Each member of the Beasley Allen family was saddened last month when we got the news that a longtime employee and friend Genie Harper Pruett had passed away. She died on Tuesday, May 10, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Without a doubt, Genie’s response to cancer was filled with grace, hope and peace. Genie was a Legal Secretary in the Mass Torts Section for 18 years, working primarily for Andy Birchfield, Mass Torts Section Head. She was a tremendously talented employee and a real asset to our firm.
Benita Bunch, who worked with Genie for many years, recalls how Genie would greet her with a cheery, “Hey gal!” and a ready laugh. (This trademark greeting was mentioned to me by several folks who worked with Genie.) “Genie loved life, and it sounded through in her laughter,” Benita says. “My life is better for having her a part of it. She was such a blessing and I count myself privileged to have worked side by side with her for a number of years She is a part of Beasley Allen that can never be replaced.”
Kelli Alfreds began working as a lawyer in the firm’s Mass Torts section in 2002. Genie made an immediate and lasting impression on Kelli, and became an important person in her life. “Life-loving. Kindhearted. Trustworthy. Hilarious. Honest and direct. Loyal. REAL. These are the words that come to mind when I think of Genie,” Kelli says. “She wasn’t nearly old enough to be my grandmother, but she very much reminded me of my grandmother, who was one of my very favorite people in the world. Over the years Genie became a surrogate for that relationship in my life and I cherished it so very much. I could (and did) tell Genie anything. She was always there to listen and to give sincere and good advice, especially after having my first child. It isn’t common to find that person in the workplace, but I was lucky enough to find that in Genie,” she said. “Genie loved her children and her grandchildren and it was evident in everything she did. We often bonded over our pet stories and no one grieved with me like Genie did over the loss of my beloved lab a few years ago. Genie loved big and everyone that she loved will feel a huge void in their lives. I know I do. I thank God for bringing Genie into my life and I am so glad to know that I will see her again!”
Frank Woodson, a lawyer in the Mass Torts Section, also mentioned Genie’s ready smile and laugh as evidence of her positive outlook on life. Although she was facing a serious cancer battle, Frank says Genie never complained. There was a powerful peace about her attitude, he says. “She carried on with her life, and was a wonderful example for us with her positive attitude throughout her battle with cancer.”
The sentiment is echoed by so many folks who worked with Genie at Beasley Allen. “One of the biggest things I remember about Genie is that it didn’t matter if you were having a bad day or just in a mood, you always left her office with a smile,” recalls Lisa Bruner. “She would quickly have you laughing about some observation she had made, or what she thought about something. She had an infectious laugh. She would laugh and it would make you laugh. You always knew where you stood with Genie. She didn’t worry about being politically correct and would tell it like it is. Sometimes you just need someone to be honest and upfront with you. She was that person,” Lisa says. “She enjoyed the simple things in life. Flower gardens, puppy dogs and just being outside in nature. She would always ask how my children were doing and more recently how our service dog was doing. She loved hearing stories about his latest antics or what he did to take care of my daughter. She adored dogs and would do anything that she could to help them. She always said that she would have a hundred of them if she could. Her spunkiness will be deeply missed by all here in Mass Torts.”
Genie was born on Aug. 28, 1948, to the late Carey Davis Harper, Jr., and the late Mary Brook Putman Harper. She was raised in Montgomery and attended Lanier High School. She worked as a legal secretary for more than 30 years. Genie was a beloved mother, grandmother and friend to many. She is survived by three children: Patti Prickett Brewer (Shane), Michael Prickett (Melissa), Jennifer Prickett Ayers (Tommy); seven grandchildren: Savannah Richardson Abrams (Jake), Hollie Ingram Moland (Zach), Sarah Harrison Popwell (Dustin), Jessica Ingram, John David Harrison, Jake Prickett, Sam Prickett; and four great-grandchildren.
Genie enjoyed the outdoors, gardening, knitting and had a passion for dogs. In lieu of flowers, the family wanted those wishing to remember Genie to make a donation to the humane shelter of their choice. A memorial service with Senior Pastor Jay Wolf officiating was held at First Baptist Church in Montgomery, on Friday, May 13.
The loss of Genie Pruett is felt by all of us at Beasley Allen. The response to Genie’s death made me realize that the folks who work in any capacity at our firm are family. All of us will really miss Genie, but we know that because of her faith, she is now in a much better place and will live eternally with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God blessed us to have Genie with us for 18 years; now she is with Him.
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