Dr. John J. Pryor
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John P. Pryor, 42, of Moorestown, the dedicated leader of the University of Pennsylvania's trauma team and a decorated major in the Army Reserve who wrote eloquently about the painful parallels between battlefield deaths and urban homicides, was killed on Christmas by enemy fire in Iraq while serving as a combat surgeon.

Dr. Pryor deployed Dec. 6 and was with a risky frontline surgical unit when he was killed by shrapnel from a mortar round. It was his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Dr. Pryor, who was experienced and cool under pressure, was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., and raised near Albany. He completed surgical training at the State University of New York in Buffalo, and came to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. After a fellowship in trauma surgery and critical care, he joined Penn's surgical faculty and served as director of the hospital's nationally recognized trauma program.

"JP was a magical man, with boundless energy and goodness," said Dr. Pryor's mentor at Penn, Dr. C. William Schwab. "He was a devoted son, husband, father, colleague and friend. . . . At his core were many great values, but his passion for service to others" stood out.

In an undated document that Dr. Pryor wrote and left with family before he deployed, he recounted his early affinity for injured people, his passion to serve - specifically in wartime - and the difficulty of balancing his love of country and family, because he felt his decision to go to Iraq was not always supported by those closest to him.

"Since an early age, Dr. Pryor was involved in the care of the sick and injured," he wrote of himself in the third person. "He was certified in CPR when he was 14 years old, joined the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Ambulance Corps at 17, and became a N.Y. State Emergency Medical Technician at 18," adding that it was "emotionally very challenging" to balance his dedication to family and country. "He hopes and prays," he wrote, "for forgiveness from his family and colleagues."

Friends said a favorite quote from Albert Schweitzer that hung on Dr. Pryor's Penn office wall captured his spirit.

"Seek always to do some good, somewhere," it reads. "Even if it's a little thing, do something for those who need help, something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it. For remember, you don't live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here, too."

A technically skilled surgeon with a fierce adventurous streak, Dr. Pryor dashed to the heart of Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, to volunteer his services. He wound up deciphering and filling medical requests that crackled over rescue-team radios.

"I don't think about it every day, but I've had flashbacks," he said in 2002.

As chief medical adviser to the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Dr. Pryor conducted disaster-relief training for volunteers. In those lectures, he drew parallels between the injuries soldiers experience on the battlefield and the injuries to shooting victims brought to Philadelphia emergency rooms.

"He was a brilliant guy, but he didn't intimidate people when he spoke to them about these issues," said Red Cross chief executive officer Tom Foley. "It's a cliche to say, 'Every man's death diminishes me,' but his death diminishes us more than a little, because he was doing things on so many fronts while also raising a family."

A talented writer, Dr. Pryor contributed opinion articles to The Inquirer and the Washington Post, and often was interviewed by NPR and ABC News.

"In Iraq, ironically, I found myself drawing on my experience as a civilian trauma surgeon each time 'mascals,' or 'mass casualty situations,' would overrun the combat hospital," he told NPR last year. "As nine or 10 patients from a firefight rolled in, I sometimes caught myself saying, 'Just like another Friday night in West Philadelphia.'"

A hard worker who drove himself relentlessly, Dr. Pryor took it personally when he was unable to save someone on his operating table.

In a 2006 Inquirer opinion piece describing his service with the 344th Combat Support Hospital in Abu Ghraib, Dr. Pryor wrote of the "palpable grief" that comes over the staff when a U.S. soldier doesn't survive.

"Everyone is affected and everyone deals with it in a different way. For me," he wrote, "it is very, very personal. I was the surgeon who couldn't save him. . . . The staff people come and give me a hug. They ask me if I am OK; they pray for me. I appreciate it, and I hate it at the same time."

Dr. Pryor is survived by his wife, Carmela V. Calvo, a pediatrician at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children; a daughter, Danielle; sons Francis and John Jr.; a brother; and his parents, Richard C. and Victoria.

Arrangements were incomplete, although the family expects that a Funeral Mass will be said at Our Lady of Good Counsel Roman Catholic Church in Moorestown.
Published in Philadelphia Inquirer/Philadelphia Daily News from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31, 2008.
Memories & Condolences
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379 entries
March 29, 2021
I trained under Dr. Pryor as a medical student and resident. I think of his service to his local community and his country. He was a great man who was taken away from us way too soon. He left a lasting impression on me. Thank you, Dr. Pryor.
Richard Scarlett
January 23, 2021
Happy 55th Birthday Son. Our love for you never slows. We miss you so much. Mom and Dad
Victoria Pryor
December 25, 2020
Remembering John today. Wishing for health & prosperity for his family.
Christopher Sheridan
October 6, 2020
Rest in Power brother - you friend and fellow UB resident - Booker
Booker King
May 25, 2020
Nancy & I wonder what John would have be doing to help with the health crisis today. We continue to think of John and his family.
Christopher Sheridan
December 27, 2019
You are missed and loved by so many. You continue to be spoken of frequently with love and respect within the Army and civilian trauma community. God bless you and your family.
Pryor family,
Thank you and God bless.
LTC David Hardin
David Hardin
December 26, 2019
Victoria and Richard Pryor
December 25, 2019
Always remember!
vladimir Berkovich COL
December 25, 2019
Love and miss you now and forever.
Calvo Pryor
May 28, 2018
After college graduation in Saratoga
Nancy & I had a thoughtful walk today at the Vietnam memorial in Rochester. Thinking of you and your family today my friend.
Christopher Sheridan
May 29, 2017
On this 9th Memorial Day since John's passing, my family again visited the Rochester Vietnam Memorial to remember John and continue to wish for the best for his family.
Christopher Sheridan
December 25, 2016
I love you, I miss you. I will never forget what you have done for this family and others. Love you now and forever.
John John
January 23, 2016
John Paul Please remember Jen and us all on this your 50th birthday. We love and miss you so so much. Dad and Mom and Rich
January 23, 2016
Today, you would have turned 50 years old. The children and I will love and miss you forever.
Carmela V Calvo
December 26, 2015
Never forget your sacrifice
Vladimir Berkovich
December 25, 2015
To the Pryor family,
Seven years now and we think of John and his family regularly. Every Christmas begins with a solemn note. We strive to do the fraction of good that John did in his all too brief lifetime. We continue to wish for the best for John's family. Merry Christmas to the Pryor family and, to you too my friend.
Christopher Sheridan
December 27, 2013
I just return back the deployment to Kuwait. As always we talk about our colleagues. John name came up and immediately we start hearing the stories how great he was, how he touched our life. We will always remember John!
Vladimir Berkovich MD,LTC, USAR
December 25, 2013
From 1st Forward Surgical Team
November 11, 2013
Liberty Medics!
Doc Pryor thank you for saving lives. We owe our freedom to you and all of our fallen brothers and sisters, you will never be forgotten. Thank you
Marlon Zambrano
October 3, 2013
John and I were residents together at SUNY Buffalo. He was a year or two behind me. I loved working with him and he became a great surgeon. Although he joined the Army long after our ways parted, I have met so many military colleagues who knew him. He is missed and a surgeon I worked with in Kuwait recently mailed me John and Richard's book. I am reading it while deployed and am remembering him and our residency fondly. He is sorely missed.
Eric Romanucci, MD, COL, USAR
May 27, 2013
May 2006 Abu Graib
I replaced John as the general surgeon at Abu Ghraib, Iraq in May of 2006. I was a brand new captain fresh out of residency and scared to death. John stayed behind and mentored me and was like a big brother. He wrote me encouraging emails and helped me share my anguish and grief. I think about him often and pray for the Pryor family. His legacy will never be forgotten. God bless the Pryor family.
David Hardin MD
David Hardin
December 25, 2012
Always remember!
Vladimir Berkovich MD.LtCol. USAR
December 25, 2012
To the family and friends of Maj. John P. Pryor:
Always remembering John. "Some gave all."
Peggy Childers
October 24, 2012
Carmela. . .I don't know if you remember me or not, but I am an Army nurse/Penn grad who knew John and I have been running the Marine Corps
Marathon in his honor every year
since 2008. Unfortunately, I will not
be able to run it this year. In lieu
of that, I am having a mass read for him. John and your family are never
far from my thoughts and prayers. I will never forget him.

Barbara Goudarzi RN
Penn '87
barbara goudarzi
May 28, 2012
Our family attends Memorial Day ceremonies today. Carolyn will play taps at the Churchville Cemetery. The Pryor family remains in our thoughts.
Christopher Sheridan
December 26, 2011
Ft. Dix Dec.25.2011 Sam & Aaron Berkovich
Salute to John P. Pryor. New generation.Ft. Dix Dec.25.2011 Sam & Aaron Berkovich
Vladimir Berkovich LT.Col, MD
December 25, 2011
To the family and friends of Maj. John P. Pryor:
Please accept my remembrance of John on the anniversary of his passing and know that he will never be forgotten.
Peggy Childers
December 25, 2011
Carmela and family. My boys and I going to visit Ft. Dix to salute to John. My thoughts are with you. Vladimir Berkovich
December 24, 2011
Carmela & family, Rich & family, Mr. & Mrs. Pryor,
Thinking of your families & will offer a prayer at vigil mass this afternoon.
Chris & Nancy Sheridan
December 16, 2011
To Dr. Pryor's family,

You are all in my thoughts and prayers always but especially at this time. Dr. Pryor continues to be so very greatly missed by many. The loss of his physical presence remains so significant. But his spirit lives on for single person who ever was blessed to know him.

He saved my life May 9, 2007.

Today I am very glad to be alive. And I will try to help others in any way I am able. No matter what. In small or big ways. That is how, I believe, his spirit remains alive and
well. He was a great teacher in those ways. And I am blessed to have been under his care.

A peaceful Christmas to all of you.
Maureen Coath
Maureen Coath
December 16, 2011
As the end to the presence of US troops in Irag nears, we must remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in this cause. The US Army men and women who served in Iraq did so as part of that long line of Americans who upheld their pledge to the service and this nation: Duty, Honor, Country.

Dr. Pryor spent his entire life in service to others. We can ask no more of folks. It is our duty to 'never forget' all that he did for us.

God bless you, John.

A grateful veteran
December 16, 2011
May 29, 2011
We honor Major Doctor John Pryor for his heroic sacrifice of life to maintain our Freedom. For his family & friends, we continue to pray for your strength.
Chester & Ginger
April 20, 2011
After reading up on the life of Dr. John Pryor, I am grateful that such an extraordinary person was able to honorably serve our country. It is astonishing how much he accomplished during his life. I am proud to call myself an American because of men like Dr. Pryor. There truly is no greater honor than to die for your country and the ones you love.
Brian Splane
December 25, 2010
To the family and friends of Maj. John P. Pryor:
Remembering John on the anniversary of his passing. May our fallen heroes never be forgotten!
Peggy Childers
Peggy Childers
December 25, 2010
Today I will talk to my sons Aaron 4 and Sam 5 about The Hero and Friend. Vladimir Berkovich
vladimir Berkovich
December 23, 2010
Remembering the life and service of this fine American soldier.
May his family be blessed as they approach this anniversary. I hope that they are heartened and encouraged by good memories of other times and by the fine example set by this loving and compassionate man.
Kim Straker
August 29, 2010
To the Pryor family:
May the comfort from family and friends continue to strengthen you, and may you find comfort in the words found in the Holy Scriptures: "And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away."
May 31, 2010
Our children participated in Memorial Day services around the Rochester area today. The day’s reverence heightened by their knowing their parents and John’s family have a much more somber view of the day’s significance. John and his family are never far from our thoughts. We pray for better things to come to be for John’s family in the future.
Chris & Nancy Sheridan
May 26, 2010
On Monday May 31, 2010 we will honor and respect Major Doctor John Paul Pryor's sacrifice for our Freedom. His death was not in vain; however, his family suffers daily and mourns their loss of a son, brother, cousin, best friend. Someday all these mysteries will be revealed and we will rejoice in that reunion. God bless the Pryor family and friends John loved so much. God Bless America!
Chester & Ginger Mankowski
May 26, 2010
Thank you for all those who serve our country. I am doing a project on Mr. Pryor because i find that he is such a wonderful man and I am sorry for your loss.
May 6, 2010
Thank you, Dr. Major John Pryor, for being a leader and mentor for all Americans; I especially thank you for becoming a doctor and a hero. On Nurses' Day 5-6-10, you deserve extra prayers for your bravery and devotion to your family. May God Bless them and keep them safe in His Arms.
Ginger & Chester
May 4, 2010
Love Lives On

Those we love remain with us
for love itself lives on,
and cherished memories never fade
because a loved one's gone.
Those we love can never be
more than a thought apart,
far as long as there is memory,
they'll live on in the heart.

The Landstuhl Hospital Care Project has honored Major John Pryor with shipments of care and comfort items to wounded troops in military hospitals stateside and overseas for May 2010. This includes the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and field medical units in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
James Spliedt
March 16, 2010
”Honor and Remember” - “Project Compassion” We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families of our fallen heroes. War does not discriminate – It breaks our hearts to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to the hero’s Mother, Father and/or spouse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Almost 2,000 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
This is a gift! We have wonderful sponsors who help with the costs, and want you know that everyone here at Project Compassion does and will always CARE.
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com . If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Sincerely and Respectfully,
December 28, 2009
I am sorry for your loss. A great man has fallen.
December 28, 2009
This fine American clearly lived with purpose, honor, conviction and courage. His skills as a doctor will be sadly missed, his presence as a work mate, neighbor, acquaintance or friend will cause sadness for what might have been. To his family,all I can say is that the thoughts and prayers of many go out to you. Even those of us not fortunate enough to know Major Pryor in his lifetime are the better for reading about him now.
May his wife and children continue to be supported and surrounded by love and care.
Rest in peace Major Pryor. You are honored and will be remembered.
Kim Straker
December 26, 2009











Do A Web Search On:
Charles H. Miranda -- Or.
Charles H. Miranda
December 25, 2009
To the family of Major Pryor, On this anniversary of your loss, please know that millions of us Americans are grateful for the service and mourn the unfortunate loss of men like John. You are in my prayers to be blessed with the grace and fortitude to continue forward in life with joy and success despite the hole in your soul from having John taken from you.

Peace be with you, Jim
Jim Hansen
December 25, 2009
To the parents of Maj. John P. Pryor:
I know your pain
I know your sorrow
It feels as though there's no tomorrow
It's Christmastime
Your child is gone
But know that from the great beyond
He's watching you
And is so proud
Wanting you to sing strong and loud
Allow this Christmas season in
So loving life can begin again.
Peggy Childers
December 25, 2009
Thinking of your family today as I have often done throughout this past year. May the Lord comfort you and bring you peace. Blessings at Christmas and always.
Sharon Hoover
December 24, 2009
Rest in peace.
Henryk Zaleski
December 13, 2009
On this day and with each day that we enjoy our freedom, I would like to give thanks and let you know that I do not take our troops for granted. May you experience God when you feel your loss.
Donna Gillette
December 7, 2009
For the family of Dr. John Pryor: On this day of remembering the vicious attack on Pearl Harbor, we think of John and his sacrifices for our freedo. May you be comforted knowing his name will never be forgotten.
Chester & Ginger Mankowski
November 11, 2009
may his family find strength in the virtnes he lived for,giving,careing,serving other,s and their "faith in god" substian them daily. my son emery lee served on tour with major pryor. margeret lee baltimore ,md
margaret lee
November 11, 2009
I think of you and your family often. Dr. Pryor cared for my husband in the ICU at HUP. He also gave my children and I support through Steve's health problems. My husband Steve passed in May 2007 I know we are one family of many that will have Maj. John P Pryor in our thoughts on this Veterans Day.
November 10, 2009
To the family of Major John Pryor: We honor his service & dedication during Veteran's Day Ceremonies, 11-11-09. John knew the dangers of his location; however, he fought daily to save our military persons. He rests in Peace in Jesus' arms.
Chester & Ginger Mankowski
October 27, 2009
I don't know if you remember me or not.
I came up from Washington for John's wake (in battle dress uniform).

I just wanted you to know that I ran in the Marine Corps Marathon this past Sunday here in Washington in honor and memory of John and that John and all of you will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

Barbara Goudarzi
Barbara Goudarzi
June 5, 2009
I was a medic in the ETR at Abu while Major Pryor served there. I just learned of his passing and am deeply saddened by this loss. Even in such a dreary place, there were few times that he didn't have a smile on his face as he tried to raise the spirits of those around him. I just want to reiterate what so many have already said, Dr. Pryor was a great man, surgeon and soldier. I'm sincerely sorry for your loss.
Sgt. Shane McKim
May 27, 2009
Please accept my deepest sympathies.
Bill Poole
May 25, 2009
Five months to the day JP was taken away from us and his family, My family and I visited his grave. Memorial Days will never be the same. I miss you my friend. I pray for better turns for your family.
Chris "Boo" Sheridan
May 24, 2009
John Paul has paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life to keep us free. On May 25, 2009 we honor his courage, strength, and dedication; Memorial Day celebrations include acknowledging him as a hero and never forgetting his memories. God Bless America!
Chester & Ginger Mankowski
May 24, 2009
My prayers are with the Pryor family this Memorial Day weekend. I met John the day he arrived in Mosul and joked with him about the Eagles' prospects once I learned that he was a surgeon in Philly; myself being from Philly as well. We were about to gather for a group photo of all the doctors and then head to lunch on Christmas day when the mortar hit. Within seconds we realized some of our personnel were hit. I ran through the back of the hospital and into an already shaken ER as the team realized the worst and called for me to pray. Over the next few days I learned how loved and respected John was by his peers and colleagues. I wondered how the family was doing and hoped they were surrounded by supportive family and friends. John served his country both in Philly and in Iraq with humility and compassion. My prayers are with the Pryor family this Memorial Day weekend.
- Chaplain Geoff Bailey
Geoff Bailey
May 24, 2009
I came across Dr. John Pryors name on a "tweet" sent to me about a column he had written. It was about a soldier he treated on the last day of his first deployment. The love, compassion and sorrow he felt at that soldier's death was alive in his words. It took me an hour to find this website devoted to him, and I felt obligated to let you know during this memorial day weekend, that even after his death, he is still touching hearts.

May you and you family be lifted up during this Memorial Day weekend. We do remember those that have sacrificed their lives for this country, and we thank you for sharing them with all of us.

My most sincere condolences and love,
Joey Niebrugge
May 1, 2009
I will always remember John Pryor as one of the most helpful, caring, compassionate and dedicated surgeons I have ever known. I was a neurosurgery resident at Penn and knew him for seven years as a terrific mentor and inspiration. He will not be forgotten...the patients he saved and left behind are his legacy.
Uzma Samadani
April 29, 2009
It is with great sadness that I learned of John's passing. We rode together on Harpur's Ferry Ambulance at Binghamton University over twenty years ago. One of the things that stood out to me was how much he cared about the work that we were doing and the reason that we were doing it. John and I lost touch after college but it is clear that his love of the work and his commitment to lending his skills to the benefit of his fellow human beings did not change. We need more John Pryors in the world and we are significantly poorer for his passing.
John Fracchia
April 16, 2009
I did not know MAJ Pryor or of his work in Philadelphia or Iraq until I recently read about his accomplishments and impact on his patients and Soldiers around him. As a fellow Soldier deployed to Iraq and University of Pennsylvania graduate, his story moved me greatly. I salute the memory of this great Army officer and mourn for your loss.

CPT Ben H. Choe
University of Pennsylvania '96
Ben Choe
April 8, 2009
i am offering my deepest condolences to the Pryor family. i wanst lucky enough to ever meet John, however have been lucky enough to be touched by his dedication and exceptional self-less ness that he appeared to continuoulsy pour out to all in his world. i will pray for the family and am glad to have learn of him and his life journey through friends. you will go down in history as a true hero. thank you!
March 31, 2009
I was very sorry to hear of your loss. We are living in terrible times.
B. Albrecht
March 29, 2009
Corynn Cusson
March 28, 2009
Mrs (Dr.) Pryor: I attended an inservice recently by Dr. Benoit Dube, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiarty, UofP School of Medicine; before he started, I introduced myself (just an RN) and asked if he'd known Dr. John Pryor. His face lite up and he said the two of them had interns/residents at HUP whom they both taught simultaneously. How wonderful hearing about the special bond these two teaching Physicians shared. Dr. Dube was very moved to realize that Dr. Pryor's name was coincidently known and respected, as well as remembered so fondly by himself. I am certain Dr. Pryor was pleased also as there seemed to be a peace surrounding Dr. Dube.
I wanted to share this experience with you and your children.
Ginger Mankowski
March 27, 2009
The volume of this guest book speaks to the man John was. I had the pleasure of working with John while I was an Emergency Medicine resident in Buffalo. We should all aspire to be the sort of husband, Dad and physician he was.
Steve Lopez, MD
March 27, 2009
I am grateful for his service, humbled by his sacrifice.
COL Chester 'Trip' Buckenmaier III, MD
March 23, 2009
It's already been 3 months since when we learned the tragic news. Life has returned to somewhat normal, but there is not a single day goes by without remembering the honorable man, Dr.John Pryor. You're so missed everyday.
Jin Jun
March 20, 2009
My deepest sympathies go out to his children, wife, family and friends. I had the opportunity of having Dr. Pryor as an educator for my NP course - he was an excellent teacher, physician and human being. It did not surprise me that he dedicated his entire life to serving others and his country.
I have the upmost respect for Dr. Pryor and am still in disbelief we have all lost such a dedicated, compassionate and humble person. Honestly, he is as close to an angel we can have on earth.
May you all find peace in your difficult journey ahead knowing he has touched the lives of so many and will continue to be remembered, missed, and respected.

God bless.
Nurse Practitioner Student
March 17, 2009
I did not know Dr. Pryor, but I am thankful I stumbled on his story. I suspect that was meant to be, as his life story has enriched me, and I am humbled by his works. Although his time on earth was short, he left an amazing light, and may his loved ones find peace in such a legacy of warmth. Thank you
Phyllis Griffin
March 12, 2009
Christine D. Luciano, 05/09/1989 - 07/14/2006
To the Pryor Family: I was very deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. John Pryor. He had been one of the doctors attending to our daughter who had sustained severe head trauma in a car accident on June 21, 2006. After three and a half weeks in the Neurosurgical ICU, she left this world and became our angel. During her hospital care, Dr. Pryor was the only doctor I recall who spoke with us on a human, caring, and even personal level. His heart was always present, and you could see the feeling in his eyes. His kindness and depth of emotion could not be hidden. I will never forget this man who made such a positive difference in the lives of others. He is surely at peace among all of the angels.
Carole Luciano
March 8, 2009
I was shocked and incredibly saddened to open the Penn medicine magazine that came in the mail this week and see the news about John.

Although my time working with Dr Pryor was limited to a variety of rotations in ER medicine and trauma surgery during medical school and residency, Dr Pryor definitely serves as one of the significant faces of my medical school experience, and one that I always associated with an incredible enthusiasm and compassion whenever our paths crossed during my med school and residency experiences at Penn.

I vividly remember being on trauma surgery rotation on Sept 11th and recall the passion that he exhibited in getting up to NYC and how important it was to him to help others.

I am so sad that the world has lost someone who truly gave of himself in trying to help others.
Marc Cohen
March 7, 2009
The life of a gifted Army Surgeon is of the greatest treasure to the soliders and lifes he saved. I am very honored for your service and ultimate sacrafice.

Captian Dwayne L. Clay, ARMY
Medical Corps, Operation Desert Storm Battalion Surgeon
Dwayne Clay
March 2, 2009
The measure of what a giving man John was can be seen in how he continues to touch all of us who never had the opportunity to meet or work with him. This story came to me through an EMS link...to the family...thank you for sharing John with us
George Burnstein RN,
March 2, 2009
I did not know Doc John but sounds like he was pretty great! I'm sorry for your loss and very proud to part of the medical field! As he obviously was!
Connie McGill
February 25, 2009
I proudly served with Major Pryor in Iraq. He was an inspiration to us all. He was a teacher and a friend. My fondess memory of Major Pryor was watching him do sits and push ups every day in our ER to preprare for his PT test. He would drop and do 30 at any time and often get all of us up and motivated to join him. He will be missed. To his family...Be so very proud of him. He served well and strived to do all that he could do for the fallen. He treated every casualty with a heavy heart and he put 1000% in his efforts to save each and every casualty that rolled through our doors. I am so proud to have served with such an inspirational human being. I salute you sir, and will never forget you.
Captain Juliette Winters
February 23, 2009
As a Firefighter/EMT I have truly come to respect all members of "Our Team" the Team I refer to is the Emergency Medical Team. To Dr. Pryor's family my thoughts and prayers will always be with you, I thank you for most don't realize that the family of a "Hero" pays the ultimate price, which is the loss they bear till one day your reunited in Heaven, with those they love. God Bless
Jason Wickizer
February 22, 2009
I am a Firefighter/EMT from Plainfield, IN. I recently read an article in Jems magazine about John's passing, and even though I never knew him, John is truly the example of what a hero is. I can only imagine what friends and family of John's, are going through, but I want to send you my condolences and say that the world was a better place with someone like John in it. John inspires me to achieve my goals in the ems field, and to serve my town and country to the best of my abiltiy. May God give comfort and strength to his family and may his spirit and life inspire us to serve others and continue to do God's work. selflessly.
Derek Donelson
February 21, 2009
i am so sorry for you lost. He was a great man.
February 19, 2009
As an anesthesiology resident at the University of Pennsylvania, I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Pryor in the OR and the ICU. He taught me what it meant to be a dedicated physician with the highest moral standing. He will be missed even as his teachings live on in my daily practice of medicine. His family will remain in our prayers.
Jerry Clark
February 9, 2009
I worked with John when I was a third year medical student at the University of Buffalo in 1997, and I remember John as the most inspiring resident I worked with during my time there. He was a great teacher and would often spend extra time on the side teaching me physiology on the patients in the ICU. In the operating room he was confident and knew exactly what he was doing. While on call at the VA, with his “free” time at night he would type stories about physicians. I looked up to him as one of the smartest, most compassionate, and special physicians I have ever come into contact with and my heart goes out to his family.
Chris Carlson
February 2, 2009
We did not know Major Pryor but wanted to tell you we are sorry for your loss. We've read numerous articles he wrote and feel not only have you lost a wonderful Husband & Father, but the Earth has lost an incredible youn man. Surely Major Pryor stands next to Jesus, completely understanding God's mysterious ways. We send this poem to help ease your grief:
"Soldiers write history…they pay the price
Many miles distant, you live the life
Entered the Battle of our own free will
Out of Duty for Country, and we’d do it still

We hope and pray that all will find peace
In God, in the flag, in memories of valor
Gone now, our pride and courage you see
“An Army of One” our motto forever

Willing to risk all for love of our Brothers
We’re still Your Soldiers…and we showed the way
Our Lives too short, now pray for the others
Lived free died Heroes in lands far away

Deep within souls all cherished our Service
We’ll always have what some never know
Courage and Honor, our names forever
Lived life with purpose…just our time to go

We march in the Heavens with Honor and Glory
Missions accomplished we fought the Good Fight
Many years from now…we’ll tell the full story
Until that Day we will live in the Light

Our lives we laid down in a land far away
Still watching o’er you this night and by day
No need to talk…just know we are with you
There in your hearts and we hear what you pray

Yes we are your soldiers
Our lives we laid down
Still We guard o’er you
Still Duty bound

Entered the Battle of our own free will
Out of Duty for Country, and we’d do it still
We’ll always have what some never know
Lived life with purpose…it was our time to go"
May God Bless you all and grant you the peace you seek.
Chester & Ginger Mankowski
January 30, 2009
Dear Pryor Family,
My heart and deepest sympathy go out to you all. I had the pleasure of being both a patient of John's a few years ago and a colleague as a nurse on Rhoads 5 SICU. He was a wonderful man to be around and I am truly grateful to have known him. May God bless you all
Theresa Apice
January 27, 2009
I will never forget the first time I met John. Still clad in his blue scrubs, with a pen and notebook in hand and a determined look on his face, he entered our agreed-upon study room in Huntsman Hall for our first session. You see, a week earlier, I heard about a certain physician at HUP who was looking for an Arabic tutor. This doctor was planning on joining the military as a combat surgeon and wanted to provide the best care possible to the civilians he inevitably would be treating during his service. It took me a while to let it sink in – this was an individual committed to learn an entire language (and not an easy one, may I add) so that he could communicate directly with the Iraqis he was going to treat. I remember the goose bumps I felt as an Iraqi-American thinking that this is a man I really have to meet.

John and I spoke on the phone shortly thereafter and he enthusiastically told me about the steps he had already taken to start studying on his own. He was hitting a wall, he told me, and needed some one-on-one help. We agreed to meet, and thus began a relationship that I will never forget for the rest of my life.

I am inspired to this day by John’s sense of duty and unyielding commitment to what he believed. Once he decided to learn Arabic – I am sure much like every other endeavor in his life – he ensured that he achieved no less than a mastery of it. Sometimes his mouth didn’t want to make the right sound at first, but he would practice endlessly until he got it just right. I remember the several sessions we had to schedule immediately after he completed a 24 hour shift saving lives in the HUP trauma bay. He came with his signature broad smile on his face, prepared and ready to learn because he was committed 100%. I often use his attitude as the ultimate yardstick by which I gauge my own actions.

I am heartbroken and utterly speechless at the tragedy that recently took place. My deepest condolences go out to the entire family. Carmela, I unfortunately never had the good fortune of meeting you in person, but John always spoke with such a glow in his face whenever he mentioned you and the kids. We often spoke of the importance of family, and there was no doubt that John valued those relationships above all else.

Only God knows how many precious lives he saved throughout his, from the battlefields of West Philadelphia to those of Baghdad. I consider myself so fortunate to have had the opportunity to know John, learn from John, and be touched by his inspiring approach to life. He will be truly missed.
Muhammed Mekki
January 25, 2009
Dr Pryor was a so welcoming teacher when I came at penn as a visiting student. He truely was a wonderful surgeon and a great man. My sincere sympathy to his family.
Arthur André
January 25, 2009
To the family of John Pryor,

My deepest condolences go out to you and your family. I don't know Dr John Pryor personally I feel the sadness of his tragic loss. I am also a military reservist. It takes an exceptional human being to volunteer to serve and look out for the welfare of fellow soldiers. We can only hope that more people of the caliper of Dr Pryor come along and make the same positive impact that he did during his life. May the good lord bless his family during this diffucult time.
Frank Johnson
January 24, 2009
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Frank & Vicky Caruso
January 23, 2009
I went to high school with John. I had not even heard the news...today 1/23/2009, I was looking for "Shen Class 84" list and saw he was a trauma surgeon--how exciting--perfect for him!...and googled the name...and how sad to come upon the news. He was great then, and has left a wonderful footprint of a husband, doctor and friend. God Bless the Pryor family and friends.
Class 86 Shen Graduate
January 20, 2009
We love our Soldiers! We love our country and we cannot express enough love and compassion to the families. War does not discriminate – It breaks my heart to see the faces of the fallen. We want to give this gift to you. We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization! Over 1,300 portraits have been completed and shipped to the parents and or spouse - at no cost as this is a gift from one American to another!
Contact us directly at Projectcompassion@manti.com or go to www.heropaintings.com. If you have already had a portrait completed, we pray that you are enjoying the portrait and God Bless You.
Kenna Larra
January 19, 2009
My sincere condolences to the Pryor Family: I am the mother of one of John's very close high school friends, Erin O'Brien. My family and I are all so very saddened by this tremendous loss. My daughter, Erin (who came from Virginia), and I both attended the memorial for John at the Vista. It was a beautiful memorial in John's honor. Our hearts go out to all of you. May God Bless all of you and may God help all of you get through this terrible tragedy.
Claudia O'Brien
January 18, 2009
To the Pryor Family,
I am deeply saddened by the loss of John. I knew John when he was a member of the Union Volunteer Emergency Squad while attending SUNY Binghamton and enjoyed sharing memories with him at the conference last April in Binghamton, NY. He was a truly inspirational speaker and a wonderful person. He will remain forever a hero in everyone's eyes.
Cheryl Fedorchak
January 17, 2009
Carmela, Danielle, Francis & John, Mr. & Mrs. Pryor, Richard & family,
I have no words to express the depth of my sorrow for the loss you have suffered. May time and the knowledge of knowing how much John served his family, community, country and humanity help you begin the long journey to peace. I miss John. I am proud of what he was able to accomplish in the short time this world had him in our presence. I am proud to have been his friend. I pray for better turns for your families in the future.
Christopher Sheridan (Shenedehowa '84)
January 15, 2009
Carmela, Danielle, Frankie and John John-
Words cannot begin to say how sorry I am for your loss. John was an amazing teacher, doctor and mentor and from firsthand experience, father and husband. You are stronger than you know and have such great support in your family and friends. Please know that I will always be here for you and the kids. You are in my thoughts and prayers everyday. I know that many people, including myself will try to live life as John did everyday, by caring and “doing good” and I can only hope to come as close as John did to fulfilling that.
Heather Kulp
January 14, 2009
To the Family of Maj. John Pryor:
First and utmost my regards and prayers are with all of you at a time when I know you cannot catch your breath, when every step becomes a challenge and you hear the word hero with both pain and grace. God, whatever that is to each and everyone of us, be with you. Find your strength in your son, maybe husband, maybe brother, maybe father. He and you gave all for us. I do not know any of you and was looking to write to a local(MASS) family who recently lost their son, and I found you. Not many can say I know how you feel, it's a distinction we do not want to be a part of, but with time will accept with honor and dignity. I am a Gold Star family member. We lost my big brother, Cpt. John W. Maloney, U.S.M.C., in June of 2005, and not a day goes by, that at least once, it dosn't...and I don't know how to phrase this...hit you head on. I am also a nurse and from what I have read your son John was a doctor/surgeon/nurse. Not only was that his title, but he was good at his job. For those of us that work in the medical field to be called good is exceptional. You do your job and do it well. Please contact me if there is anything I can help you with. This year I know it was just "Christmas" with no happy anywhere. For some reason I was drawn to write...please take care. Semper Fi.
Melissa Hamre
January 13, 2009
John we allways remember you as a teaching doctor, a real HUMAN BEING taking care of your patients with love and good decisions.With all our love we will allways have you in our minds. The Argentina Team at PENN
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