Benton Jones Pruet went to be with his Lord and Savior on September 13, 2021, surrounded by his loving family at age 95. He was born on January 2, 1926, to Homer and Dovie Jones Pruet in Putnam. Benton, who graduated from Putnam Schools in 1943, was a lifelong resident of Callahan County.
After attending Tarleton for a semester, Benton joined the Army Air Corps where he was assigned as a belly gunner on a B-24 bomber. Based in Italy, he participated in the European Campaign and flew 17 missions over Austria and Germany. Pruet received an honorable discharge in 1945 and returned to Putnam after the war. He used his G.I. bill from the service upon his discharge to buy 40 acres next to his parent’s place at Putnam.
Benton met Jackie Gilliland in 1948, and they married in 1951. During the first eight years of their marriage, he worked in the oilfield and for West Texas Utilities. They celebrated 70 years of marriage on May 26 of this year. Benton's passion was always the cattle business. Nobody loved it more. When he was able to borrow a little money from the bank, he went out on his own with the help from Jackie’s teaching salary, of course. He told Jackie if it didn’t work out after a year, he would get another job. Benton never had to get that other job.
Benton loved trading, and he didn’t care what it was. When Interstate 20 was being built, the houses along Highway 80 were condemned. He started buying some of the condemned houses and moving them around Clyde where he would fix them up a little and sell them. The bank wouldn’t loan him the money for over two at a time even though they only cost about $50 apiece. Later, Vernon Honie, the house mover, told the family that he had moved 84 houses for Benton. Through trading, hard work, lots of nerve, and overcoming many wrecks, he eventually built a successful cattle operation in Callahan County and beyond. He was well known and respected in the business. His ranching life brought him great satisfaction, and he loved everything about it.
Pruet was always ready for a good game of dominos, and he usually won. He loved going to the horse races. It was one of his favorite things to do, especially when accompanied by family and friends. He made many friends during his summers in Ruidoso. Benton and Jackie were among the very few people of their age who have many close friends of all ages. He and Jackie travelled extensively during their many years together and had many adventures with longtime friends and family.
Benton is survived by his wife Jackie Pruet, children Craig Pruet and wife Kamie, and Jeri Wilson. Grandchildren include Ty Wilson, his wife Zan and family Barrett and Sway; Jack Pruet and his wife Ashley and family Ivie, Blane, Grant and Rayni; Tanner Wilson and wife Ashley; Kallie Pruet Siegfried and husband Blade; Kandi Ray, husband Mitchell and Kaleigh Clevenger; and Kristal Noble, husband Justin and family Peyton and Brylin.
Visitation will be 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Thursday, September 16, 2021, at Parker-Jacobs Funeral Home in Baird. Services will be held in the Parker-Jacobs Funeral Home chapel following visitation at 1:15 PM. Burial will be in Ross Cemetery Annex.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Baird or Putnam FIre Department or the Baird or Putnam Cemetery Association.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Benton J. Pruet, please visit our floral store.
Baird Volunteer Fire Department
PO Box 1013, Baird TX 79504
Baird Cemetery Association
PO Box 745, Baird TX 79504