Ragan B. Pulley

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2008

VIRGINIA BEACH—Ragan Bradshaw “Brad” Pulley, 90, longtime Virginia Beach resident, prominent businessman and civic leader, died March 28, 2008.

Mr. Pulley was preceded in death by his loving wife of 52 years, Louise Pulley.

He was born in Ivor, and had been a resident of Virginia Beach for more than 50 years. He gave generously of his time to many local organizations and charities.

He was an early and earnest believer in the City of Virginia Beach and dedicated himself to helping the city realize its potential. Known for his organizational skills and his tenacity, Brad Pulley was on most civic organizations’ short lists of “go-to” volunteers.

He held leadership roles and served on the boards of the Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, Virginia Marine Science Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs of South Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach Rescue Squad Foundation.

He also served as an advisory officer to the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad for more than 30 years, and in the mid-1990s accepted a leadership role in building the squad’s new headquarters on Virginia Beach Boulevard.

He was past chairman of the boards of the United Way of South Hampton Roads and Tidewater Community College. He was past president of the Virginia Beach Chamber of Commerce and a longtime member and past president of the Rotary Club of Virginia Beach.

Always involved in community fundraising, Mr. Pulley headed several major fund drives in the city. In 1969, Mr. Pulley was honored as First Citizen of Virginia Beach for his longtime commitment and service to his community. His contributions to the city’s progress were again recognized in 1982 when he was selected King Neptune of the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival.

He was a 1939 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the College of William and Mary. At graduation, he received the James Frederick Carr Memorial Cup honoring the student exhibiting the highest standards of “character, scholarship and leadership.”

He had maintained a longtime commitment to his alma mater, serving in various leadership and fundraising roles. He was past director of the William and Mary Alumni Association, past trustee of the W&M Athletic Educational Foundation and past director of the Order of the White Jacket, an association of alumni who worked as waiters in the college dining hall.

In 1989, he received the William and Mary Alumni Medallion in honor of his leadership and contributions to his alma mater through the years. Having joined the Equitable Life Assurance Society after graduation from William and Mary,

He enjoyed a long and highly successful career with the company, interrupted only by service as a supply officer in the

U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II and the Korean War. He was a member of Equitable’s National Leaders Corps for 28 years, a member of the Equitable Hall of Fame and a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table of the National Association of Life Underwriters.

He was the Equitable National Honor Agent in 1965 and was named Life Insurance Man of the Year by the Norfolk Life Underwriters Association in 1969-1970. Mr. Pulley was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach and held the offices of elder and trustee.

He was married to the former Louise Johnston Butt of Princess Anne County. They enjoyed more than 50 years together prior to her death in 1998.

Survivors include three children, Ragan Bradshaw Pulley Jr. and wife Cathy of Virginia Beach, Lawrence Butt Pulley and wife Penny of Williamsburg and Louise Bradshaw Pulley of Williamsburg; four grandchildren, Bo Pulley of Raleigh, Hollin Pulley of Los Angeles and Rachel Pulley and Evan Pulley of Williamsburg; a brother, J. Reid Pulley of Winston-Salem, N.C.; a sister, Carolyn P. Pulley of Williamsburg; and many other family members.

A funeral was conducted Tuesday in First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach. The family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 945, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, or The Pulley Family Public Service Endowment at the College of William and Mary, Drawer 1693, Williamsburg, VA 23187.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.hdoliver.com