Family visitation will be on Thursday, October 4, from 5 – 7 PM at the Walker-Merrick-Eickemeyer Funeral Chapel in Clarinda, Iowa, with funeral services at the same location on Friday, October 5, at 10:30 AM; the family requests casual dress for both occasions. Burial and military rites will be at Memory Cemetery in New Market, Iowa.
Billy Dean Pratt, 91, of New Market, Iowa, died peacefully in his sleep at his rural home on October 1, 2018.
He was born September 7, 1927, on a farm northeast of New Market, and was the third of six children blessed to parents Leslie George and Ina Pearl (Jackson) Pratt. Bill lived his entire life in the New Market and Siam areas, having attended country schools and then graduating from New Market High School in 1945. In November of that year, he joined the United States Army and served overseas in Austria, a country which he often fondly remembered for its beauty. After earning the rank of corporal, he was honorably discharged and returned home to "good old southwest Iowa" to marry his high school sweetheart, Hope Amelia Fine, on June 27, 1948, in Clarinda, Iowa. Bill and Hope primarily farmed northeast of New Market for their entire married lives of 70 years, working the busiest parts of the year with brother, Bob Pratt and brother-in-law, George Stanley and their families. Eventually, Bill and Hope bought the "Century Farm" that his great-grandfather G.A. Watson acquired in 1881 and was farmed by his grandparents D.M. Pratt and Isabelle (Watson) Pratt. Bill’s father was born in the same house where he, himself, enjoyed his last breath of life.
In his later years, Bill loved riding his four-wheeler to check on the crops and the neighbors, assembling jigsaw puzzles, rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals, and raising a garden in which he shared its produce with New Market friends. He especially enjoyed playing five-point pitch with his local Community Center buddies whom, he said, were crooked players who fleeced him every chance they got. Bill’s greatest love, however, was his family and just being together with them whenever possible.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Les and Ina; sister, LaMead (Cliff) Carmichael; brothers, Bob (Phyllis) Pratt and Dale (Betty Pratt Herzberg) Pratt; parents-in-law, Ralph and Viva (Shields) Fine; sisters-in-law, Elsie Rose (Dick) Burton and Lucille (George) Stanley and brother-in-law, Hollis Naven.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Hope; son, Gordon (Marty) Pratt of New Market, Iowa; daughter, Billie Joyce (Karl) Hodge of Maryville, Missouri; sisters, LaDonna Cabbage and Mary (Don) Hargis of New Market, Iowa; grandchildren, Aaron (Raegen) Pratt of Huntersville, North Carolina, Austin (Alicia) Pratt of Glenwood, Iowa, Andrea Pratt of Raleigh, North Carolina, Amelia Hodge of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Billy Hodge of Maryville, Missouri; the Pratt great-grandchildren, Libby, Ashley, Shain, Sophia, and Eli; four step-grandchildren; several great step-grandchildren, sister-in-law, Edith Naven; nieces, nephews, and cousins; special friends, Lee and Cindy Haug of New Market, Iowa.
Memorials can be directed to the New Market Civic Club or to other New Market area places of your choice.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Bill
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Walker-Merrick-Billings Funeral Chapel