News Tribune Article

The following is a News Tribune newspaper article that was written about Dr. Joe Pryor on Monday, June 4, 2007:

Portrait: Dr. Joe Pryor gives hands-on attention to history

By Ra'Vae Edwards
News Tribune, Jefferson City, Missouri
Published: Monday, June 4, 2007 12:00 AM CDT

01 Aerial view of Tuscumbia - 1950's
Dr. Joe Pryor recently returned to Miller County where he grew up and has
been working with the historical society to preserve the history of the county.
(Photo by Ra'Vae Edwards/News Tribune)

TUSCUMBIA - After practicing medicine for 31 years in the Kansas City area, Dr. Joe Pryor has returned to Mid-Missouri and has been working diligently with the Miller County Historical Society's efforts to preserve local history.

Growing up in Tuscumbia, Pryor always has held a special place in his heart for his hometown. He lives in the Sunrise Beach area with his wife, Judy, and spends a large portion of his time volunteering with the society. And he says he enjoys every minute of it.

Returning to the area less than a year ago, Pryor immediately jumped in with his volunteer efforts and is now president of the society.

He has been active in an enormous fundraising effort to build a larger research area and library at the museum housed in the old Anchor Milling building in Tuscumbia.

Having lived in Miller County until the early 1970s, Pryor moved to the Kansas City area to start a medical career, but credits two former area doctors for his desire to practice medicine.

“I was in sixth grade and one of my friends was helping decorate for homecoming in the gym when he fell,” Pryor said. “Back then, the gym floors were tile over concrete and were very hard. He was putting up decorations when he fell to the floor and had a seizure.

“It scared me and I thought he was going to die.”

Dr. Paul Howard was called to the school and his professionalism in the situation impressed Pryor. With that, and the professionalism he had experienced with his family doctor, Pryor knew medicine was the profession he wanted to join.

“Dr. Paul and his partner and father-in-law, Dr. Marshall (Humphrey), were our family doctors and they always treated us so well,” he said. “I was always impressed with how professional and competent they both were.”

His medical career was put on hold when he joined the Army in 1973, but two years later, he returned to Kansas City and re-established his practice and went on to be well-recognized in his field of study.

Professionally, Pryor says his biggest accomplishment was having the opportunity to work with electro diagnostic neurology testing.

“(My career) is interesting in that I chose a specialty that was very unique and new to the Kansas City area at that time,” he said.

“I was the first to begin working with electro diagnostic neurology, which is a branch of neurology in which diseases of the nerves are diagnosed with electrical testing.”

Pryor's fulfilling career has played a major role in his life.

Having said that, Pryor said his biggest accomplishment in his personal life was convincing his wife to marry him. They will celebrate their 40th anniversary this summer.

Together they raised two children - Jennifer, who lives in the Chicago area with her husband and their three children, and John who lives in the Boston area.

When he's not spending time with his family or volunteering for the historical society, Pryor enjoys music, playing various instruments and golfing.

“I spend the biggest part of my time speaking to several of the clubs in the area about what we are doing at the historical society,” he said. “I have really enjoyed meeting people in the area and learning about our history.

“Working with the historical society has been very rewarding for me.”


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