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John Charles Pritzlaff, Jr. Obituary

From The Republic (Phoenix, AZ):

John Pritzlaff died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Monday, May 2, 2005. John was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on May 10, 1925. He was the beloved son of Elinor Gallun Pritzlaff and John Charles Pritzlaff Sr. Following elementary school at Milwaukee Country Day School, he attended St. Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts, graduating in 1943. He then entered Princeton University for 18 months before enlisting in The United States Army Intelligence Corps. During World War II, he served in Europe and attained the rank of Technical Sergeant. After the war, he returned to Princeton, graduating in the class of 1947 with a B.A. in History and Political Science. Returning to Milwaukee, he joined a four-generation family wholesale hardware business, the John C. Pritzlaff Hardware Company, as Vice President of Priorities and General Manager. It was at this time as well that his involvement in his church, community and politics began. Among other activities in Wisconsin, he became the State Treasurer of the Republican Party. In the Spring of 1948, he met his wife, Mary Dell Olin. They married February 10, 1951. The family lived in Milwaukee before moving to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1958.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><?xml:namespace prefix = o />

In Arizona, John continued his involvement in family, business, church, community and politics. Through his company, Rockmount Real Estate Investments, he was involved in real estate and insurance. He was elected to his first term in the Arizona House of Representatives in 1960. He served four terms and became the first Republican to chair the Appropriations Committee. In April, 1969, he was appointed by President Nixon as ambassador to Malta. He served in this capacity until June, 1972. During this period, he also served as Special Representative for European Commercial and Economic Affairs. He and his family returned to Phoenix, where in 1974 he was appointed to fill the State Senate seat vacated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she was appointed to the Arizona State Appellate Court. He was in the State Senate for eight years, serving as Minority Whip, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Chairman of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. After his retirement from the State Senate in 1982, he remained involved in his community and in public service. In 1984, Nashotah House Episcopal Seminary in Delafield, Wisconsin, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his 25 years of service on the seminary's Board of Trustees. In 1986, John was knighted in the order of St. John at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California, in recognition of his years of public service and philanthropy. Foremost in John's life were his love of God, family and country. John was known always for his fair, thoughtful and civil dialogue. He was an avid conservationist, gardener, cook and raconteur. His family and friends will remember his generosity of spirit as a kind, loving, wise husband, parent, grandparent, brother, uncle, mentor and beloved friend.

John's additional community involvement included the following: The Nature Conservancy, Arizona Chapter, Board of Trustees; The Nature Conservancy, The National Board of Governors and Treasurer; The Center for Plant Conservation, Board of Directors; The Desert Botanical Garden, Board of Directors; The Santa Barbara Botanical Garden, Board of Directors; The Heard Museum, Board of Trustees and President; St. Luke's Hospital Board of Trustees; Precinct committeeman; Vestry, St. Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church; Chairman, Western States for Goldwater, 1964 Presidential campaign; The Committee to Preserve Camelback Mountain; The Salvation Army, Board of Directors; The ASU Foundation, Board of Directors; The Marshall and Ilsley Trust Company of Arizona, Board of Directors; and Chairman, Governor's Commission on Aging.

In addition to his wife of 54 years, Mary Dell Pritzlaff, he is survived by his children, Ann (Fife) Symington; John (Ann) Pritzlaff III; Barbara (Doug) Pierce; and Richard (Sarah) Pritzlaff; 12 grandchildren and four great grandchildren; his sisters, Marjory Yewer and Anne Lindemann; and 19 nieces and nephews.

Memorial services were held Sunday, May 8, at All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church in Montecito, California.

Donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy, Arizona Chapter, 333 E. Virginia Avenue, Suite 219, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church, or a charity of your choice.

Note: The Pritzlaffs own Seamair Farm, a top breeding and training facility for Hackney ponies, in Santa Barbara, CA.


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