Near the center of Elkin is the ReStore by Habitat for Humanity building, which houses bargain items off Bridge Street.
Inside the former Chevrolet dealership stands its general manager, John Prigmore, a jubilant individual with a heart larger than life and one of the best senses of humor any person can display, say Habitat volunteers.
Prigmore admits to helping move the Habitat mission forward, but he doesn’t claim to being the face of the brand locally.
“This is God’s work,” said the 57-year-old, who moved to Elkin 13-years ago.
According to Prigmore, the position was a best fit for him. He used to work for more than 40 years in the restaurant business and worked his way up in a chain of Cracker Barrel’s that led him to Jonesville.
“No complaints about long hours, but for most of my life I put money ahead of God. I wanted the materialistic things like cars and other items. I knew I could have all of these things because work was good, and I was good at doing work,” he said.
However, when pressed deeper about who was the real John Prigmore, he revealed that he’s still discovering who he is.
“My dad died when I was 9 years old,” Prigmore said. “I built a wall around my heart. It was the natural thing to do. Nothing got in it.”
The room suddenly grew quiet. The door to Prigmore’s office was closed. The sound of employee chatter was heard in the background.
He eventually resumed and admitted that for most of his life he spent striving for a father figure.
“It was always right in front of me,” said Prigmore. “Christ was always there for me. He is my father. My life has turned around,and I am on a spiritual journey to this day.”
Prigmore has a huge responsibility at home. He has five children and a wife, Susie, who was diagnosed with MS.
“We celebrated our 25-year wedding anniversary in February,” Prigmore said with a smile. He paused for a moment to reflect on Susie’s journey, the pain she endures, her life taking care of the children and keeping the home in order.
“I wrote her a card. That’s what I gave her on that day,” he said, wondering if this personal gesture was enough for a woman he believes deserves so much more in life.
Prigmore highlighted the children in his life.
“They’re all growing up, and they’ve made me a soccer fan over the years,” he said. “Everyone is doing well, and they are all individually proceeding on their own journey.”
After smiling about what has been done with family and what hasn’t, Prigmore paid tribute to his mother, Marcheta Prigmore. She died in April.
“I must say that on that April day I was able to bury both of my parents,” he said. “I finally grieved the loss of my father. That was a huge step for me.”
Prigmore, who was overcome by the unexpected emotion, took a couple of teary-eyed minutes and said, “You’re good.”
According to Prigmore, he is an avid reader and picks up to study the Bible every morning. He says that he experiences Christ each day in groups.
“It’s special for me when people come together to talk about Christ,” said Prigmore.
Studying Christ and the Bible has helped Prigmore identify the four basic pillars of life, he said. Prigmore says in order to have balance in life one must have physical, emotional, mental and spiritual awareness.
Prigmore has a preferred treat.
“Smarties and bubble gum balls are the best,” he said.
And though Prigmore says that although that his knees and body are not the same as he approaches 60-year-old people, Christ has it all mapped out for him.
“It’s all in His hands. Thank you so much for this very awakening conversation,” he said.