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Life Story / Obituary
Evelyn R. Pratt was a loving wife, supportive mother, caring grandmother and hard working professional. She excelled on the job as an honest and trusted employee and socialized with friends around her passion for sports. Above all, she was totally devoted to her family and was thrilled to see it grow. No matter what the occasion, Evie loved getting together and sharing the fun of being a big, happy family.
Evelyn was born on August 31, 1923 in Harrisburg, Illinois, the daughter of Seth Thomas and Vera Leone (Love) Allen. At the time, America's nation was recovering from the First World War and straining to rebuild its economy. By the end of the decade, stock markets fell and countries around the world experienced long years of economic depression. Money was tight for the Allen family, and when Evelyn was very young, her father made a decision to leave his coal mining job. They moved to the Kalamazoo area of Michigan, where the family grew to include Willis, Ruth, Wayne, Delores, Robert and Harold.
After graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1941, she entered the work force. Evie was already an independent working woman when she met her future husband, Kenneth Pratt. As it happened one work day, Evie went to meet friends at a coffee shop and cut through Bud’s Jewelry on her way. There was Ken. When she explained why she was cutting through, he asked, “Why don’t you buy me a cup of coffee?” From that encounter a date ensued, and after a brief courtship the couple married on March 15, 1952 in Kanley Chapel at Western Michigan University.
When Evie became a mother of three—Mark, Karen and Mike—she put her children’s interests first. She encouraged them in their endeavors and smoothed a path for their pursuits. She tended to be a soft touch when it came to discipline and often released them from the groundings that their father had imposed. Both parents showed up at the kids’ events, and the same was true when they later became grandparents and great grandparents. For as long as the kids could remember, the family got together with their extended family. They didn’t need an excuse to gather for birthdays, holidays, reunions and any other occasion they could think of.
Athletics had always been a significant part of Evie’s life, and she and Ken often golfed at the Elks Club in Kalamazoo, where they were long time members. Evie had the distinction of scoring a rare hole-in-one and being voted Elk-of- the-Year. She was also honored in the sport of bowling. An avid bowler for over 50 years, Evie won a state tournament and was inducted into the Kalamazoo Bowling Hall of Fame in 1984.
After a 30-year career with Upjohn, Evie retired in 1988 as an executive secretary. She and Ken made the most of their leisure as they traveled to the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, Hawaii and Florida and thoroughly enjoyed the sights across the great North American landscape. Yet each journey brought them home to what mattered most to Evelyn—her family.
Evelyn R. Pratt, age 92 of Parchment, Michigan, died on Tuesday January 19, 2016 at Kairos Dwelling in Kalamazoo. Members of her family include her husband of 63 years, Kenneth Pratt; 3 children: Mark (Lynn) Pratt, Karen Pratt and Mike (Cheryl) Pratt. Other members of her family include her sister Ruth Hoag, 4 grandchildren: Kevin (Heather) Pratt, Kathy (Damian) Koob, Phillip Pratt and Anna Pratt; 5 great grandchildren: Taylor, Kaiden and Peyton Pratt and Sydney and Ryan Koob. She was preceded in death by 4 brothers: Willis Allen, Harold Allen, Wayne Allen and Robert Allen; and her sister Delores Ochs.
Visit with Evie’s family and friends on Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler- Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, 269-375-2900. Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the same location with a lunch to follow in the Life Story Center. Please visit Evelyn’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook. Memorial Contributions may be made to Kairos Dwelling.