Cover photo for Elizabeth Nell (Houston) Pryor's Obituary
Elizabeth Nell (Houston) Pryor Profile Photo
1928 Elizabeth 2018

Elizabeth Nell (Houston) Pryor

January 1, 1928 — September 3, 2018

Longtime teacher Nell Pryor died on September 3, 2018 in her Norman home at the age of 90.

Nell was born Elizabeth Nell Houston on January 1, 1928 in Dixie, Oklahoma to Raymond H. and Winifred (Ritter) Houston. She was the oldest of four children, two of whom died in infancy: sisters Billie Jim and Margaret Ann. The Houston family lived at various locations in Jefferson County, Oklahoma, where Nell graduated from Mountain Home High School in 1946. It was at Mountain Home that she met her future husband, Richard Glynn Pryor.

Nell attended both Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma as a music major, and received her Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees in Education from OU. She taught school for almost forty years, with stints at Capitol Hill Junior High School in Oklahoma City and Washington and Monroe Elementary Schools in Norman before retiring from teaching in 1988.

Nell loved teaching, music, gardening, cooking, reading books out loud, and talking about politics. She was a Yellow Dog Democrat who was involved in General Wesley Clark’s presidential campaign in 2004.

Nell’s husband, Richard, died in 1959; she never remarried. Nell was preceded in death by her parents, infant sisters, and brother Louis Ray “Luke” Houston. After retirement she was caretaker for her mother, brother, father-in-law Dick Pryor, mother-in-law Mildred Pryor, and favorite teacher and adopted mother Juanita Cates.

Nell leaves behind: son, Dick Pryor and wife Lisa Pryor of Norman; granddaughter Becca (Pryor) Vermelis and husband Imants of Norman and their children Brantley and Addilynn Vermelis; grandson Greg Pryor and wife Megan of Ramstein Air Base, Germany and their children Mackenzie and Zackary Pryor; sister-in-law Edna Cate of Cupertino, California; niece Julie (Cate) Clinton and husband Scott of Sunnyvale, California and their children Jennifer and Steven; and nephew John Cate and wife Jackie of Walnut Creek, California and their children Collin, Meaghan, and Matthew Cate.

Nell also loved and will be remembered by Emily Southerland, Ryan Southerland, Chelsea and Jeff Wesner, Aeschel and Levi Duran, several nieces and nephews, numerous students and colleagues, and devoted friends Merle and Charlette Slawson.

A graveside service and burial will be held at 2:00pm on Friday, September 7th at IOOF Cemetery with a reception immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made by contributing to the Norman Public Schools Foundation or by planting flowers and trees. Nell would like that.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth Nell (Houston) Pryor, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, September 7, 2018

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Reception to follow.

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