Memory Hold The Door
William Fripp Prioleau (1922–1997)
William Fripp (“Buddy”) Prioleau, son of William Fripp and Mary Alice Wells Prioleau, was born in Columbia on April 2, 1922. He was educated at Dreher High School, The Citadel and The University of South Carolina School of Law.
While at The Citadel, he volunteered for service and was assigned to the 41st Infantry Division, seeing service in the Pacific Theater. Upon discharge he returned to The Citadel, being one of eight cadets receiving their diplomas in December 1946.
Buddy was graduated from the School of Law in 1949. He served as Legal Advisor to Governors Thurmond, Byrnes and Timmerman, and in 1955 entered private practice, first with J. McNary Spigener (Prioleau and Sprignee) and later with Eli Walker (Prioleau and Walker).
He served on the Board of Visitors of the Citadel from 1969 to 1997, being chairman for six years and vice-chairman for six years. In 1994 he was named Board Member Emeritus, being one of only three members ever designated Emeritus. In 1981 he was Man of the Year for The Association of Citadel Men, and in that year the Corps of Cadets dedicated its yearbook, The Sphinx, to him. In 1996, The Citadel conferred the Doctor of Laws degree on him. Truly, he was the epitome of The Citadel man.
His private practice was large and varied, including his representing various state associations and numerous large companies. He also represented, pro bono, many of the needy and unfortunate. Periodically, he served as Acting Judge for the Richland County Family Court. As a lawyer, he was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar; a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference; Secretary-Treasurer of the South Carolina Bar Association; and the South Carolina Representative in the American Bar’s House of Delegates for five years.
Buddy’s public service was legendary — President of the South Carolina Carillon, and of Columbia’s U.S.O., and Chairman of the State Muscular Dystrophy Association, he was a member of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, the South Carolina Mental Health Commission (and recipient of its Meritorious Service Award), and the Board of York Place.
Buddy was a lifelong Episcopalian and served as Vestryman and Finance Advisor of all Satins Waccamaw at Pawley’s Island.
In 1954 Buddy was married to the gracious and lovely Roberta Maybank Paul. Their family life was idyllic and worthy of emulation. She died in 1995. He was survived by four children, Elizabeth DeRosset Prioleau, William Fripp Prioleau, Jr., Mary Wells Prioleau Wesley, and Robert Rhett Maybank Prioleau Moran and five grandchildren, Gabrielle, Alicia Wells Caroline DeRosset Wesley, Virginia Maybank Prioleau and William Fripp Prioleau, III. A sixth grandchild, Roberta Maybank Moran, was born to this closely-knit family in 1998.