Ross C. Brownridge
Ross C. Brownridge, a longtime resident of the lakeside area, died at Casa Anastasia in Ajijic on Tuesday, February 6, at the age of 88.
Born June 1, 1929 in Toronto, Brownridge’s career spanned many years in the aviation industry in Canada.
One of his proudest achievements was serving as part of the far-sighted team that developed the Avro Arrow, a precedent-breaking, revolutionary supersonic jetfighter, for the Avro Aircraft Company in Toronto.
Following his stint at Avro, Brownridge served as Director of Business for the Pratt & Whitney Engines company in Montreal – an illustrious career of 25 years.
Brownridge was active in a wide variety of sports, including tennis and basketball. He loved traveling, enjoyed extensive visits to the Far East and Europe and would have retired in Italy had he not discovered and fallen in love with the Lake Chapala area.
Very active in the Ajijic community, Brownridge was a daily visitor to the Lake Chapala Society, a season ticketholder for countless years at the Lakeside Little Theatre, and an avid tennis, ping pong and canasta player.
Beloved by expats and Mexicans alike, Brownridge is fondly remembered as the “Candy Man,” due to his habit of giving out candy to one and all whom he met in the course of his busy day. Among his myriad charitable activities, he was proudest of putting many needy Mexican children through school.
Brownridge is survived by daughters Sandy and Kathy, and a son, Ken. He was predeceased by his daughter, Susan.
A memorial service celebrating his life was held at the Lake Chapala Society on Tuesday, February 13.
James Donald Pruitt
James Donald (Don) Pruitt, 80, of Ajijic, died February 2, of complications of Parkinson’s Disease.
Pruitt was a native of White Hall, Illinois, and attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois; Ohio University in Athens, Ohio; and the University of Denver, from which he received his Ph.D. He did post-doctoral work at University College, Oxford, and the Royal School of Church Music in England.
Pruitt was a retired Professor of Humanities at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois, and a church organist. He also taught at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and was a founding teacher of the State Community College of East St. Louis.
Pruitt enjoyed writing short fiction, making up terrible jokes, and composing religious choral music. As an organist he played for churches in nine dioceses of the Episcopal Church, as well as doing substitute work for every major denomination of the Christian church.
Pruitt leaves his wife of 33 years, Barbara, a son, Geoffrey (Karen) of St. Louis, and a grandchild, Asher.
Cremation rites were accorded, and his ashes repose at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Riberas del Pilar.