At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Red Project of Grand Rapids
401 Hall St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
MI State Police Angel Program
7150 Harris Dr.
Dimondale, MI 48821
Life Story / Obituary
Always searching for the next exciting moment but always with utmost love for his friends and family, Justin Pratt lived his life largely. We will remember the big things like his empathetic, caring, and natural way with people, and the small things too - like his love for fitted hats and cool shoes (kicks). He had an energy about him which made him so likable. Whether he was being a son, a brother, a boyfriend, or a friend, he put his full heart into the relationship. We will never forget his place in our lives.
Justin began his life at the end of the 80's decade. Justin William Pratt was welcomed on May 20, 1989. He was an only child until his little sister, Elisabeth, came along 22 months later. Together, Justin and Elisabeth completed the Pratt family. Justin was an energetic and inquisitive child from the very beginning of his days.
While Justin and his sister were making childhood memories together, their parents were working hard to make sure they provided a good life for their kids. Justin's dad worked at Prince / JCI in Holland, and his mom worked as a Nurse at Butterworth / Spectrum Health. As Elisabeth's big brother, he was always looking out for her and was very protective. The two loved to play paintball together along with their father. In addition, they went on many family adventures to places like Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Oregon, Disney World, and out on the waters for Disney Cruise!
There was work to be done though, and various academic responsibilities to fulfill. Justin began his educational career at Maplewood Elementary, then went to Jenison Junior high, Jenison High School, and eventually transferred to Hyde Academy in Bath, Maine for his junior and senior year. Justin’s enrollment at Hyde was difficult for him to accept, for one thing, it meant that he would have to cut off his beloved dreadlocks. As time went on, however, he made new friends and actually grew to like it there. Throughout Justin’s high school career, he participated in football, wrestling, and competed on the rowing team. His personal discipline and perseverance made him an exceptional athlete, earning the MVP award in wrestling.
After he graduated from Hyde, Justin was ready to seek new adventures. He lived his life with strong determination and confidence to do whatever he wanted. He did attend a few classes at Grand Rapids Community College, but this was not the adventure he needed and he moved to Salem, Mass. to work and live with friends. Later, Justin moved back to GR and worked at several manufacturers in the area including HS Die, MAMC, Ventra, and Wilkast.
Justin loved his family dearly and would do anything for them - especially his sister. He had a special bond with his grandparents as well, and he spent many hours working on cars with his grandpa. Justin also went hunting with his father, uncle and cousin, and bagged his first buck within the first hour of opening morning of his first day hunting, exclaiming “that is how you do it!” Justin was very much an individual, but that never kept him from showing affection to the ones he loved most.
In his short years of life, he was fortunate enough to have experienced love. Leigh Tamminga captured Justin's heart four and a half years ago, and she quickly became the most important person in his life.
Justin was a soul who loved shooting handguns, eating Fruity Pebbles (any cereal really), and engaging in esoteric conversation. He found goodness and happiness in family, and the “little things” in life such as playing cornhole, Risk, or Texas Hold’em. Sponge Bob never had a bigger fan and he could impersonate Cartman like no other.
Justin loved the holidays with his family. Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s house was something he always looked forward to. Christmas mornings were magical times when he would allow himself to be transported back to childhood, opening stockings from Santa with his sister at his side.
Justin was forever kind-hearted, and he loved to make people laugh. He could hold up his end of a conversation on just about any topic. Justin often pushed the boundaries of “appropriate behavior,” making the more conservative among us feel uncomfortable while making the free spirits like himself laugh uncontrollably. Amidst his constant search for excitement, he began to dabble more seriously into drugs. Too soon, he found himself battling a serious drug addiction. Justin never wanted to be an “addict”. He carried immense guilt for his actions related to his drug use and how it affected those he cared about. He fought the good fight for many years before succumbing to the addiction that killed him.
Justin’s final months were some of the best he’d had in years. Justin celebrated nearly three months sober with Leigh and his family just a few days ago. He was repairing strained relationships with people he cared about. This made him very happy. Justin had traded in his beloved cereal for salad and was losing weight and getting back in shape. Justin was never one to hold a grudge. He instinctively knew that carrying bad feelings for someone punished the carrier more than the target of those feelings so he just let them go, forgave and moved on. This is a lesson for us all.
With great sadness, we are now forced to say goodbye to Justin. Early on Sunday morning, August 13, 2017, Justin died of a heroin overdose at his Sober Living Residence. He lived his 28 years in this lifetime at full speed from the very start. We will remember his goofy and full of life ways, and he will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
Justin William Pratt, aged 28 of Jenison, died unexpectedly on Sunday, August 13, 2017. He is survived by his parents, Dion and Tania Pratt; his sister, Elisabeth Pratt; his grandparents, Maria (Stecher) Bishop, Bruce (Anne) Pratt, Tori Pratt (Sue Prusz), Bill Haworth; Justin’s companion and soulmate, Leigh Tamminga; many aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends. Justin was so full of life, his exuberance touched all who knew him, and he truly brightened the world. Justin deeply loved his entire family. He will be profoundly missed and lovingly remembered. A gathering to celebrate Justin’s life will be held on Sunday, August 20th from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm at the Pinnacle Center, 3330 Highland Dr. Hudsonville, MI 49426. in lieu of flowers, please consider contributions in his memory to Red Project of Grand Rapids or MSP Angel Program. To read more about Justin’s life, to leave your own memory of him, and to sign his guest book, visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com