Howard William Pratt, age 73, passed away on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, after a brief illness in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He was born April 2, 1946, to the late Joseph William Pratt and Ruth (Baker) Pratt, of Shoals.
He was also preceded in death by one sister, Carolyn Pratt.
Howard graduated from Shoals Community High School in 1964, and Evansville College (now the University of Evansville), in 1968. He will long be remembered for his athletic ability being a standout and valued member of the 1963-64 Shoals Jug Rox Basketball Team which finished with a record of 22 wins and 2 losses and continues to hold the best record in school history. He was awarded with a basketball scholarship to Evansville where he started for his last three years. Howard was invited by the United States Olympic Committee to try out for the men’s Olympic basketball team for the 1968 Olympics along with future NBA Superstars such as Pete Maravich, Calvin Murphy, Spencer Haywood, and Dan Issel. After graduation, Howard served with the National Guard and began work in the auto claims department at State Farm Insurance where he retired after 30 years. He began his career in Evansville and worked in the Southport and Columbus, Indiana, offices before transferring to Cincinnati, where he retired.
Howard was an avid Cincinnati Reds fan; he and his mother were season ticket holders and did not miss a chance to attend a game until health posed it difficult to continue. Every Spring, the past few years, he traveled to Goodyear, Arizona, to watch his beloved Reds play every day for Spring Training and kept his friends posted as to who made the great plays.
He was loved by his many friends and co-workers and maintained close ties to his friends and former athletes at Shoals and Evansville. This “Big Guy” will be missed by many.
Survivors include his sister, Linda Pratt Poole, of Cincinnati; one niece, Patricia Jo (Justis) Jedlick and husband Oliver, of Virginia Beach, Virginia; and one nephew, Skip Justis, of Dundalk, Maryland. He also leaves a great niece, Kayla Sims and two great-nephews, Xander and Nathan Jedlick.
Friends may visit with the family on Saturday, June 22nd, at 2:00 p.m., at the Shoals United Methodist Church, with a Celebration of Life beginning at 3:00 p.m.