Donald Lee Prater

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On April 12, 2013, at age 82, the Triune God gave the joy and victory of eternal life to Donald Lee Prater. Born in Essex, Mo., on Oct. 29, 1930, he was the oldest along with siblings, Don, Charles, Dale, Sonny, Bill, Harold, and John, who were largely raised by their maternal grandparents in Dexter, Mo. Early on, Don learned to work hard, help others and take responsibility for family.

At age 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. During the Korean War, at the evacuation of the Chosin Reservoir, in a unit of 200, Don was one of only 20 that survived. A mutual friend encouraged Euline Young to write Don while he was in the service. Following his return, Don and Euline were married in 1951 in Picket, Ark. The newlyweds relocated to Southgate, Mich., where they began a family that included Debra June (deceased), Dale Jerome (Pinckney, Mich.), Jeffrey Lynn (Bronaugh, Mo.), and Douglas Jeremy (Luther, Mich.).

While in the Detroit area, Don reconnected with his father and other family and began a 30-year career as a crane operator at McCloud Steel. His work life also included rebuilding starters and alternators in his garage, and later, making printed circuit boards, including prototypes for Tyco, Ford Motor Co. and others. Just as he provided for his siblings, so he endeavored to provide for his family, teaching the value of work while encouraging each to learn and take on new challenges. About every five years, Don would pack up his family and take a 13-week vacation which enabled them to reconnect with family and friends, while enjoying a variety of sights and experiences. A fervent Christian, while in Missouri and in Michigan, Don was an active member in congregations of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Survived by his wife, three children and all of his brothers, Don has numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many friends.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Nevada, on Friday, at 4 p.m., and all are welcome. The cremains will be buried following a second service in Michigan at a later date. Friends and family may call on Euline and son, Jeffrey, and his wife, Lisa, of the home in Bronaugh. God has many precious gifts and we number among them: forgiveness, faith, eternal life and Donald Lee Prater!

Local arrangements are under the direction of Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada.

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