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Dr. George V. PRYLES

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Family-Placed Death Notice

PRYLES, Dr. George V. DR. GEORGE VICTOR PRYLES Dr. George Victor Pryles was hard-pressed to say which of his careers he enjoyed the most: serving as a U.S. Navy Captain or teaching dental school at Emory University. His hard-charging personality and disarming sense of humor served him well in both. Dr. Pryles, 90, a native Atlantan, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife and children. He was a proud graduate of Boys High School, Emory University and Northwestern University School of Dentistry. In 1940, he joined the U.S. Navy Dental Corps and served his country for 28 years with duty assignments in Key West, FL, Kingsville, TX, Okinawa, and Marietta, GA. Dr. Pryles loved being in the Navy and often said it was the second smartest decision he ever made, after marrying his wife, Helen, a Navy nurse who he met in Key West. A born leader, Dr. Pryles quickly rose through the military ranks as his superiors recognized his unconventional but effective leadership skills. While onboard an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic, Dr. Pryles and the crew witnessed the tragic crash of a jet just after takeoff, killing the pilot. The remaining pilots grounded themselves and refused to fly, until Dr. Pryles began a gambling pool, placing odds against take-off. As bets were placed, peer pressure grew and the pilots became airborne again. The Commanding Officer of the ship commended Dr. Pryles for his clever strategy and offered to cover his gambling losses. After retiring from the Navy in 1968, Dr. Pryles joined the faculty at the Emory University Dental School where he taught for 15 years before retiring for the second time in 1983. Dr. Pryles quickly earned a reputation for being tough but fair. He was known to lock lecture hall doors at precisely 0800 hours and not allow latecomers to enter. This typically was only necessary once a year. He knew that dental students feared but respected him. His passion for teaching earned him numerous awards from students and faculty alike, including the distinguished Emory Williams Award in 1975, the highest award granted by Emory University for excellence in teaching. After retiring from Emory, Dr. Pryles pursued his lifelong love of thoroughbred racing and purchased two colts that he named "G.V.'s Dream" and "Captain G.V." Dr. Pryles was committed to the care, training, and racing of those horses and was overjoyed when he found himself beside them in the Winner's Circle. Despite his passion for the Navy, for teaching and for horseracing, nothing compared to Dr. Pryles' love for his family. He is survived by his wife, Helen, and their three children: his oldest daughter, Mary Victoria (Gigi) Pryles Barnes and her husband, Bill; his devoted son, Victor George (Chip) Pryles and his wife, Nancy; and the "baby", Eleni Pryles Kalisch and her husband, Bert. Two of his siblings, Harold V. Pryles and Lula Pryles Alexander also survive him, along with many nieces and nephews who adored him. Funeral services will be held at the Greek Orthodox Church on Tuesday, March 5 at 11:00 am, followed by a reception. The family will receive friends from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm Monday, March 4 at A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home, Decatur, GA. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Greek Orthodox Church, 2500 Clairmont Road, Atlanta, GA 30329.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Mar. 4, 2013
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