Dr. John Richard Pratt of Winona passed away at his home on Monday, September 28, at the age of 78.
A graveside service was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 3, at Oakwood Cemetery in Winona, with Rev. Chad Bowen officiating. The family had a private visitation.
He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 7, 1942, and was the son of the late Richard Allen and Marguerite Deterly Pratt of Wilson, Arkansas.
Dr. Pratt graduated from Wilson High School in 1960 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Millsaps College in 1964, a Master's Degree in Organic Chemistry from Mississippi State University in 1967, and a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry in 1974 from the University of Southern Mississippi, where Dr. and Mrs. Pratt established the Deterly-Pratt scholarship for future math and science educators.
After spending one blustery winter in Chicago, Ilinois, working as a research chemist for Desoto, Inc., the Pratts moved
back to Mississippi, where Dr. Pratt was granted tenure at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus as he performed research under a six-year grant with NASA/Langley Research Center.
From 1984-1990 he worked as a staff chemist for NASA at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. While there, he was awarded 12 U.S. patents and 1 international patent for work in the polymeric materials branch, along with 53 publications, 24 as first author.
Dr. Pratt retired from Holmes Community College in 2008, after 15 years of teaching. He was also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Marguerite Carolyn Pratt.
Dr. Pratt is survived by his wife of 54 years, Katharine Flurry Pratt of Winona; his daughter, Carolyn Denney (Ryan) of Holly Springs, North Carolina; his son, Phillip Richard Pratt of Winona; and one grandson, Luke Ryan Denney.
Pallbearers were Ryan Denney, Dr. Joseph Lee, Charles Lockhart, Ronnie Morrow, Mike Peeples, and Phillip Pratt. Honorary pallbearers were John Frerichs, Tish Johnson, and Joe Woodyard.
Memorial contributions may be made to Moore Memorial United Methodist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 467, Winona, MS 38967.
Oliver Funeral Home of Winona (www.ofhwinona.com) handled the arrangements.