law, Don Elmore of Athens; nephew, David King of Cleveland; and niece, Maria De Los Santos of Marietta, Ga.

A Celebration of His Life will be conducted at 2 p.m. today, May 7, 2021, in the chapel of Ralph Buckner Funeral Home, with the Rev. Ricky Vaughn officiating. Interment will follow at Hilcrest Memorial Gardens. Full military honors, a white dove release ceremony and the playing of bagpipes will conclude the service.

The family will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Children’s Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 22637 Chattanooga, TN 37422

You may watch the service via live stream on Ralph Buckner Funeral Home’s Facebook page.

We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Pritchett family guestbook at


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