Joseph C. Prater
Pueblo Chieftian, Aug. 3, 2004
Joseph C. Prater 81, passed away Aug. 1, 2004. Survived by his wife, Edith; four children, Beverly (Scott) Williamson, Wichita Falls, Texas, Sharon Prater Toronto, Canada, Pamela (Jay) Prater Surdell, Pueblo West, and James Prater, Fort Collins; two grandchildren, Adam and Abby Williamson. Preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Claude Prater and Florence Southerland Prater; two sisters, Vera Clyde Prater and Juanita Prater . Joe was born Nov. 19, 1922, in St. Paul, Ark., and grew up in Brentwood, Ark. He served three years in the U.S. Army during World War II and played professional baseball in the minor leagues before and after the war. Joe graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1948. He married Edith Holley in 1947 having met at the university. Joe and Edith came to Colorado in 1948 where they taught at Lamar High School. Joe taught mathematics and coached football and basketball, including two state championship football teams. He completed his master's degree in 1950 at the University of Arkansas and attended Oregon State University under a national science grant in 1960. In 1956, Joe was named head football coach and mathematics instructor at Pueblo Junior College. He was the NAIA district football coach of the year in 1965. He continued coaching until 1973 and taught mathematics until 1988, retiring as professor emeritus from USC. Joe was a member of First Baptist Church and a former member of Calvary Baptist Church, where he also coached the boys basketball teams. Joe was a member of the Pueblo County 4-H Foundation and he and Edith were named to the Pueblo County 4-H Leaders Hall of Fame in 1997. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2004, at First Baptist Church, 405 W. Ninth St., with Pastor Wayne Dvirnak officiating. Interment will follow at Imperial Memorial Gardens. In lieu of food or flowers, those who wish may make memorial donations to the Pueblo County 4-H Foundation through Montgomery & Steward Funeral Home.