The Beasley Allen family was saddened this week to learn of the death of longtime employee and friend Genie Harper Pruett. She passed away Tuesday, May 10, 2016, after battling pancreatic cancer. Her response to cancer was filled with grace, hope, and peace. Genie was a Legal Secretary in the Mass Torts department for 18 years, working primarily for Andy Birchfield, Mass Torts Section Head.
Benita Bunch worked with Genie for many years. She recalls how Genie would greet her with a cheery, “Hey gal!” and a ready laugh. (This trademark greeting was mentioned by several people who worked with her.) “She 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 her 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, she 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, an attorney 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 people 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,” she 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. 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 asks 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 will be held at First Baptist Church Montgomery, 305 South Perry Street, on Friday, May 13, 2016, at 11 a.m. The family will receive visitors beginning at 10 a.m.