The Rev. Glyn Pruce, British sailor, parish minister, World War Two historian and devoted grandfather, died on June 1, 2015 at Mease-Country Hospital in Safety Harbor, Florida. He was 86 years old.
Glyn John Pruce was born on December 25, 1928, in London, England, to John and Ethel Pruce. When German bombs fell on London in 1940, he was one of many children moved to the English countryside during “the Blitz.”
At 16, in 1945, he signed up and joined the British Merchant Marines. His ship was headed toward the Pacific Theatre battles when the Japanese surrendered. He spent the next three years traveling with the Marines visiting China and India. The impact of seeing the human suffering in these countries led him eventually to the ministry, although he had also considered missionary work.
He received a Bachelor of Arts from the London Polytechnic Institute in 1954 and a Diploma in Ministry from Manchester College (of Oxford, England) in 1958. In 1960, he married the former Edna E. Wilson in England and became Unitarian Minister at the Hale Barnes Chapel in Cheshire. They moved from England to Boston, Massachusetts, along with their son Timothy, and lived there for 9 years, where he obtained a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) from Boston University in 1965; and a Master of Arts in Theology from Boston University in 1970.
Mr. Pruce was ordained by the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in London in 1958, and received Unitarian Universalist ministerial fellowship in 1973. He served as interim minister to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, GA from 1974 to 1975; minister to the Lakeshore Unitarian Church of Pointe Claire, Québec from 1975 to 1978; minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, NY from 1978 to 1983; minister to The Great Meeting (Unitarian) of Leicester, UK from 1983 to 1987; minister to the Old Meetinghouse (Unitarian), Bessells Green of Kent, UK and the Maidstone Unitarian Church of Kent, UK from 1987 to 1992; and minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon Springs, FL from 1992 to 1997.
Ward Knights recalls that he engaged in a six-month ministry exchange with Glyn and his wife Florence in about 1990; Ward and Lucy went to Maidstone, Kent and the Pruces came to Tarpon Springs, where Ward served at the time. “The Tarpon congregation was very much pleased with Glyn’s sermonic abilities,” he continues, “and subsequently Glyn came from the UK to be the settled minister in Tarpon when I moved on to another congregation.”
The Rev. Mr. Pruce was quite active within the denomination throughout his thirty-nine years of ministry. He served various committees and organizations during his time in the United Kingdom, including the Unitarian Ministers Association and the Unitarian Commission on Society and the Family. In the United States, he served as secretary of the St. Lawrence District Chapter of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association from 1975 to 1980; and moderator of the Arlington Street Unitarian Universalist Church from 1969 to 1970.
He taught sociology at Northeastern University, in Boston, and took part in a doctoral program in the Sociology of Education at Boston University. He worked on Boston’s Redevelopment Authority, and was an avid reader and World War II history buff. He loved classical music, traveling and spending time with his granddaughter, whom he affectionately called “Mistress Eden Willow.” Glyn’s, son, Timothy, recalls that Eden was his “pride and joy, and the love of his life.”
Glyn is survived by his son, Timothy; granddaughter, Eden Pruce; companion, Constance Traycheff, and her family; stepchildren, Susan, Robert, Michael and their families; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held on June 27th, 2015 in Palm Harbor, FL 34683.
Notes of condolence may be sent to Timothy Pruce and Family, 157-10 Riverside Drive West, Apt. 14Q, New York, NY 10032, and to Constance Traycheff, 2664 Pine Ridge Way South, Apt. D1, Palm Harbor, FL 34684.