Bennie Lee Prezzy was born December 23, 1922 in Orangeburg County SC and entered God’s kingdom fully on May 9, 2020 at Pruitt Health in Moncks Corner SC. He was the fourth of seven children born to the late Walter Prezzy and Estell Abraham.
Affectionally called “Coon” by many, he was a lifelong resident of Orangeburg County, growing up in Vance. He confessed to very little formal education. Having lost his father at the age of 19, he learned the power of work as a young man and used his skills to help support his mom and sisters. He displayed, nurtured, and taught strong work ethics throughout his life.
Bennie Lee accepted Christ at an early age and joined Rock Hill AME Church in Vance. The church, the Bible and its teachings were central to the life he chose to live. He displayed these traits in the way he treated his fellow man but also in how he worked to carry out the work of the church. He was always loaded with church jobs, serving as class leader, steward, trustee, Sunday School teacher and sang in the Senior Choir.
In December 1944 Bennie Lee married the late Gladys Jamison. Two daughters were born to this union. He was very family oriented and believed in the family moving as a unit. Sunday afternoon was the time for the family to visit the sick, the elderly, and class members. Though he had little formal training, Bennie Lee knew that education was the key to overcoming poverty; he and Gladys encouraged their daughters to pursue learning with a passion.
Bennie Lee was a life-time member of the NAACP, Vance Precinct Poll Manager for more than 40 years, and a member of Concerned Citizens District #66. In March 2016, the South Carolina State Senate adopted a resolution honoring Bennie Lee for a lifetime of dedicated service to his community and beyond. Later that year he was honored as Father of Rock Hill AME Church. In February 2020, he was honored for dedication and community service by Iota Tau Zeta Chapter Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated.
He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; two brother, William and James; four sisters, Jannie Tennent, Lula Williams, Thelma Joiner, and Julie White.
He leaves to cherish his memories two daughters, Jerlean Prezzy Holmes of Moncks Corner SC and Betty Prezzy Bryant (Rev Howard Sr) of Hillside NJ; granddaughters Jondalyn Watson (Keith), J Hope Holmes and Jami Miller, all of Moncks Corner; great-granddaughters Maia Holmes, Jaila and Joi Simmons; great-grandsons Jayden and Jorden Miller and Jaxsen Holmes-Limehouse; devoted friend Mrs Rhodell Sweat; nephews who were like sons Mervin Prezzy and Raymond Clark; devoted nieces Marilyn Dean, Linda Dye and Sherron Gilliard; brother-in-law Henry Johnson; sisters-in-law Lorraine Fogle and Lois Jamison; and a host of dedicated nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Bennie Lee was able to live as he chose, at the 149 Calusa Lane address in Vance, because of a community who loved and helped him manage his world. Special thanks his family extends to YOU, the unnamed who helped him with doctor appointments, grocery shopping, repairs around the house, that car he cherished, and all the other many things it takes to make life work from day to day.
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic a tradition funeral service is not feasible at this time. Bennie Lee will be interred at Rock Hill Cemetery in Vance, where he will join his wife who died in April 1979. A celebratory service will be held at a later date to honor his legacy.
Many thanks to the staff at PruittHealth in Moncks Corner who cared for him during his final days.
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