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William Prickett

Obituary Condolences

William Prickett Obituary
William Prickett


William Prickett died after a long illness on January 30, 2014, at age 88. He is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Caroline Johnstone duPont Prickett. His older sister, Elise Prickett Deans, and his younger brother, Harry deBoeck Prickett, predeceased him.

Bill was very blessed by having his loyal son, William Loening Prickett and his wife Elizabeth Edwards Prickett and their two gifted and great children Sarah and William F. Prickett of Danvers MA; his older dynamic daughter Priscilla Prickett Kraft and her three wonderful children: Wesley Alan Luce, Marka Luce and Katherine Flatt; his devoted and supportive daughter, Dr. Annie Prickett Renzetti and her husband, Peter Renzetti of Clayton, DE and many of his relatives, faithful friends, and family on both sides of the Atlantic, who survived him.

In addition to practicing the law Bill loved to travel all over the world, buy native costumes and have theme parties, to showcase his special outfits and regale his friends with exciting ventures. One of his true passions was to be on his horse, spending many a Saturday pursuing the Cheshire Foxhounds at full gallop over the hills and dales (and high fences) of Unionville PA.

Before retiring in 2008, Bill was Prickett Jones & Elliott's senior member. He was the son of William Prickett, Sr. and grandson of William S. Prickett, the original founder of the firm in 1888. Bill received a B.A. from Princeton University and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1954. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the U.S. Marine Corps as a Lieutenant during the Korean War. Bill was admitted to the Bar in Delaware and the District of Columbia in 1955 and later in Pennsylvania as well as the Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, and to the United States Supreme Court.

Bill was a prolific author. Among his many books were: In My Father's House, More Ado, Risk in the Afternoon, Some of the Pleasures and Perils of Foxchasing, The Road to Jericho, A Contemporaneous Tale of Good and Evil, Dearly Beloved, and Pandorian Consequences.

Bill was President of the Delaware State Bar Association in 1974. He was a member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association, and was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. The American Judicature Society awarded Bill its Special Merit Citation in 1988. Bill was the original Chairman of the Delaware IOLTA Committee and conceived and instituted the "opt out" feature of the Delaware IOLTA program. He was a member of Delaware Supreme Court's Clients' Security Trust Fund Committee starting in 1981. Bill was a member and later Chairman of the Governor of Delaware's Judicial Nominating Commission.

Originally, Bill did general litigation work in the State and Federal Courts in Delaware. He served as Chairman of the Rules Committee of the Superior Court. He was appointed by the Governor of Delaware and served for a number of years as a Special Deputy Attorney in cases seeking recovery for the State for overpayments in highway work. Bill, together with Mason E. Turner, Jr., another firm director at the time, was retained by the Governor and the Attorney General to represent the State of Delaware in the school desegregation litigation stemming from Brown v. Topeka. Bill represented Delaware conservation organizations in Duke v. Shell Oil Co.

The last 15 years of his active practice, Bill was primarily involved in Chancery and Federal corporate litigation. He served on the Rules Committee of the Court of Chancery as well as the Corporate Law Committee. Bill was the successful lead counsel in significant corporate cases, including Weinberger v. UOP, Smith v. Van Gorkom In re Tri-Star Pictures, Inc. Litigation and Malone v. Brincat. Together with other members of the firm, he has published Law Review articles on these and other corporate cases.

Bill's career included substantial pro bono work for the Bar, the Courts and the public as well as work for charities and educational institutions. In addition, Bill was a founding member of the Brandywine River Museum created to house locally the works of the Wyeth family and other Delaware and Pennsylvania artists. Mr. Prickett was the first President of the Grand Opera House, Inc. During his tenure, the Grand Opera House, originally built in 1873 in Wilmington, was completely restored and made Delaware's Center for the Performing Arts.

The directors of Prickett, Jones & Elliot, P.A. established and endowed two scholarship funds at the Widener University School of Law in William Prickett's name and honor for all the work he had done for the firm and the Bar.

The Prickett family would like to thank the nursing staff of Stonegates' Health Care and Delaware Hospice for their excellent care of Bill. In lieu of flowers please donate to one of the following: Brandywine River Museum and Conservancy, Grand Opera House or St. Peter's Anglican Church, Elkton, MD.

A Communion Service will be held on Sunday, February 2nd at 10:30 a.m. at St. Peter's Anglican Church, in Elkton, MD and a Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, March 1st at 11:00 a.m. at the Lower Brandywine Presbyterian Church, in Centerville DE, with a reception (for all) to follow at the Vicmead Hunt Club.

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Published in The News Journal on Feb. 1, 2014
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