Remembering Robert “Rip” Prichard

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Former 15th Circuit Court Judge Robert “Rip” Prichard III passed away Dec. 2, due to a congestive heart failure.

Prichard, 78, held the position of 15th Circuit Court District Judge for 38 years from 1972 to 2010.

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According to Prichard’s obituary, he was born in Atlanta, Ga. and attended McCallie Preparatory School in Chattanooga, Tenn., before moving to Jackson, Miss., and graduating from Murrah High School. Afterwards, he attended the University of Alabama where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Business Administration, a legum baccalaureus and juris doctor degrees.

During his time at the University of Alabama, he was a founding member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Social Fraternity and a member of the Commerce Executive Society.

After graduating in 1963, he relocated to Picayune, where he worked at Stewart and Prichard Law Firm. Prichard served as a municipal judge in Picayune in 1969 until being elected Circuit Court Judge in 1972 and was also a Youth Court Referee in Pearl River County from 1968 to 1972.

“During my teenage years during the 1970’s, we always went hunting together,” Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison said. “He was really serious about his work but at the same time, he was fun to be around. He was always honest and encouraged everyone he knew to be the same way. I have a lot of many good memories of him.”

Prichard served as Vice-President and President of the Rotary Club of Picayune, Co-Chairman of Criminal Rules Committee appointed by the Supreme Court of Mississippi and member of the Picayune Chamber of Commerce. He left behind his wife Marie Hutchinson Prichard and his children Robert “Rip” Ingram Pritchard IV, Jeffrey Wayne Prichard, Chelye Amis and Tonya Ramsay.

“He was a loving father, husband and grandfather,” Ramsay said. “It’s hard to pick out just one story that I’ll remember the most because we always had a great time together. He loved going fishing and hunting.”

During his childhood, Prichard participated in the Boy Scout program and before his death served as an Executive Board Member of the Pine Burr Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Visitation will take place Thursday, Dec. 7 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Picayune and burial will be in New Palestine Cemetery.

“We’re all going to miss him dearly,” Allison said. “We worked together on many cases and we would keep up with each other by talking on the phone from time to time.”