Daughters, Annette and Teri and their four grandchildren who adore them, are thrilled to announce Jim and Pat’s 60th wedding anniversary. James D. Pruss, formerly of Orchard, NE and 1947 graduate of Orchard High School, and his wife, Patricia Gregerson Pruss, of Council Bluffs, IA, are celebrating 60 years of marriage on September 3.
Jim and Pat first met by chance in 1955 at the Beanery on Creighton University’s campus. Jim, eight years Pat’s senior, was ready to explore opportunities and told Pat he was thinking of moving to San Francisco. She encouraged him to go. Prior to their meeting, Jim had served two years with the U.S. Army in Korea from 1951-1953. The night before Jim arrived at the Headquarters of the 49th Field Artillery Battalion, Seventh
Infantry Division, Chinese soldiers had attacked Jim’s troops, crossing the Yalu River into China and back to the Korean side, killing half of the 640 man unit. These men were the only US unit in Korea to cross the Yalu River into China. After their crossing, President Harry Truman immediately ordered the troops to return to the Korean side “to avoid bringing China into the conflict.” On Jim’s first day there, he was assigned to write 320 letters of Eulogy to families who lost their sons killed in action. Jim was informed that the U.S. Army doesn’t send form letters to families of fallen soldiers and that no two letters could be alike. Jim used a tree stump for a chair and a manual typewriter to type these letters. The remaining troops retired for the evening. Jim was praised for his writing abilities and diligence. His typing speed put him ahead of schedule. Selflessly, Jim declined the Purple Heart Citation for shrapnel in his leg. He felt others were more seriously injured. In 1953, Jim was honorably discharged.
Hoping to reconnect after Jim left for San Francisco, Pat contacted Jim’s sister, Bea, to ask for Jim’s address. She wrote to see if he’d be interested in her visit. Jim met Pat at the airport and to Jim’s surprise, during her stay, Pat proposed and they were married weeks later at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. Jim worked for the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial staff and Pat worked as executive secretary for KRON-TV. Her boss, general manager and Vice President, Harold P. See, was the designer of the first TV mobile units.
Jim and Pat have two daughters, Annette who was born in San Francisco and Teri, born in Omaha.
After a few years of marriage, Jim and Pat moved back to Omaha to be closer to family and complete their educational pursuits. Jim received a B.A. and J.D. from Creighton University. He was awarded the prestigious Jurisprudence Award for Business Counsel In 1969. The night before the deadline for the national competition, Pat stayed up all night to type Jim’s winning paper. While in Law School, Jim worked nights as a night reporter and editor at United Press International. On weekends, Jim drove back and forth to Orchard to farm 150 acres of corn.
Jim had a solo law practice for most of his 50 years of practicing in Omaha. He specialized in personal injury law and was more than fair with his diverse client population. Jim was thrilled when his daughter, Annette, also a Creighton Law School graduate, joined his practice before she went on to work for the Securities Exchange Commission in Ft. Worth. Annette now lives with her family in Chicago where she manages her family’s residential properties.
Pat, a high school educator for the Omaha Public School system, received her associate, B.S. and M.S. from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Pat was one of only a handful to receive a teaching job upon graduation. She started her teaching career at Tech High School. Students cried when they learned she was assigned to South High the following year. Pat also taught at Central High School, in the former State Capitol building. Pat poured her heart into teaching her students. She truly cared about them personally and they felt her kindness.
Jim and Pat’s daughter, Teri, lives in Atlanta with her family where she provides instruction to students on caring for their smiles. Her husband, James, is a pediatric dentist.
Since Jim and Pat’s retirement, they have just begun to slow down to follow protocol to avoid COVID 19. Jim and Pat have traveled the world and the place they keep gravitating back to is San Francisco where their live story began.
Annette and Teri and their children, Jacqueline, Sydney, Reilly and Colette are longing to reunite with Jim and Pat as soon as a vaccine is available.