Liz (Elizabeth Ida Pritchett) passed away on September 3, 2021 at Advent Health Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Shawnee, KS. Both of her sons, Don and John, were at her side.
Liz was born on May 16, 1947 to John and Ethel (VanEvery) Sharples on Long Island, NY where she developed a love for the ocean and, in particular, Montauk Beach and Lighthouse. She, her mother, and sister, Susan, left New York for Canada and then landed in Moundville, MO where she met and then married Wayne Pritchett. Liz and Wayne moved to the Kansas City area (KCMO, Independence, and then Lee’s Summit), had two sons, and enjoyed a family life filled with music, fishing and camping trips, and church activities. Liz had a strong faith, believed Jesus Christ was her Savior, and raised her sons to believe the same.
After Wayne and Liz divorced, Liz worked hard, holding two jobs to support her sons. Her sons remember her always taking an interest and encouraging them in their hobbies, relationships, and professional interests, even playing Dungeons and Dragons with them, serving meatball grinders and nachos during friend gatherings, being one son’s inspiration to become an incredible artist when she told him to “just draw what you see” after his initial attempts frustrated him, and spending her hard-earned money on a computer for her other son who wanted to write video games. After she successfully raised her sons, she attended UMKC and earned a master’s degree in counseling and guidance and became a Licensed Professional Counselor. She moved around, working in varied settings, including as a substance abuse counselor for the Jackson County Court Services in KCMO and for the Northland Community Center in Excelsior Springs, MO; as a therapist for the Dunn Community Mental Health Center in Richmond, IN; as a clinician for Tarkio Academy in Tarkio, MO, and as a school counselor for High-Tech Institute in KCMO. She moved to Lowry City in 2007 when she became a counselor for Pathways Behavioral Health in Clinton, MO. While she felt fulfilled being able to help struggling youth; married couples; and individuals dealing with addiction, depression, and anxiety, she particularly had a heart for the military, as evidenced by her intense patriotism and love for our country, her support for POW’s, and her passion for her work with MHN Government Services as a Military Family Life Consultant. It was through this position, she was able to travel to different military bases, including Fort Riley and Fort Leonard Wood, to provide behavioral health support to active military service members and their families. She was recognized with multiple awards and certificates for her assistance to the military and its members. Liz retired from this position in 2013.
Aside from her wide-impacting work as a counselor and therapist, Liz had an eclectic range of interests. She was very creative. One of her first jobs as a young married woman was for Hallmark Cards, designing greeting card layouts. She also was an amazing artist herself, not only of the visual arts, but also of the literary and performing arts, sketching images of people she loved, weaving beautiful wool scarves, composing poetry that revealed her true soul, and singing gospel songs that made you wonder if you were listening to the voice of an angel. Her creativity was especially revealed in the hours upon hours she spent designing and creating unique pieces of jewelry.
Nature was another of her passions. She frequently took canoeing, hiking, tenting, and fishing trips to enjoy God’s beautiful creation. Being a fiercely strong and independent woman, she set out on these trips alone, carrying her tent, canoe, and equipment by herself, but always returned having connected with someone new. Her love for frogs landed her quite a collection of frog knickknacks, clothes, stuffed animals, and mugs. Liz also had a green thumb and kept numerous house plants throughout her home, on shelves, window sills, and the front porch. It seemed she could keep any plant alive. She especially loved orchids.
What she did in the kitchen was amazing. She had the ability to put unlikely ingredients together to make delightful meals – mangoes in chicken salad, mustard in nacho cheese dip, just to name a couple. She made her own bread, yogurt, dried fruit, meat jerky, and coffee drinks. Her kitchen was filled with every possible dry ingredient, spice, flavoring, and gadget you could imagine.
Liz was also a fan of movies, television, and books and had such a wide array of interests. She would share Science Fiction and Fantasy (Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, Lord of the Rings, Dune) with her sons and then equally enjoy watching musicals (Cats, The Greatest Showman, etc.). She would completely get wrapped up in mystery/crime TV series (Kolchak – The Night Stalker, The X-Files, and Criminal Minds), as well as novels (Dean Koontz, Stephen King, etc.).
Liz always had a heart for animals. She not only cared for her own pets (Critter, Clyde, Moose), but would also take in just about any stray cat or dog who came begging at her door. Her most recent loves were her Jack Russel Terriers, Beans and Ollie (named after Oliver Twist because he was orphaned and lived on the streets). They brought much companionship and joy to her days.
Liz not only leaves behind Beans and Ollie, but also her sons, Don Pritchett and John (and wife Angelique’) Pritchett, and six grandchildren, Hannah, Josie, Gabrielle, Joseph, Isaac, and Elijah Pritchett. She is also survived by countless friends and good neighbors who have shown her care and concern throughout the years.
She is preceded in death by her parents and her daughter-in-law, Leanne Pritchett.