Joseph R. Prettyman of Harrington, formerly of Laurel, passed away at home on Dec. 17, 2023. Known as a man who loved his family and friends, Joe was always friendly, genuine, and welcoming to all he met. Born to the late Hubert A. and Ruth (Vaughn) Prettyman on June 7, 1936, he was a 1955 graduate of Laurel High School.

In 1956, he went to work at the A. I. DuPont Nylon Plant in Seaford until his retirement in 1992. From 1953 to 1962, he served in the Army National Guard out of the Laurel and Milford barracks. During this time, in 1959, he married the love of his life, the late Bettye J. (Tingle) of Georgetown; the two were inseparable “peas in a pod” for over 63 years until the time of her passing in 2022. During those years, they raised two children – Joe II and Rebecca, also known as Becky. 

Joe loved spending time with family, friends, and his church family which included St. Georges UMC, Delmar, Delaware and then Laurel Church of the Nazarene where he and Bettye were active members for over 30 years. In recent years, he often attended his daughter’s churches, most recently Mariners Bethel in Ocean View. When unable to attend, he would watch the live stream online.

Joe was New York Yankees fan from his youth and loved football season at the local, college, and national level – especially the Washington Redskins. A die-hard Laurel Bulldog fan, he attended the sporting events, concerts, and other events that involved his children and his grandchildren whenever and wherever possible. He enjoyed jazz, country, and classical music. Always intrigued by film and photography, he became well practiced in both over the years. While he was very humble about his talents, those who knew Joe knew his love for telling stories and creating works of art with pen and ink, pastel, watercolors, and acrylics. 

Even when Joe and Bettye sold their Laurel home to Habitat for Humanity in 2018 and moved north to Harrington with their daughter and son-in-law, they kept in contact with many friends from Laurel. All that knew Joe remember him with a gentle spirit, a quick wit, and willing to help anyone he could. 

Predeceased by his parents, brother Hubert V. Prettyman and sisters, Barbara Yurek and Mary Lou Markow and his wife Bettye, Joe is survived by a brother, Stephen Prettyman (Lorriane) of Seaford; a son, Joseph R. Prettyman II (Sherrie) of Georgia; daughter, the Rev. Dr. Rebecca “Becky” Collison (Glenn) of Harrington and Ocean View; sister-in law, Suzanne Tingle Cash of Newark; grandchildren, Randy Davidson (Lesley) of Dover, Robert Davidson of Parksley, Va., Pastor Patrick Kelly (Veronica) of Bridgeville, Joseph Kelly (Taylor) of Spring Lake, NC, Roni Collison and Randy Collison, both of Harrington; and Ally Hazlett of Statesboro, GA; great-grandchildren including Sierra, O’Rian, Tommy and Hunter Kelly and Jonah and Caleb Davidson; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and extended family members. 

Services celebrating Joe’s life will be held on Friday, Dec. 29 at Mariners Bethel, 81 Central Ave., Ocean View with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. and service at 11 a.m. Graveside services will follow at 1 p.m. in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Laurel. Those unable to attend but who would like a private link to view the service online may contact the family for further information. Memorial contributions may be made in Joe’s honor to Mariners Bethel GMC, Ocean View or Laurel Church of the Nazarene, Laurel. Arrangements by Hannigan, Short, Disharoon Funeral Home in Laurel.