School 09

John C. Pruitt

July 31, 1952 ~ June 28, 2019 (age 66)


On Friday, June 28, 2019, John Christopher Pruitt passed away at home at the age of 66 after a six-year struggle with brain cancer.

John was born on July 31, 1952 and spent his childhood in Philadelphia and Baltimore. He earned a BA from Dartmouth College where he was a key member of the Dartmouth Film Society, a group dedicated to the advancement of cinema. In New York City John continued his involvement in the avant-garde film world and earned an MA in Cinema Studies at NYU. He then began a four-decade career teaching film history, thirty-seven of those years at Bard College where he had an enormous impact on the film program, the college, and thousands of students. His writing on film and filmmakers appeared in numerous journals and books. In 1992, John married Sheila Moloney and they raised two daughters together in Rhinebeck, NY.

In addition to his love for film, John had a passion for music, poetry, art, and literature. He was also an avid baseball fan, and his years as a Boy Scout instilled in him a love for nature that he indulged on hikes, canoeing, and camping trips with family and friends. John was known for his acute intelligence, sharp wit, integrity, and unflappable good cheer.

John was predeceased in death by his father, William, his mother, Margaret, and his brother George. He is survived by his wife, Sheila Moloney, and their two children, Ida and Willa Pruitt.

A memorial service and celebration of John's life will be held on Sunday, July 14 at 2 pm at the Chapel of the Holy Innocents at Bard College, 1387 Annandale Rd, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John's name to either of two organizations dedicated to presenting and preserving avant-garde films:

The Film-Makers' Cooperative


Anthology Film Archives

Arrangements are under the direction of Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home, Rhinebeck, NY. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John C. Pruitt, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Gathering
July 14, 2019

2:00 PM
Chapel of Holy Innocents
1387 Annandale Rd
Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504

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